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Timing is Everything

Cauliflower, Lettuce,  Pak Choi

Cauliflower, Lettuce, Pak Choi

With the help of my new planting cells, I’ve managed to plant more cool weather crops and in greater quantities than last year… and it really shows ! My plants this year are nearly three weeks ahead. The difference is pretty clear when … [ Continue Reading at http://itfarmersblog.com/?p=2580 ]

 

Photos From the Tomato Patch.

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment
San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano Tomatoes

As I was looking around the tomato patch, I realized that I may just achieve my goal of “too many tomatoes”. I’ve been dusting the plants religiously every 7 days per the “Dragoon Dust” directions, and there is no sign of Late Blight. There are plenty of green tomatoes, and in many different varieties. Each year I seem to pick out new types which I favor, and I’ve slowly built a collection of plants, many of which I can identify by looking only at the leaves.

San Marzano is one of the few varieties I’ve started with my first year that I continue to grow. It is a paste tomato with a great deal in common with Roma tomatoes. The plants always seem to give a ton of effort, and I’m always surprised with how many veggies one plant will bear.

Brandywine Tomatoes

Brandywine Tomatoes

Not long after I acquired a taste for San Marzano, I found myself as a huge fan of Brandywine and Cherokee Purple. Both tomatoes are of excellent quality as sandwiches slices go, and the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the ripe color of the skin. Brandywine are usually red or yellow, and Cherokee Purple carries a dark purplish tone.

Red Lightning Tomatoes

Red Lightning Tomatoes

Since I often enjoy learning about other cultures, I tend to enjoy veggies which have originated in some other corner of the globe. The Red Lightning tomato is from China, and the color is mostly red, with vertical bands of yellow which somewhat resemble lightning strikes. The plants never disappoint, and the colors always make me smile.

Red Alert Cherry Tomatoes

Red Alert Cherry Tomatoes

Red Alert tomatoes are nothing if not consistently the earliest of my tomatoes to ripen. Since I’ve found a few greenish tomatoes that were pilfered by an unknown animal, half eaten and left in the walk way, I figured I better pick these nearly ripe tomatoes, and let them finish up in this plastic container in a window sill. The water in the container was used to wash off any dust left over from the war on blight. Before placing the container in the sill, I drained all the water out.

They should ripen in a few days, and not long after become a welcome addition to my daily salad.

 

Pak Choi

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Pak Choi Seedlings

Pak Choi Seedlings

I finally got some Pak Choi to grow, and I’ve very excited to try it out. This Asian crop can be planted either in early spring or in the summer for a fall crop. Since I was quite busy with all the other spring work, I missed the early growth cycle, but I’m happy to see any seedlings at all. I’ve tried to plant this crop directly into the garden as seeds two years in a row, with no luck, so I thought I would try to get it started in some cups then transplant it once they got going.

Pak Choi Close Up

Pak Choi Close Up

I was not expecting the seeds to germinate, nor grow, so I placed about ten seeds in each cup. I’ll select the strongest plants when they get older, and transplant them into the garden. I’m planning to start some more seeds as I have a whole additional packet left. When I sow these seeds, I’ll try not to place more  then three per cup, so I’m may just have a pile of Pak Choi on my hands in the fall.