March 17, 2012

On Onion Sets and Tomato Seedlings Perking Up

A tumble of white, yellow, and red onion sets
Effervescent lemongrass
The stalwart Cosmonaut Volkov tomato
A lurid Break O Day tomato
Determined Granny Cantrell seedling
Sun singed but still going Santa Fe pepper seedling
Anaheim pepper forming its first true leaves
Happily growing serrano pepper
A friend and fellow gardening enthusiast gave me her leftover red, yellow and white onion sets which are just onions started from seed that are allowed to form little bulbs, and then dug up and sold when they're under on inch wide. The little onion bulblets are already forming green stalks so they need to go into the ground soon, but it has been raining and the ground is too soggy to till. Yikes. I have never grown onions before from sets or otherwise, so it should be fun.

The tomato seedlings seem to recovering from the ordeal after surviving a thunderstorm. Now they are back under lights and finally seem to be growing again and forming new leaf growth. But there were a bunch of casualties, I had 53 tomato seedlings before the storm and am now down to 37 seedlings counting the 8 cherry or grape tomatoes. Eight cherry or grape tomatoes is definitely overkill just one or two cherry tomato plants should keep our little two person family in plenty of little bite sized goodness, so the rest will be given to friends. Every seedling of a few standard tomato varieties had been lost, so I went ahead and replanted those three lost varieties:
  • San Marzano Lungo No. 2 - listed as a heavy bearing paste tomato with tasty thick dry flesh and few seeds a famous tomato in Italy.
  • Pantano Romensco - an Italian heirloom that is supposed to grow large dark red almost purple fruit that have a rich sweet acidic taste.
  • Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio - gigantic fruits that can grow to over 2 pounds and said to have a very sweet rich flavor and juicy flesh.
Okra is one of my favorite things to grow. The plants get nice and tall with lots of fruit that need to be picked on a daily basis like green beans and they take the heat and humidity beautifully. They do take some time to get past the seedling stage before they start shooting up which leaves them vulnerable to a careless husband and his lawn mower, which is why I like to start them inside to get them a little bigger before being set outside. Be sure to plant more than a couple plants so you can get enough ripened fruits at one time to cook up, ten plants or more gives me enough okra to play with on a daily basis. Okra and tomato stews, lightly curried okra, and okra fried to a golden brown served with fried oysters are all yummy. The okra were started in peat pellets, three different varieties for a total of 18 seeds were planted which included:
  • Stewart's Zeebest - round smooth long pods that are unribbed with heavy yields on 7 plus feet branching plants.
  • Phillipine Lady Finger - round smooth podded fruit that can be allowed to grow very long on gigantic 10 foot tall plants.
  • Cowhorn - popular ribbed okra variety on tall plants.


gardenglut said...

Oh I like your blog. And I love looking at what the other side of the planet is doing. Right when our hot season plants have finished and we are putting our brassicas in, its your turn to do the tomatoes and eggplants. I love it. I can learn from you in preparation nfor next spring. I should do more seed raising.

Phuong said...

It's such a pleasure seeing all the eggplants from your garden. Eggplants have always been a challenge for me to grow because the flea beetles chew up their leaves and leave them weakened, but I have lots of things to try and hopefully beat the bugs this year.