April 24, 2015

Broccoli and Peppers Potted Up

The Summer Purple, Waltham, and Di Cicco broccoli were sowed by putting a pinch of seed in peat pellets, so they needed to be separated right away. I ended up with way more seedlings than anticipated, 30 broccoli seedlings seems excessive. It's probably a good thing the Calabrese Sprouting broccoli didn't germinate.
Waltham broccoli
I finally got the peppers and eggplants all potted up in a growing medium on April 21st. 
Poblano pepper
Aswad eggplant
The Mary Washington asparagus, Percoce d'Argenteuil asparagus, and Purple Romagna artichokes have all finally been separated and put in individual pots. It is very odd how asparagus keeps its seed coat attached to the plant, first a root forms then eventually a spear forms from the upper root near the seed. And no matter the size of the seedling it seems the seed stays firmly attached at the midway point between root and spear.

I started the asparagus in a fluffy coconut coir as well as peat pellets. The asparagus roots had problems penetrating the dense peat pellet with some pushing their roots up out of the pellet. The ones started in the coconut coir came up a week or two earlier and have already started to fern.

Mary Washington asparagus
All the plants that are potted up in growing medium are growing so much faster. The tomatoes are sizing up quickly and some of the peppers and eggplants are getting their first true leaves.

Potato leaved Brandywine from two sources, one says Red Brandywine tomato and the other Pink Brandywine
All the seedlings started so far: leek, onion, flat leaf chive, shallot, celery, ground cherry, broccoli, asparagus, artichoke, tomato, pepper, and eggplant
So much to do, there are still flowers and lavender to be started which will go in beds in the front yard with the artichokes and sunflowers.

Is it a bad idea to plant asparagus in beds against the front of the house? Are they invasive and will the roots interfere with the foundation? The front yard is on the south side, so it gets full sun all day long.

April 15, 2015

Potting Up the Tomato Seedlings and Other Sprouting News

I start most of my seedlings in a non-nutritive seed starting medium like coconut coir or peat moss. So once the seeds have germinated, I pot them up in a growing medium that can actually support life.

Every single tomato variety had sprouted. It made me so happy. Some people are able to grow huge amounts of zucchini, summer squash, or cucumbers every year. But for me, tomatoes are the one thing I can count on to fruit in large amounts.
All the tomatoes were potted up into individual six pack cells (modules). But in so doing, I went and killed the one and only Pruden's Purple tomato seedling, which is supposed to be a potato-leaved pink tomato. So now there are 23 varieties of tomatoes and a total of 61 tomato plants.

6 of 9 pepper varieties have sprouted: Shishito, Antigua, Syrian Three Sided, Yellow Monster, Corno di Toro, and Poblano have all sprouted. These are all sweet peppers except Poblano which is considered a mild to medium heat. The Poblanos are going to be used as a stuffing pepper. I'm hoping to freeze lots of different peppers for the winter. The 3 that haven't germinated are from old seed from 2008/2009. I dug around the tray with a toothpick and some of those old pepper seeds are looking plump, so there is still hope.

Normally I grow lots of hot peppers for salsa, but we still have salsa canned from previous years. Sweet peppers grown in close proximity to hot peppers can actually become spicy due to cross pollination because a lot of the heat in peppers are contained in the interior seeds and the membranes the seeds are attached to.

7 of 10 eggplant varieties have sprouted: Aswad, Bangladeshi Long, Ma-Zu, Ping Tung, Malaysian Dark Red, Thai Long Green and Thai Long Purple. Eggplants always seem to be the last to poke their little heads out of the soil.

April 2, 2015

2015 Tomato, Pepper, and Eggplant Varieties

Well the 72 cell seed tray that was planted on March 21st got knocked over on the 28th. After 7 days the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants had yet to germinate. Usually a few tomato seeds would have germinated by then, so more than likely the seeds were accidently cooked under they're clear lid on a very sunny day that the forecasters had predicted to be much cooler than the 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) it turned out to be. Either way, so disappointing.

I had already typed up all the seed varieties I had planted... but went ahead and added more tomato varieties. Everything was replanted March 31st.

24 Tomato varieties:
Cherokee Purple
Big Rainbow
Black Krim
Paul Robeson
King of Siberia
Costoluto Genovese
Black from Tula
Pink Berkley Tie Dye
Jersey Giant
Pilcer Vesy
Prudens Purple
Hillbilly Flame
Ananas Noire
Big Zebra
Purple Calabash
Pantano Romanesco
Granny Cantrell
Djena Lee's Golden Girl
Aunt Ruby German Green
Kelloggs Breakfast
Ingegnoli Gigante
Red Grape F1

9 Pepper varieties, these are all sweet peppers except for Poblano:
Syrian Three Sided
Yellow Monster (the last of the seeds)
Corno di Toro
Sweet Banana
Chinese Giant
California Wonder

10 Eggplant varieties:
Thai Long Purple
Thai Long Green
Bangladeshi Long
Ping Tung
Ma Zu Purple
Malaysian Dark Red
Early Long Purple
Applegreen (seedlings will go to a friend)

We have decided to plant a big stand of corn. I have only tried to grow corn once and it was in desert country versus humid Kentucky. And also it was an abysmal failure. Ha ha. Soil was too sandy and corn was planted in 2 long rows, so there was hardly any pollination.

Asparagus and artichoke seeds have been started. So. Exciting.