Feb 27, 2008

More Seeds Started

The kids went back to school, and the tomatoes and tomatillos have been sown....ahhhh, Spring is soon to be Sprung!!Even the snow outside slowly melting seems to know that Spring is just around the bend. I am keeping my fingers crossed that some snow that is supposed to come Friday night misses us so I can get my Pea patch ready for seeds in a few weeks....a few weeks, can you believe that it is already time again?!? I know, I know, I have been bemoaning my lack of gardening since I pulled the last of the tomatoes out in the Fall, but WOW , it really did seem to come back pretty quickly, maybe I should whine about more things, see if it helps...Hahahaha!

And now for the obligatory picture of my seed and seedling growing set-up,please do not laugh at my Grow-Op, it might hurt its feelings :P ....
I have started Green tomatillos from a fruit sent to me by a gardening Forum friend in Spain...I lost all but one seedling last year and alas they need a mate to set fruit, so I am crossing my fingers that I dont screw things up this season.The tomatoes of choice for this year are: Olena Ukrainian, we talked about her in one of the 'Huge Tomato' blogs, Fireball,Cherokee Purple,Aunt Ruby's German Green,Earl of Edgecomb,San Marzano,Principe Borghese, Black Cherry, Clemintine, and a Red Grape that I saved seeds from a salad I had at Bertucci's restaraunt. I will of course talk more in depth about them as the season progresses and finally in my 2008 Tomatoes on Parade.

You may even spy a few sprouts.....
These are , on the left, Greenboquet Basil, and on the right, Italian Flat Leaf PArsley. They are for my window sill, so I still have herb sowing to accomplish...maybe I will do that on Friday!!

Until next time....have fun getting some dirt under your nails!!

Feb 22, 2008

Seed Starting Time!!

Wow, it is hard to believe that another seed starting season has come again. I have been looking forward to this time of year since I cleared the last of the tomato vines out of the garden in the end of October.The totally ironic thing about all of this, is the snow that is falling outside my window . I have lamented this past Winter on the lack of snow in my area. I live on the coast of Long Island Sound, therefore, even on the other side of town sometimes there would be an inch or two of snow happening, while my neighborhood would receive rain. Now granted , even for those areas that would receive a few inches, it has been mainly a non-Winter this year. So , wouldn't you know, just as I am gearing up for the arrival of Spring and getting my first round of seeds tucked under their earthy blankets, the storm of the season hits. Right now we have about 7 inches more or less of snow piled up, and the rest of the storm ....5-6 hours worth....to go.

Oh, Well...back to my seeds. I am so excited about starting my seeds this season. this of course being the second season for me to grow my veggies from seed instead of store bought stock.

Right now I have a tray of Eggplants going, the varieties being: Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca and a black variety is from seeds saved from plants I got at a Discount store last season. The Black variety did so well that it really renewed my interest in growing eggplants again, after several failed attempts in the past. Also readying themselves to sprout on top of my Cable Box are, Hot Peppers: Brown Congo, and Burpees Five Variety Mix and a bunch of Sweet Peppers :Reus Long, Grueso de Plaza and Paprika. As soon as they sprout they will be moved into my not so professional grow space .

I am looking forward to next week, when the kids go back to school from their Winter Break, so I can get my Tomatoes started. I would have started them today, but between the snow coming down and my son in the basement practicing loudly and relentlessly on his drums, its a wonder that I have been able to concentrate long enough to type this...let alone keep all my seeds straight.

So will let you know next week....when it is blissfully quiet.....what tomato varieties made it on my 2008 list....

Feb 14, 2008

Tada...and The Winner Is!!

So here we are at last. The tomato everyone has been waiting to hear about. Huge open pollinated tomato Number One!


What a beauty she is too!! This is a fabulous heirloom from Poland. It produces a deep red tomato that is dense and meaty, beefsteak in shape, and oh so very tangy, rich , juicy and sweet . This is definitely a full bodied tomato...in both size and flavor. Zogola is known for giving clusters of fruit, some of them in the 2 to 3 pound range, and even better than that this is a reliable producer. They fair well even in less than optimal conditions , which is another plus.I don't have any seeds for it this year yet....but I will definitely have them for next season. I am crossing my fingers for a 3 pounder!!

So this is , in my opinion one of the best for giving out those huge tomatoes, the ones you use to impress the neighbors with. Plus with a little extra nudge, 'Zogola' might even give you a record winner for your area....who knows. Of course there are many more varieties that will give tomatoes in the 1-2 pound range, so if big is your thing, do a little research and keep trying different varieties until you find the ones that you truly adore. I believe that experimenting with new tomatoes is half the fun of actually growing tomatoes...and with so many 1000's to choose from, there is a new tomato around every corner, and the possibilities are delicious!!

Feb 10, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

Here is a picture of a beautiful Iris tht graced my garden last Summer. The temperature outside right now is frigid, and the winds are howling, so it is the pictures like this that remind me .... better times are on the horizon.

Feb 7, 2008

Is it Spring Yet???

This Winter sucks.

One of the most important rules I have set for myself as an adult is to not wish my life away. I have spent the past 10 years looking forward to things, but not actually wishing for it to be some date because I know now how quickly time passes without any help at all.

This Winter is challenging that rule in a big way. I am one step away from wishing it was Spring already.

This has been ultimately one of the crappiest Winters in my life. No, not because of all the frigid weather...and no not because of the shoveling of snow ...but because of the lack of those things. We have had some pretty cold weather, but nothing prolonged, and snow....what snow, we have had maybe 5-6 inches so far in my neighborhood all season...snow...hah.
Okay, I am totally prepared for all of the dirty looks and name calling behind my back by all of you who have either had your fill of snow this season, or who just hate the white fluffy stuff outright.
I, however, need that snowy transition period to give me something to do other than thinking that if it was just 10 degrees warmer I could start my garden already. But then I look outside and everything is gray and brown and lifeless....
So instead I have become a seed junkie. I spend nearly all me free time , looking at my seeds, looking at catalogs with seeds, on websites with seeds, buying more seeds, and generally wishing that I could be planting my seeds.
I have gotten so desperate for signs of life lately that the other day , while eating pineapple, I happened upon a seed in my fruit. I could hardly contain myself and called madly to my husband to show him my precious find. If this was a pearl in an oyster , it wouldn't have meant anything compared to that glorious seed. I placed it in my kitchen on the windowsill....right in the middle for all to see and admire!!
Alas though, I could not control myself, this morning the urge to plant overwhelmed me, and my precious pineapple seed is now tucked into a small pot under a dusting of seed starting mix , wrapped in plastic , awaiting germination....and Spring.....

Feb 5, 2008

Still Talking Tomatoes

So, we are now down to Open Pollinated huge Tomato number 2.

'Neves Azorean Red'

This is a beefsteak type of tomato that was developed by Anthony Neves. He brought seeds from the Azores with him back to the Boston area. This is where he grew out selected seed for size, until he ended up with the big beauty we now enjoy.

'Neves Azorean Red' is an indeterminate tomato which mature around the late-midseason mark although it is always a good idea to account for fluctuations in weather and ones own garden climate. The fruits of this type grow large, smooth and deep red in the 1-2 pound range. Some of the things I have read about 'Neves Azorean Red' say it is a tomato in the 1-3 pound range. So, as with many of the extra large tomato varieties, this one definitely has the ability to produce tomatoes at least up to the 3 pound range with no extra effort, so if you want to put in a little more work, a 4 pounder probably isn't out of the question.....although that is stretching it a bit. From what I have heard in the garden ...it's a tasty complex and meaty tomato, and the folks who grow it seem to love it more for its flavor and its sturdiness more than for its size . That, I think is, the very most important aspect, as sometimes the large tomatoes end up being grown purely for size with no regards to taste....and I dig taste above all!

Stay tuned for Huge Tomato #1......'Zogola'

Feb 1, 2008


Sorry that there is no 'Talking Tomatoes' this week, I have what I think is the Flu , and I feel like death. :(

Will Be back in full force next week(I hope)