Tomatoes Started

As I have mentioned, I have to stagger starting different plants due to space limitations. The sweet peppers were previously started and they are growing great. They have grown well enough to be moved outside. This past weekend it was the tomatoes’ turn to get planted.

A Package of Seeds
I paid a dime for a package of seeds and the clerk tossed them out with a flip. “We’ve got ‘em assorted for every man’s needs,” he said with a smile on his lip. “Pansies and poppies and asters and peas! Ten cents a package and pick as you please!”
Now seeds are just dimes to the man in the store and dimes are the things he needs; And I’ve been to buy them in seasons before, but have thought of them merely as seeds. But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time “You have purchased a miracle here for a dime!”
“You’ve a dime’s worth of power no man can create, you’ve a dime’s worth of life in your hand! You’ve a dime’s worth of mystery, destiny, fate, which the wisest cannot understand. In this bright little package, now isn’t it odd? You’ve a dime’s worth of something known only to God.

Edgar A. Guest

I am not grafting the tomatoes this year like I have the last few. I just don’t start enough plants to be able to stagger various start times and to be able to plant extra of everything. I did select two new hybrid varieties to grow this year that claim they have increased disease resistance. We will see how they fair.

In addition to not grafting this year, I have modified the soil I start the plants in from last year. Last year I used a mixture heavy with peat moss. I had no end of trouble. I think my primary issues were lack of nutrients and an inability to keep the soil moist. This year I used a heavily composted soil from the nursery. To that I added a little peat and a little perlite. I also added an inoculant typically used for legumes (beans, peas, peanuts). I remember hearing about a science fair project a few high-school students, I think from Ireland, conducted involving something similar and that they had good results with various crops. Since I had extra inoculant lying around, I figured, why not use it up here. I had also added some to the peppers when I started them and they seem to be doing well.

The table below shows the tomato varieties we are growing this year. I think it is good that I don’t have a large space for a garden. Narrowing down what tomato varieties is an agonizing experience. There are so many varieties that look and sound so good. Without a space limit I think I would be growing a small farm’s worth of tomatoes. Hopefully these will grow well and should provide a nice assortment for slicing, cooking, and salsa.

Tomato Variety Description
Cherokee Purple A deep purple heirloom variety. Great flavor. We have had success growing this variety in the past.
Black Cherry Very good tasting dark purple cherry tomato. Vigorous grower (vines over 7′). Have grown in the past.
Striped German A red/yellow bicolor heirloom variety. Large meaty tomatoes that look and taste great. Grown in past.
Chocolate Striped A fabulous tomato with incredible coloring and delicious flavor. Dark red-brown with green and orange stripes. Medium sized fruits have a wonderful, rich and sweet flavor with juicy consistency. Have grown in the past.
Costoluto Fiorentino A heavily ribbed Italian heirloom. We grew a different Costoluto variety last year. A medium sized meaty red tomato that should be good sliced and especially good cooked for sauces or salsa.
BHN-871 New for us this year. A high-yielding, slightly flattened orange tomato. Disease resistant hybrid. Our first determinant variety. Replaces the Flamme we have grown in the past; hopefully this variety will be enjoyed as much as Flamme.
Charger Another new variety for us. Also a hybrid, disease resistant, determinant variety. A high-yielding medium sized slicing red tomato.
Sun Gold A sweet, bright-gold cherry tomato. We have grown with success in the past. Early and heavy yields.
Cosmonaut Volkov Another new variety for us. A determinant heirloom smallish red tomato with green stripes on their shoulders.

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