Saturday, August 29, 2009
I'm hanging onto what I can and praying a lot. So far this year I've had production from Stupice, Silvery Fir Tree (nice flavor,thick-ish skin), Super Sioux, MT2 (saved seed from unknown tomato), Black Krim, Golden Queen, Black Cherry and Garden Peach. MT2 has produced 2 fruit so far (see bottom pic). It's a yellow regular leaf with a pink-ish starburst on the flower end. The pink-ish runs through the center of the tomato. It was a nice mild yellow (not bland but quite mild) with an unobtrusive skin, it weighed in at 5.6oz. Top is a picture of my first Black Krim -or Heaven on a Plate-as I like to call it. I have no idea why the picture is sideways I can't figure out how to fix it. This weighed in at 5oz. even, best tomato I've ever eaten. I accidentally started double the amout of BK's I wanted this year so I gave a TON away. My mom got her first (cat faced) BK this week. It was love at first taste. I gave one to a co-worker who raised hers in containers. She lost the labels but said she had a dark one that was really sour (by process of elimination it's probably BK). I don't think her palate is very refined -for reasons I won't go into here- so I'll take that review with a grain of salt. Also, she uses Miracle Gro (ugh!). Needless to say she probably won't be getting plants from me next year...
I ate a Garden Peach yesterday. It has a nice flavor but the skin is way too thick. I don't think I'll be growing that one again, I grew it last year and was on the fence about growing it again this year. It is a heavy producer but with limited space....
I transplanted Silvery Fir Tree from a hanging container where it wasn't happy to a really really large pot. I think I freaked it out because it totally stopped producing and the leaves are changing colors like it's fall. The black cherry (the only plant I didn't start from seed) has early blight pretty bad and is spreading it to Jaune Flamme. I have had really bad luck at the nursery where I got it -disease wise-I got dahlias from them last year that totally succumbed to powdery mildew within days of bringing them home. Their plants always look heat stressed I don't know why I go there. I won't be buying from them again but I did save the seed from BC so I can try it again next year.
Oh yeah, I decided to make mozarella cheese for the first time today just to see if I could. I can. It wasn't that hard and it's really cheap. Insalata Caprese here I come!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
William's Striped- a red and yellow variety with the distinction of being striped both inside and out. Seeds to this variety had been saved in a pill bottle by an elderly neighbor of Georgia and Rene Edmonds (Glensdale, KY). The neighbor couldn't recollect why or when the seeds had been saved. However, the Emonds started some seedlings, grew and plants and passed along some seeds to Merlyn Niedens. Niedens entered 'William Striped' into the 2005 Heirloom Garden show, where it was named favorite of tomatoes that year. 85 days
Black Mountain Pink-bestofgardens.com says: Pink beefsteak. Indeterminate. Regular leaf foliage. An antique tomato now quite rare, it produces huge pink fruits with dense flesh and wonderful full-tomato flavor. The seeds were taken from a tomato plant found growing on an abandoned homestead in Harlan County, Kentucky. Exceptional flavor. 85 days.
Earl's Faux-bestofgardens.co describes as: Pink beefsteak. Indeterminate. Potato leaf foliage. 80 days. Prize winning flavor from our friend Earl Cadenhead. Delicious rich flavor and smooth meaty texture combine to make this one of our favorite varieties. Earl grew it thinking it was Brandywine but it bears many more fruits than Brandywine and the tomatoes are bigger and less oblate.
Black from Tula-tomatoseeds.net describes Black from Tula as a Russian variety of black tomato that hails from the city of Tula in Western Russia. Black From Tula gives a good yield of 12 to 14 ounce beefsteak tomatoes of a dusky brown to a rich black that possess a unique, rich smoky taste. Black Tula was once a widely offered tomato variety, but is now becoming rare. Indeterminate. Matures in 75 days
Reif Red Heart-tomatofest.com says: From J. Reif in PA, who got the seeds from an elderly Italian man. Big vines with wispy leaves producing lots of beautiful red, 10-12 oz., heart-shaped fruits. Meaty & very flavorful. 75 days
Cowlicks Brandywine- not comercially available. Potato leaf. From Mike Henry (Camochef) in Gettysburgh, PA who bought a plant from a local Nursery named Cowlicks, a few years back. It was labeled simply Brandywine or Pink Brandywine. He had others from maybe a half dozen nursuries that year. This one outperformed them all. It produced more tomatoes, ripened earlier, produced much longer, tasted much better, and on a whole they were larger and prettier. (the whole story is here: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg0212101723359.html)
Thank you Larry!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has been hanging around here for about a month. My little 6 year old neighbor calls it the "Big yellow butterfly" she's tried to catch it but it's pretty elusive. I'm not sure what kind of bush it's sitting on, it was planted by the previous owners it has tiny pink flowers in the spring.
Heritage bloomed yesterday, Eden will go any day now. Something keeps nibbling off my Captain Sam buds but seems to be steering clear of Eden and Clotilde Soupert. Winchester Cathedral is still going strong despite being noshed on by rose slugs. Same with the Fairy blooming despite the rose slugs.
I finished planting the garden today. Starting seeds for the cukes and squash was a disaster. I dropped the tray and ended up with a lot of soil mixed with seeds. I have one questionable plant: cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash? I guess we'll have to wait and see. I decided to direct sow instead of buying plants. I also ds bush beans. The pole beans I planted last week are starting to poke throught the soil. The cosmos seeds I scattered around are also coming up.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The forsythia is about ready to bloom. Scilla siberica the little blue star-like flowers are blooming on people's lawns. I think they are beautiful- probably my favorite early spring flower. I have one in the side yard. I think he needs some friends! I potted up some more tomato seedlings today. I have 50+ and still potting. I have to take inventory of what I have and who wants what. 10 are going to my pottery instructor. I have his picked out already and put them in their own tray. I need to save some for my nieces and nephews and a coworker or two and my friend Patti in Ithaca. I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest. NOTE TO SELF: Tomatoes have an excellent germination rate- don't plant more than needed next year!
Pretty much everything I have started from seed has sprouted except the 4 o'clocks (old seed, not properly stored) and the cilantro (used seed from my kitchen cabinet-I thought I'd take as stab at it!) and my pepper "Cherneva chuska" or something like that. The pepper seed is new this year I'm not sure what's wrong with it-bad batch I guess. Jury is still out on the Shasta Daisy's (also old, not properly stored seed) and the cucumbers -that is also new seed maybe planted too deep? Not enough time on the heat mat?
I'm looking into winter sowing for next year. I am using every available flat surface and am running out of room. I won't even start about the heat mat and shop light rotation. I've read some forums where the people swear by wintersowing. I still have some more seed to start for this year, I wonder if it's too late to try it this year....
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The seeds are coming along nicely. I potted up most of the tomatoes this week. I planted flax seeds (the ones that I grind up and put in my yogurt) they sprouted really quickly and seem to be chugging along. I'll start cucumbers and lettuce tomorrow.
I got some more roses with my birthday money. I got them from Countryside Roses: Ghislaine de Feligonde, Russelliana, Cornelia, Fantin Latour and climbing Clotilde Soupert. It really is a sickness, I have no idea where I'll put them! I have 9 others in the sunroom (from cuttings) I don't know where those are going either. I'm plotting out another bed on the Southeast side of the house by the gate. I think I'll put Ghislaine on the wall outside the sunroom.
I'm looking for a trenching iron, I have decided to go for Victorian trenches around the beds. I know it's a lot of work but I'm cheap and refuse to buy (1) plastic anything or (2) something else that grass will end up growing through the cracks. At my old house I used bricks and that pesky grass always got through. I have discovered it's hard to find a trenching iron around here. One with a Y or T handle would be nice, I have only been able to find one with a regular straight handle.
I went around the yard today and took tons of pictures of everything that is poking through the soil and budding out-it's very exciting! The delphinium that I thought Bodie clobbered last year is coming back up. So has a random poppy that I planted-it's blood red-it doesn't match anything else in the garden (I usually don't do reds) but I love deep red poppies and I had a heck of a time trying to find the right shade (I got it at Baker's Acres outside of Ithaca last July when I was down there for the rose class). Usually the reds have a orangey or magenta undertone. This one is supposed to have an almost bluish undertone. Fingers are crossed. My Thor rose is also a deep, deep red, I don't know where that one is going to go...
Friday, March 13, 2009
I went to the garden show today. It was so nice to see color! It amazes me that they can create what they do. I took a lot of pictures, mostly of the labels for the plants I liked so I could look them up later. It's nice that we can take pictures for ideas and inspiration but some people need to realize that this is a public event not a private photo shoot! There was a guy taking picutes of orchids -the line of people waiting to see the orchids piled up behind him and he was spending 5-10 minutes trying go get a perfect picture of each and every orchid. We finally bailed out of the line and moved on to the next exhibit. It was too bad because we were really looking forward to the orchids. The sun came out today so I took advantage of the above freezing temperatures and started clearing out the flower beds. I counted the Irises that are poking up and it looks like they all made it through the winter! My sedum is also starting to emerge as well as the lady's mantle. I had a pleasant surprise a few weeks ago-my husband got me a gorgeous arrangement of flowers for Valentines day (that wasn't really a surprise)-when the flowers were spent I pulled them out of the vase and the curly willow had started to root and grow leaves! I'm keeping them in a vase of water and am scoping a place out in the yard to put them.