Sunday, February 28, 2010

I've got leggy broccoli...

I'm starting broccoli from seed this year, the romanesco kind that looks more like pointy cauliflower. I started them last weekend-didn't check them on Wednesday and by Thursday they were 2" tall and looking really leggy. So here's my plan of action: 1 remove them from the heat mat (I forgot they are cold crops) 2 put aluminum foil tent over the light to reflect more light back on the plants 3 pot them up and prop up some of the stem with dirt-I totally realize this could backfire, I have more seed just in case. I started Basil and onions last week too. The peppers and eggplants are finally showing signs of life, I potted some of those up from the damp papertowel into newspaper pots. All in all things are coming along nicely.

I finshished getting all the tomato seeds in. I sent a SASE to and got a really nice variety back (as well as some Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seed). I'm totally psyched. I love free stuff! This is what I got:

JD's Special C-Tex:Exact history is not known for certain, but it is thought to be selected from a Brandywine x unknown black cross and stabilized by the late JD Whitaker in Conroe, TX.. We can speculate that somebody with a nursery grew some seeds out, and wrote down on the plant tag "JD's Special", probably omitting the "." after J and D. When that person saved seeds, he or she wrote down on the seed container "JD's Special C Tex", where C Tex refers to 'Conroe, TX'. Note: Special is an old American commercial naming technique. "Specials" usually refer to originally unique, custom versions of some standard product, or to "limited editions".

Pruden's Purple: Heirloom tomato, which dates to 19th century. SSE also lists a variety called Pruden's Purple, True Variety, which may be related to Pruden's Purple. Here is the description of the Pruden's Purple, True Variety in the SSE Yearbook: 6'6" indet., potato leaf type, exserted stigma, irregular shape, flat round pink fruit, green shoulders, 4.5" dia. X 2.5" high. Large blossom scar, radial cracking

Aunt Ruby's German Green:First introduced in the SSE 1993 Yearbook by Bill Minkey of Darien, Wisconsin (WI MI B). Bill Minkey received the seed from Nita Hofstrom of Clinton, Wisconsin, whose aunt, Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, TN, grew it for years. The seed originally came from Ruby Arnold's German immigrant grandfather, and Ruby simply called it 'German Green' tomato. Bill Minkey asked Ruby for permission to rename this variety and he called it 'Aunt Ruby's German Green' after Ruby Arnold

Dr. Carolyn Pink: A pink-fruited selection from Dr. Carolyn tomato. Carolyn Male received original seeds in 1999 from Robert Martin who found this pink version as a growout from seed of Dr. Carolyn purchased from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in 1997

Green Grape: Bred by Tom Wagner, a private tomato and potato breeder and founder of Tater Mater Seed, who released it in 1978; this is the original selection by Tom Wagner. Cross of several heirlooms including Evergreen (not Yellow Pear)

Principe Borghese: Italian heirloom bred for sun-drying. Dates back to the 1910s.

Tigerella: A cross of Ailsa Craig with an unknown var., bred by the Glasshouse Research Inst. in England back in the 1930's. Tangella and Craigella are another two selections from the same cross

Absinthe: Alan Bishop cross of Emeraude X ARGG which was then crossed to Brandywine

I also got Tomatillo Verde seeds. I'm going to try to grow them in containers on the deck. Not sure if that's going to work or not.


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Ira said...

Thank you for including information about Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in your blog, we hope this growing season is proving a fruitful one for you. We are again involved in hosting the annual Heritage Harvest Festival and thought you and your subscribers would be interested in this event…… HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE---IRA

The 4th annual Heritage Harvest Festival, hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in partnership with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, is a fun, family-oriented, educational event promoting organic gardening, sustainable living, local food and the preservation of heritage plants. The 2010 Heritage Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello in Charlottesville.
At the heart of the Heritage Harvest Festival are over 40 educational programs, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and food tastings that include the ever popular Tomato Tasting. Including workshops from two members of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, “Heirloom Garlic and Onions: How to Grow These Culinary Essentials with Ira Wallace” and “Fall and Winter Veggies: Zero-Degree Gardening” with Ken Bezilla.
To kick off the event, Rosalind Creasy, founder of the edible landscape movement, will host a Preview Lecture and Local Food dinner on Friday, September 10 at the Monticello Visitor Center. For more information on the Festival, visit or call 434-984-981 for tickets.