Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Getting Started

   Spring is here, at least according to the calendar.  I haven't spotted any robins or crocuses yet, but the days are noticeably longer, and that is always a welcome relief. 

   I started some leeks - Giant Musselburgh (February 26) and Bulgarian Giant (March 8) - and they are coming up nicely.  It is so pleasing to start the season growing leeks from seed.  They never disappoint, and they smell so fresh and bright when you trim them! 

   Despite telling myself at the end of last summer not to bother trying to grow peppers this year (*ahem*), I started Jalapeno, Ajvarski (a sweet red roasting pepper from Eastern Macedonia), and Sweet Banana pepper seeds on March 7.  They have begun to germinate. As usual, the jalapenos are going strong and outperforming the others, even at this early stage.

   Tomatoes were started on March 20.  That might have been a bit early, but I was eager to get going.  Here's hoping for a very warm May so I can transplant them mid-month.  The varieties I'm growing are: 


Bonny Best - red, round, heirloom, meaty, canning/slicing, indeterminate

Early Annie  - red, heirloom, 3-inch round, canning/slicing, DETERMINATE

Mazarini - pink, heart-shaped, heirloom, few seeds, meaty flesh, paste, wispy foliage, indeterminate, rare Russian tomato

Emerald Evergreen - green, beefsteak, heirloom, indeterminate, sweet/flavourful, slicer

Black Krim - black/purple, beefsteak, indeterminate, Russian heirloom, juicy, rich flavour 


Pink Berkeley Tie Dye - pink/red/green striped, beefsteak, heirloom, indeterminate, 8-12oz fruit

Bison - red, medium sized fruit, dwarf determinate plant, early, very productive, heirloom, no staking required, good for containers

Chocolate Cherry - black cherry, indeterminate, unsure whether these seeds are heirloom or hybrid

Snow White Cherry - ivory coloured cherry, indeterminate, sweet, heirloom

Cherokee Purple - dark pink/purple, large fruit, indeterminate, heirloom, sweet/flavourful, slicer

   Though I already know I will be overwhelmed with tomato plants, I am still considering adding a variety called, “Russian Rose”.  (Update: started this variety, as well as Ping Tung eggplants, on March 24).

   Rosemary, marigolds, and parsley seeds were started around March 5.  All have sprouted, though the parsley is slow to get going.  I think the parsley seed I have is getting old, so I will have to buy new packets next Spring.  I keep reading that starting rosemary from seed is a tedious endeavour - that it is "not worth it" - but that hasn't been my experience.  They seem to love being on a heat mat.  Nine have germinated so far.  That is more than I will need, but they make nice gifts and I think they might be popular items when doing plant and vegetable trades later in the summer. 

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