Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Back in February when I started my peppers and tomatoes I decided that I was going to experiment this year. I took 5 early girl tomatoes that I started and immediately placed them in my cold frame once they were about 5 inches tall and had their first set of true leaves. To my surprise these seedlings survived in the cold frame (Which required careful monitoring of closing and opening the lids so they didn't cook or freeze). Once they were in the cold frame for about a month I decided to plant them in the ground mid April. Of the 5 I did lose two to frost because I wasn't careful in how I covered the plants one evening. Despite losing two plants, my reward is the earliest tomato I've ever grown. I've heard of 4th of July tomatoes but at this rate I think I may get a 4th of June tomato! Just goes to show how versatile cold frames are.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
This year I decided rather than waging chemical warfare on garden pests I would enlist the help of some Praying Mantids. I ordered some eggs from Hirts Beneficial Insects via Amazon. The two Mantis eggs came in a mesh pouch which I have kept in the fridge for 2 weeks. Since it seeems like we skipped spring and headed right into summer I set the eggs out today in the garden. Hopefully they'll keep the aphids and borers down to a minimum. Honestly I am a bit intimidated in sharing the garden with possibly hundreds of full grown Mantids. Here's hoping they just ignore me while I'm passing through their buffet area.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
My Pera D'Abruzzo seedlings are ready to be set out in the cold frame. I started the seeds back in late February and this weekend I potted them up into 4" pots. The weather has warmed up quite a bit (mid 50's) and the extended forecast doesn't show any evening freezing temps. At this point I feel confident to put all my seedlings in the cold frame. The left side of the cold frame has been reserved for direct sowing of Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Italian Parsley.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Of all the greens I've grown in my cold frame Corn Salad ranks pretty high. It has grown extremely well during the dead of winter. I may have watered it twice when I first directly sowed the seeds in the cold frame back in late October. I use my Hori Hori knife which makes harvesting these little rosettes a snap. I use these as salad greens either on their own or added to other store bought lettuces to liven up the salad bowl. I highly recommend this winter green, also called Lambs Lettuce.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Here are some pics of my late August tomato harvest. I was surprised to see that my Old Ivory Egg tomatoes must have cross pollinated with my Pera d'Abruzzo. The result was yellow Pera d'Abruzzo. Not one of them came out completely red. They all had streaks of yellow which I never saw before. This year I specifically planted Old Ivory Egg but never factored in that it could turn my other tomatoes yellow. Not a big deal as they were all delicious.