Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Earliest Tomato

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

Hatching Praying Mantis Eggs

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

Pera D'Abruzzo Seedlings Ready For The Cold Frame

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.