Saturday, June 28, 2008

Different Shapes and Colours

I've got a seed envelope here with quite a few seeds that I received last year from a forum member marked as Cuor di Bue, but these seeds threw a mystery lot of tomatoes last season and none were Cuor di Bue. From the 6 or so seedlings grown, I know of several fruit shapes and colours coming from those plants. Some fruit was a red medium size heart and heavy ribbed, some small heart shaped in Burgundy and one I grew here which was a small red heart, which I'm calling Little Heart.
In the coming months, I'll be growing about a dozen of these plants in the hothouse in an effort to see what other shapes and colours I can get from these mystery tomatoes. The little heart shaped tomatoes I grew do show some resemblance to Cuor di Bue, but just in miniature.

Things you do in the garden ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On The List For This Season

Earlier this year, my neighbour gave me a plastic coin bag with a conglomerate of tomato seeds and flesh, dried out and resembling charcoal.

I washed and separated the seeds and allowed to them to dry before doing a germination test on them. I managed to get 4 from 7 seeds to germinate, so they are viable and will be included in the crop for this season.

The Story on the Seeds - Charlie, my neighbour from two doors down got bailed up one day by the Jehovah Witnesses and being the chatterbox he is, got talking about growing tomatoes. One of the JW's said his wife was Greek and she grows tomatoes from her home country and he would give him some seed. These seeds are what he was given and then in turn he gave them to me, so it will be interesting to see what eventuates with them.

They don't have a name, but one has been suggested - 'Greek Witness'. Thanks Ray. lol.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good germination noted.

We went into an Uncle Bucks store today near where we went shopping and bought the only 3 sleeves they had of the foam coffee cups for $1.00 per sleeve of 25. These turned out to be the same size as the others used and are almost the size of a 3" tube and less than half the cost so it all worked out well in the long run. The afternoon was spent pricking out the final seedlings, giving us a grand total of 168 Chilli/Pepper/Capsicum plants to work with. I guess the only poor germination noted on all the seeds were that three of the Purple Beauty Capsicums didn't germinate, but these were freebies, so could have been old stock perhaps so a great result.

I noticed a tricot in the Jimmy Nardello Peppers, so I will keep an eye on it as it grows.

About 4 weeks to go - then it's "Tomato Season" here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And The Heat Goes On

I started to prick out some of the new Chilli seedlings today and have them almost half completed. Here's some that have been potted to foam coffee cup pots.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Change of Colour

Yesterday, I thought I'd dress up the Blog template and maybe give it some colour, which I have done so now the old green Tic Tac template has a coloured main, side bar and a photo in the header. I've just checked it out on a different computer and it looks O.K.

It will do for now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cold & Wet today.

We've had some rain this week and the vegetable garden is looking good, with the Parsnips and Swede's putting on lots of growth. The Silverbeet is ready to start harvesting, while the two rows of Carrots are starting to form bottoms. The Swede plants look like smothering one row of Carrots or will have to have some foliage removed, either way they should be O.K.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm Tipping This Is A Habanero

Buying seed from eBay isn't always as good as you think, especially when you get fruit on plants you never bought seed for. Two good examples this year for me are, a Peter Pepper that was the wrong shape almost straight, then the one in the photo. I used seed from eBay for a chilli called Hanoi Red and from two seeds planted got one Hanoi Red and the plant in the photo (above). It's been slow to mature, but has held its shape all the way through, only to start and show colour this week.

I almost forgot to include the last photo I took of my (real) Peter Pepper chilli before it sold last week. It was rather large and looked very good in the 58lt white tub I had it in.

Thoughts of sowing tomato seed.

With it being close to the end of June, it might be a good time to have a rummage through the seed box and try and work out what tomatoes will be grown this year and make up a growing list. I intend to grow some bush type (determinate) varieties this year for those that will purchase seedlings, plus a couple of varieties of the popular ones from last year. There are a couple of varieties that won't make it again this year due to either bad growth habit or poor taste.

I'll have a couple of varieties that I am 'growing out' as these are from crosses in earlier filial generations and have not yet stabilised, with my Little Heart being one, while another is the striped form of Casey's Pure Yellow of which I have two (2) seeds only.

I'll keep the chili seedlings on the heat mat for a while longer before pricking them out to their own pots.

It's an interesting time once the seed is sown - I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fresh Seed Wins Out.

What I have been able to notice with this sowing, is that the fresh 'home' saved seed is germinating without problems, compared to 'purchased in' seed. Some varieties like Peter Pepper, Bhut Jolokia & the Purple Beauty capsicum are indeed very poor showers.
From the estimated 150 seeds sown, I look like getting about 140+ to germinate. (10 days for tray #1 & 9 days for tray #2)

Now what can I do with 140 chilli plants??

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Movement

Looking at the seed trays this morning, germination can be noted on quite a few varieties now, so it looks promising for numerous plants to survive. From the seeds planted for Thai Birdseye, all will grow, plus many of the Corno di Toro and Little Red Devils I planted are also looking good. I could be waiting up to a fortnight for some like the Purple Beauty Capsicums, but I'll take them as they come.

It looks like sowing early will pay off as these will now be finished before I think of tomatoes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Movement

Six days out since planting the first tray and there is movement in the second seed tray with Thai Birdseye seedlings germinating after day 5. I also noticed that there are a few Mini Chocolate Capsicums poking through in the tray planted on the Saturday. I found and read a site on the net about growing chillies in a windowsill propagator and they don't cover their seed, so the next lot will be tried this way.

I sowed a couple of Bhut Jolokia seeds when I did the second tray, so it will be interesting to see how they perform. At $3.00 per seed I hope they have good germination, maybe I'll put a plant on eBay and see what happens.

Now to sit back and wait for the remainder of the seeds to germinate.

Monday, June 9, 2008

More Seeds Sunday

Yesterday, I decided to increase the numbers of Chilli & Pepper seeds I have sown in the hothouse to 13 varieties or about 150 seeds and also to use bottom heat on them. Here is the two tray heat pad set up using the 'Grow Tops' to hold in some of the warmth as it is the second week in Winter.

Housed in here are the seeds I've sown, comprising these varieties:-

Purple Beauty Capsicums
Mini Sweet Red Capsicums
Mini Chocolate Capsicums
Bhut Jolokia Chilli
Thai Birdseye Chilli
Peter Pepper
'Firecracker' Chilli
Little Red Devils
'Red Romanian' Chilli
Hanoi Red Chilli
Sweet Temptation Chilli
Jimmy Nardello Pepper
Corno di Toro Pepper

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I decided to sow some seed today.

I wasn't going to start writing in this Blog just yet, but I want to record what I did this afternoon so I will have a record of the date, so here it is. I've been getting ready to start sowing some seed for Peppers and Chillies at the end of June, but had a thought today that the weather is holding and I may be able to get some seedlings if I planted a few seeds and just let them do their own thing in the hothouse, no heat mat or help in any way.
Using Prop Mix, I filled a tray and sowed seeds for Corno di Toro, Jimmy Nardello, Sweet Temptation and a Mini Chocolate Capsicum. If I don't get many to grow I won't feel bad about it, as it helps with the idea of waiting another 3 weeks to start.