Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Lot Done.

Today, I finished pricking out the seedlings for the small type tomato plants and have them all in foam coffee cup pots where they will sit until late September. Some of the 132 plants will be sold in hanging baskets, some in 15cm pots, I'm hoping a lot of them will be ordered in the weeks before the actual plants are ready to go.

I was a bit worried about getting caught with heaps, but we'll cross that bridge when the time comes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

All Done

Today saw the sowing of the last of the seeds for the Tomato crop for 2008/9. Working with the list below, I have now all varieties on the heat pad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ready to Sow.

Well, I think I have sorted the seed for the 'other' varieties of tomatoes I'll be growing for 2008/9 and as it stands at present there are 28 varieties. There are two types I'm growing for guys from overseas (*) and five of the types just for myself 'only' (**), so that should make things easier. I'm having a grow out with the 'Little Heart' from last season and will grow about 4 plants to compare to and maybe a few of the 'Mongrel' seed labeled as Cuor di Bue, which threw all sorts of weird shaped fruit last season, including the hearts.

Here's my list .... so bring it on, I'm ready.

Black Cherry
Black from Tula
Black Krim
Black Russian
Casey's Stripey*
Cherokee Purple
Country Orange*
Cuor di Bue**
Greek Witness**
Grosse Lisse
Grub’s Mystery Green
Lime Green Salad
Little Heart**
Marianna's Peace
Noir di Crimme
Oregon Spring
Polar Star
Rainy's Maltese
Red Cloud
Rio Fuego Nana

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good Timing

I've just checked the tray on the heat pad and noticed germination on most varieties sown on Thursday, so looks like a lot of the seed was viable. (Thu - Sun)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sorting Tomato Seeds

What an exciting half hour I put in today, sorting through the seed boxes and deciding what I may or may not grow in the way of tomato seedlings for 2008/9. Top of the list are my two Romanian varieties like last years favourite Nicoleta and the untried Crisana which I hope is as good as I've heard. Then an orange tomato, never grown here in Oz before so I hope it too does well for me. Then there are at least four black varieties out for selection along with a purple and two greens.

Some Italian varieties will make the list, even a Grosse Lisse thanks to a friend who gave me the seed, which comes from a 152 year association with one family. The list goes on but will be trimmed considerably in the next week or so.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Catering for the small grower

Last season I had numerous requests for tomato plants that don't take up much room, or can grow on a balcony as some buyers lived in Flats, or had small garden areas. To cater for these people this year, I've decided to include a "small" range of plants to my growing list. By small I should call them ornamental to small types, which should see an increase in purchases, even just as a novelty plant to have on the windowsill at home.

Today I have begun sowing the seeds that will hopefully grow these ornamental and smaller than usual tomato plants. I know there'll be lots more varieties that I could have grown, but I think I have covered my bases with the ones I currently have sitting on the heat pad in the hothouse. The important thing I have to remember, is that I'm catering for suburban single or family gardens, which may be very small or non existent.

For those interested in small tomato plants, here is the list of those just sown:-

Red Robin
Tiny Tim
Micro Tom
Prairie Fire
Window Box Roma

Looking at the above list, the plants range in size from 60cm down to about 13cm - 20cm. If I have my timing right, I will be on track with the next sowing on the 28th.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sorting Seeds

I've pulled out a few envelopes of tomato seeds in readiness to sow for my sales for this year. Last year everyone wanted smaller growing plants, so I'm including some determinate varieties this year as well as indeterminate to keep everyone happy. I'll also include some of the favourites too, like UK2000 and a couple of coloured varieties. A good opportunity here to get rid of the Marianna's Peace seed that were a bonus packet from TGS last year.

These will be the likely candidates for the first grown.

Black Cherry
Black Russian
Cherokee Purple
Marianna's Peace
Polar Star
Prairie Fire

I'll wait another fortnight and put these down and hopefully I can follow on with my selection of varieties I'm growing in the garden.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New for 2008/9

I recently did a seed swap OS for a variety of a Pepper that's new to me which I'll hopefully grow in tubs here this coming season, plus I've had the promise of some seeds for an heirloom cucumber from the Nepal/Himalayas region. I may need to plant the Cucumbers elsewhere as I'll be pushing to find room for them to scramble over as they grow, especially the newest variety as they have huge fruit on them. Together with the Lebanese and Marketmore varieties I'm sure I know a good spot to plant them.

I've also been tempted to start some tomato seeds going anytime, but I'm not sure I want them ready too early as the first lot I grow will be the plants I have orders for and this year. I won't be growing more than have been 'spoken' for as I don't want to get caught with unsold plants. My own garden varieties this year will be started on the 28th July (my sisters birthday) and hopefully will be in the ground by the second week in October.

Last weekends frost has knocked my last Chilli bush about and its leaves are hanging limp from it at the moment. I salvaged two almost ripe pods from it and I'm wondering if it's a Poblano Red rather than a Habanero as I first thought - but why different shapes.

I've decided to scrap the frost effected plant and start afresh in October.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kill or Cure

With the weather this past week being cold and having a frost, I decided to give the Chillies a dose of Phostrogen Soluble Tomato Food today as tonic to help them get a start now that they're forming their first true leaves. I guess time will tell whether it was the right thing to do, but I doubt it will do them any harm. I purchased a few boxes of this fertilizer a week or so ago at the local 'B' Warehouse on their specials table for $2.00 a box. (Not as good as the 15 cents I paid for the 1.5kg tub of 'Sudden Impact' though)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Another Frost

We had another frost here today and with the low Winter sun it took a while to burn off, but almost everything here is frost hardy which is good. The vegetable garden looked good covered in its white covering and the Swede and Parsnips should enjoy the frost, but I'm not so sure about the Lettuce plants from the Fish & Chips shop owner in town.

Here's some Parsnip leaves with a frosty covering.