Saturday, December 19, 2009

Odd Fruit - Fused Blossoms

Often you get the misshaped tomato that is the result of fused blossoms. Here are a few photos from this seasons crops.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Tomato Name

I had previously called my newest tomato 'Red Velvet', but I've been informed from Tania (Tatiana) and Carolyn Male that the name is already being used in one form or another, so a new name was needed. It's now called 'Village Red', so I hope this time it will last a bit longer than the last one.

RV halved (Small).JPG

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What's Growing You Ask

Here are some 'Totem' seedlings sitting in the cold frame waiting for someone to purchase them. They are a short plant and grow about 30cm high with loads of cherry size fruit.


In the hothouse I have just about pricked out the last remaining Gogosari Peppers, which originate from Romania and will make a welcome addition to my plant list next year. The fruit looks like a tomato when ripe and I have been assured they are sweet and tasty.

Here's one of the babies emerging.

Gogosari Pepper

Also something that has been potted on, is some Purple Explosion Chillies, which are an ornamental variety with small hot fruit. Here you can see a genetic mutation where two colour forms have grown, I managed 2 green and 12 purple seedlings.

Explosion Chillies

I haven't sat down yet and got the final figures on Tomatoes and Chilli/Peppers, but it looks to be around 650-700 maybe more in total plants. I'll get that done next week where I can sort the good from the bad and bin a few and work on the final numbers once sorted.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Here's my volunteer tomato plant from last year that came up in a tub with a Zucchini. (Note that it's a regular leaf)

This plant went on to grow a nice big red tomato which I've called Red Velvet.


And now one year on - can you spot the difference? (all 4 seedlings the same)

DCP_8901 (Small).jpg
Red Velvet seedling
I'll be happy if it improves, although we liked it last season.

RV halved (Small).JPG

Saturday, August 15, 2009

All Sown

The last of my tomato seeds that were sown on Monday are germinating, so the germination process is closing for me for another year. My grow list is larger than I'd hoped for.

After giving several varieties the chop, it looks like this will be what I'll grow at home. Some will be mainly used as a seed source for future sowings, plus a couple that will be grown to improve their filial status.

Black Cherry
Collioure Plum (Seed)
Cornue des Andes (Seed)
Grub's Mystery Green
Konig Humbert (Seed)
Le Case di Apulia (Seed)
Lime Green Salad (Quad cotyledons)
Little Heart (Grow Out)
Peron (Seed)
Red Velvet (Grow Out)
Speckled Roman
Hungarian Paradicsom (Seed)
Tamina (Seed)

Varieties I'll be selling at my Plant Sale will be listed at a later date.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Germination - I just love it.

Some seeds have germinated today, which is no surprise and I now have Speckled Roman tomato, Gold Bullet Habanero, Tahitian Goat Chillies, White Habanero, with Thai Silk, Cayenne Peppers coming up in past days.

Working out what to keep and what to sell now will be the hardest part of the process - well perhaps.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Update to last post

Fast forward the last post to Monday morning when I opened my P.O. Box and found two envelopes of seeds inside. Where to start...............

First to be sown are the tomato varieties, Collioure Plum, Cornue des Andes & Konig Humbert, so I will hopefully be able to increase my seed supply after this season..

Now for the interesting items, the chillies. Petit Marseillais, Piment d'Espelette, Hot Portugal, Aribibi Gusano and Takanotsume. Talk about some good varieties, now all I need do is get some of each to germinate and grow.

All varieties with the exception of Hot Portugal are sown into a nice moist mix sitting on the heat pad.

Let the season begin.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last seeds sown

I've sown the last of the seeds for this season, the last tray taking up room that two seed swaps would have filled, but failed to eventuate. In their place I have resown, Granka & PCR Peppers from Slovakia, plus trying White Habanero, Gold Bullet Habanero, Explosion Chilli, Thai Silk, Orange Habanero and my last for the season Giant Aconcagua.
A few more tomato seed has been planted, with Sarnowski's Polish Plum, Noir de Crimme, Speckled Roman making up the list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What are the chances?

In a small row of germinated seedlings for Lime Green Salad tomatoes, there is a Tricot and a Quadcot within a few centimetres. It's not very often that 'quads' come along, but add to the excitement of growing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Off and Running

Six days out from sowing the tomato seeds, the hothouse is looking really good, with seedlings in trays and doing well.

Here's some seedlings that were sown last Tuesday:-

Sweet Temptation Chillies forming their first true leaves. These were sown earlier than the tomatoes.

Here are some of the Chillies, with lots of gaps where the seed didn't germinate, possibly too old.

Monday, July 27, 2009

'D-Day' 28 July

Tuesday 28 July is the date I sow my tomato seeds each season, in an effort to have salable size plants for sale in the first week in October. The varieties are changing this year and rather grow 20+ varieties for sale, the figure will only be 8-10 varieties as it's too hard to explain the characteristics of the plant to so many people who buy the plants, that we'll only go with a few.

In my own garden at home, I will be trying a few new ones so I can collect seed and maybe offer them next season. Three of the newer ones are Cornue des Andes, Konig Humbert and 'Collioure Plum' tomato, which I hope are as good as they say and that I can manage seeds from them.

More to come later when I sort some seeds. :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Early Start

I have a small heart shaped tomato that I've been 'growing out' for the past 2 seasons, last year I achieved two filial generations in the one season with it and got to F3. So, once again I am attempting to grow this tomato, then from a ripe fruit, extract seeds and grow and other generation in the same season, well that's the plan anyway. I put some seeds in to germinate last week and have now a few seedlings to select from for this task.

The tomatoes are aptly called "Little Heart" from the shape in their beginning and which still bear a similarity in the later generations.

Here's my babies today.

A Few Late Seeds

I was given some Chillies last week for seed so I could grow them myself this year, so now I have a bit more variety in my plant list.

Here's what I got:
Chilli 'Explosion'

Chilli 'Thai Silk'

Chilli 'Orange Habanero'

Chilli - unknown variety.

Some of the washed seed

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Round #1 - Hit and Miss

My first sowing of Chillies and Capsicums has proven to be a bit hit and miss, with only small numbers of a few varieties emerging. It seems to be seed older than one year that is giving me the problem, but even without any further seed being sown, I will manage with the seedlings I have so far, which would be over the 150 mark. I have been given a couple of Hungarian Paprika family varieties, which the first couple of seeds have germinated and are showing (photo).

Yesterday I sowed a few seeds of each of, White Habanero, Gold Bullet Habanero and some Tahitian Goat Chillies, which I'll grow mainly for seed. Also added since I made up the list were Balassa Paprika, Purple Beauty Capsicum, plus a resow of a couple of varieties from Slovakia.

Another week and I will be pricking out the bigger seedlings of Thai Birdseye, Cappia Peppers and Corno di Toro Pepper, then we'll see how we're going for room to grow them until they get hardened off.

Here's some of the Csipos Almapaprika seedlings emerging. (Blurry)

And some seedling Cappia Peppers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Starting all over again for 2010.

As the Cappia's are all pulled out in the previous post, it's now time to start all over again and plant the seeds for this seasons crop. I've put down most of the Chillies and Peppers I intend to grow and they are showing signs of new life. Here's a list of what I have down so far, all 14 varieties.

Seed sown to date:-

Cappia Pepper
Peter Pepper
Corno di Toro Pepper
PCR Pepper
Granka Pepper
Jimmy Nardello Pepper

Tam Hybrid Chilli
Firecracker Chilli
Sweet Temptation Chilli
Barkol Chilli
Serrano Chilli
Bhut Jolokia Chilli
Thai Birdseye Chilli
Red Romanian Chilli

Using a 4 tray Heat'n'Grow heat pad this season will make the task easier than the 2 tray from previous seasons.

Here's some of the Thai Birdseye chillies that were first to germinate (1 week).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Finally Finished for 2009

Friday saw the last of the Turkish Cappia Peppers being pulled from the pots they've been growing in all season. These were a good producing plant variety and we've been well rewarded from them, with their sweet flavour. They are sure to make the growing list again this season, which is only 8 weeks away from sowing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fingers Crossed

A few weeks ago I was invited to a fellow Forum members residence in the Mornington area to collect a few cuttings of the 'Critically Endangered' Hibiscus insularis, or Phillip Island Hibiscus. Phillip Island is of course one of the island in the Norfolk Island group, in the Pacific Ocean, due East of N.S.W. I'm unsure as to how many plants actually still survive there in their wild state, but it isn't many from what I've heard. The good news is that the cuttings are still looking good, so hopefully in the coming weeks, I'll have some struck cuttings. They are a woody plant and not something I've actually tried propagating before, so fingers crossed.

I'll check on them weekly from now on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still My Favourite

I have to say that when the vegetable garden is idle, I tend to revert to my favourite pass time of all, plant propagation. I've grown so many native shrub cuttings over the years, I could have grown a forest or two with the plants. Currently my hot house is 2/3rds full of cuttings or about 600, which includes Natives, Citrus, Berry, Flowers along with seed sown for Ponytail Palm and Illawarra Flame trees. Much has struck and I'll be reliant on the rest striking before the 28th July when I'll sow the seeds for my tomato crop. Then of course there are my rose cuttings, all 70 of them, taken from a variety of plants from around the district, hopefully few more to come when rose pruning starts in June/July.

Life is good in the garden at the moment.

New in the ground is a Meyer Lemon tree, while two Heritage Raspberry canes sit in pots waiting to be planted. Citrus cuttings for Meyer Lemon, Lisbon Lemon and 'Sublime' Lime sit in the hothouse, so I'm ever hopeful of a strike or two.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talking about Peppers

While recently on the subject of Capsicums, of which Chillies and Peppers for an intricate part, I decided to get a photo of some of my Peppers growing in the back yard. Using my wife as a measure, I took the photo below which shows the growth well over 5 foot in height (150cm) and there are 4 of these plants growing side by side. They are currently ripening their fruit and I'm loving seeing the masses of red each day. I'm even thinking of overwintering some of these plants and just shroud them in a plastic enclosure for when the frosts start.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New in 2009

This year I will be trialing some Slovakian Peppers, a Chilli and a Tomato that will be new to me, so fingers crossed I get a good season for them. First on the list is "Granka", a pale cream coloured, sweet, apple type Pepper which I'm hoping are as good as I've heard. Next on the list is "Barkol" which is a long, thin Chilli with medium heat and maybe good to cook with although anything too hot will be just grown for seed. The last of these will be the "PCR" a light green, short pointy sweet Pepper, all will be tried and if we like them they'll make the list for next year.

A new Slovak Tomato will also be grown this season with "Perun" which is a small yellow pear shaped fruit. Also making the list will be Purple Ukraine, Tamina from the U.K. and lastly is Crisana from Romania which we tried the season just gone and they rate highly here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Winter Crop

Finally getting away from Tomatoes and looking at what else is happening in the garden at the present time and there is some green showing.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autumn Cherries

I think I'll get a feed or two from my autumn crop of Black Cherry tomatoes, on the single "cutting grown" plant growing in the garden at the moment. Yesterday I took the blossom bags from several trusses that were well formed, so there will be some fruit within the next few weeks. This will actually make the third growing of this variety this season, so I can be thankful they grow and mature fairly quick.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seed Time

It's that time of year when the collection of seed is starting to come to an end and the seed drawer gets filled with all the goodies collected. Here are a few photos of some that have been done recently, or are currently being done.

One of my Peppers

Seed from above Pepper

Qarabali Seed

Tomato Seed

Monday, March 23, 2009

Autumn Tomatoes

So far so good, with Siletz tomatoes ripening at the moment, which is a lot quicker than I imagined. After a week in Adelaide we came home to ripe tomatoes, which although aren't as big as the ones that grew outside during Summer, they are still a nice sandwich size. The 'Little Hearts' are forming fruit, although I pulled 3 plants out yesterday, as I'm having second thought about them as the weather is definitely cooling quick this season. Even staying with what's growing in the hothouse (3 x Siletz & 2 x Little Heart), we should get tomatoes for another 6-8 weeks.

Here's the ripening Siletz this weekend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Adelaide Tomatoes

While in Adelaide recently, I managed to get hold of some tomatoes that are for sale at private residences along Tapleys Hill Road in Fulham Gardens. These tomatoes have quite thick flesh under the skin, very meaty and quite a few seeds. I cut one for a look and scooped out the seed and was amazed at what was left, possibly a good tomato for making sauce from.

The next day while at Central Market in the centre of Adelaide, I found most sellers of tomatoes carried this variety, labeled as 'Sun Ripened Vine Tomatoes'. The market price was $1.99kg, quite a bit cheaper than the $4.00kg I got mine for.

I know a few who would grow these tomatoes for sauce, so I may add a few plants to my seedling sale.

What do you do when you find some interesting tomatoes like these when away from home for an extended period - you'd probably want to ferment them, which turned out a simple task. The seed, juice and pulp was collected in a plastic drink bottle and allowed to 'rest' in the warmth of the car for a few days until a good scum had formed on top (lid removed outside car regularly to let the gases out). Then a simple task to wash them and dry them before returning home. A visit to a kitchenware store and I was soon able to wash them through a tea strainer, which was compact enough to fit in luggage and be used again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Second Crop Doing Well

The plants in my second crop for the year are doing well, with fruit swelling every day on my Siletz plants.

In the hothouse with them are two Little Heart plants which I'm pinning my hopes on getting at least one ripe fruit for seed for next season, which will put me one filial generation ahead with the grow out I'm doing on this variety. So far so good, but I won't be too disappointed if they don't make it through to maturity, I'll have at least tried.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The End Is In Sight

The end for some Tomato Plants came a bit early and we have now got four plants with ripening fruit on them which we'll keep going for another two weeks. We're getting to the stage we need to have a spell away from Tomatoes, as we've been eating them since mid November, but we've had a productive year and no-one's complaining.

At present the three 'Siletz' plants in the hothouse have good sized fruit forming, while the 'Little Heart' plants both in the garden and hothouse are growing well.

I've dug over an area to plant our Garlic on the 20th of March - so all in all, the garden is still getting some attention, albeit minimal. The Peppers are starting to ripen now and seed is being collected from overloaded plants, so some seed will now be passed on to those who wanted it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ring In gets a name

When the time came to cut the 'Ring In' tomato (as we referred to it below) we got a nice surprise as to what was inside. Cutting off a few slices, we soon found a deep red flesh with the appearance of velvet, so we'll use this thought and name it "Red Velvet'. When we tasted the slices, we were pleasantly amazed at the deep tomato flavour in this fruit, as it was very nice. I've saved a dozen seeds from the first tomato and will now wait on a fruit carrying a pink ribbon, so I can get pure seed for my growing on of this variety.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ring Ins and Wrong Labels

This year I dug up a small section of lawn to plant out a few tomato plants that I had, because I was short on growing space. One of the plants that found its way into this patch was a self sown seedling that came up in a tub with some Zucchini's, the tub and its contents having been used last season. I thought at first the tomato plant may have been from a yellow variety I grew in the tubs last year, but soon realised that this was a regular leaf plant, where last years were potato leaf. Today I picked my first ripe fruit from this plant, but I cannot work out what variety it is, so all I can do is call it a 'ring in'.

Here's a photo of the fruit.

The very next plant in this same bed as the fruit above, is also producing ripe fruit, but how disappointed was I when I saw the fruit shape and size, realising that this one must have been wrongly labeled and not the tear shaped cherry tomato I was expecting. I have since found that these could possibly be a variety called 'Ceylon'.

Here's a few to show you.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who Dares Wins - Autumn Planting

After the heat this week, I've potted up the 10 seedlings of 'Little Heart' tomato (shown two posts earlier) which I will attempt to grow as an Autumn crop, mostly in the hothouse, but some in the garden as normal tomatoes would be grown. Joining them are 3 x 'Siletz' plants (in the background of the photo) and 5 x Struck Cuttings from various plants I had growing at the time. My objective is to try and get at least one ripe fruit from these small seedlings which will put me ahead by one generation with this variety and anything else I get will be a bonus, with late fruit.