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Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 Garden: Update


The tomato kids are happy and healthy!
Happy and healthy!
Back-up crop!
In my attempt and haste to get a tomato harvest earlier in the summer than the end-of-July, I put my tomatoes out for the hardening phase about 2 or 3 weeks earlier than I usually do. After an unfortunate twist of weather-fate, I lost about fifteen of my good "strong" tomatoes to an unexpected storm. I had my "back-up" crop to supplement the loss, so it didn't end too badly.

We live and we learn.

After giving the rest of my crop to family and friends, my tomato garden layout:

1. 3 Super Beefsteak, 1 Indigo Rose
2. 3 Red Ponderosa, 1 Violet Jasper
3. 3 Big Rainbows 1 Nectar Hybrid
4. 3 Cosmonaut Volkov, 1 Pineapple
5. 3 Jersey Devil, 1 Supersteak Hybrid

The Cosmonaut Volkov variety is my "oddball" of choice this year, and it's doing really well thus-far.

Most of the leaves on the plants this year are similar in shape as opposed to prior tomato-seasons. The only real stand-out difference is between the Jersey Devils and the rest of the crop; they're quite "army" and the color is a darker green. I've never seen tomatoes with such foliage.

I also did some peppers this year (Poblano, Anaheim, other various), which are looking good. Cucumbers and zucchinis are looking mighty fine, as well.

The tomatoes have been flowering like crazy, so I am excited to see what the season brings!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Official 2015 Tomato Variety List

Indigo Rose - Read more about the "Purple tomato" here.

Carry-overs from 2013 & 2014

Big Rainbow
Orange/yellow/red marble. Large. 85-90 days. Origin: The Gods. Flavor profile: perfection & worth the long harvest wait.

Black Krim
Dark red. Medium. 80 days. Heirloom. Origin: Russian. Flavor profile: rich, sweet.

New for 2015

Cosmonaut Volkov
Red. Medium-large. 60-75 days. Open-pollinated heirloom. Origin: Dniepropetrousk, Ukraine. Flavor profile: Rich, deep with a balance between sweet & tangy.

Indigo rose
Dark purple/red. 1-3 ounces. 70-80 days. Huge amounts of anthocyanins in skin. Darkest tomato. Flavor profile: More of a novelty, newly released (2012) variety, so there's not much info on the flavor profile available. I guess I will have to find out for myself!

Jersey Devil
Ruby-red. 5-6 inch long. 90 days. Pointed & pepper-like. Few seeds. Good for sauces/paste. Is an ancestor to the "Jersey Giant."

Pineapple
Yellow. Giant. 75-95 days. Red starburst in center. Flavor profile: super sweet, fruity.

Violet Jasper
Violet-purple w/green marbling. 1-3 ounces. 70-75 days. High-yielding. Origin: China. Flavor profile: mild.

Red Ponderosa (Crimson Cushion or "Beefsteak")
Red. Huge. 85 days. One of the original "Jersey tomatoes." Flavor profile: Everything.

Nectar Hybrid
Red. Cherry variety/small clusters. 65 days. Flavor profile: Ultra sweet.

I have a variety of tomato seeds in my seed box, so I may throw in a couple of different ones when the time comes. For now, this is my list. Seeds bought and ordered (or pulled out of storage)!

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Garden: Planning

It feels like I was just pulling out the remnants from my vegetable gardens a month ago! Fall came and went so quickly I barely had time to notice! That was, at least, until I started to get that gnawing in my soul for dirt, grow-lights, and the waiting game. It's that time of year to plan for the sowing season!

After a debacle last year with my seeds not getting here in time (a month late), I figured I might get an earlier start in 2015. Order ahead of time, just in case. Right? Right!

Every year I write up a list of the different varieties of tomato I want to try, then whittle the list down until I have a group that's fairly balanced. Usually it consists of a cherry/small/cluster tomato, a plum tomato, an heirloom beefsteak, a hybrid, and then a balanced variety of oddballs in size, shape, texture, and purpose (sandwich, canning, salsa, sauce, etc.).

2015's list-of-tomatoes at the moment breaks down like this (has yet to be whittled down):
Big Rainbow
Black Krim
Nectar Hybrid
Violet Jasper
Big Mama
Cosmonaut Volkov (the name alone almost guarantees a place for 2015's peat pods!)
Indigo Rose
Watermelon Beefsteak
Pineapple
Moneymakrer
Moonglow
Ramapo
Beefsteak Red Ponderosa/Crimson Cushion
1184
Fireworks
Jersey Devil
Marianna's Peace

Aside from sugar snap peas, string beans, and other staples, this year I plan on starting some peppers, as well. I've been missing them in my gardens!

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