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You say tomato, we say fine, and say potato too.

May 15, 2011

We’ve been telling you to hold off for weeks now, telling you to keep your tender veggies safe and inside, but it seems even though the weather isn’t war at least it isn’t too cold. The Full Flower, or Milk, Moon is this week and that usually marks the last chance of frost for the season.

The first crop of peas get a breath of fresh air, with a cultivation and a little food earlier this week. Spring hasn't been as fast as last year but it is still coming along. Few more weeks we might see blossoms then pods!

We got our broccoli in the ground Saturday morning and were able to get our tomato beds ready to plant as well. We are usually pretty cautious with our tomatoes as they are such an important crop and we have already had them hardening off outside for a few days now. Once we set them out we will still take the extra precaution of covering them with slitted row cover which will aid against extra cold and help to heat them during the day, making those Early-girls even earlier.

We will hopefully plant them as soon as it isn’t pouring rain or even more likely in between storms as long as we keep the plants fairly dry. Tomatoes don’t like to be handled when wet, so remember to water them after you plant them not before. After that we will continue with out other heat season crops: eggplant peppers squash and cucumbers. That means you have the go-ahead as well, if you haven’t picked up your favorite varieties yet now is the time to come down as selection will certainly get tighter and tighter as the season heats up. Especially if there is a particular heirloom tomato or hot pepper you are after.

To determine what tomatoes are right for you this year, feel free to check out our tomato guide for inspiration:

Tomato Guide

And don’t forget to brush up on our Tomato Planting Tips while you are it.

We have a few new to us heirlooms this year to add to our vast array. One is called Evergreen, And the name says it all, we don’t know yet if it will be a sweet but green fruit or if it will ripen to an more acidic “green tomato” better suited to relish and frying. That will be exciting to discover.
We also have added German Red Strawberry tomatoes to the roster. Since Orange Strawberry tomatoes have been so popular it made sense to try this red version.
It is strawberry in shape but we expect it to be more on the large size, or at least that of a regular tomato.
We have likewise added two new small salad tomatoes. One is Red Pearl, an award winning grape tomato in last years seed trials, we are hoping it improves on the Red Olive we have been growing for years, always a big producer but lacking some of the sweetness consumers have come to expect in cherry tomatoes.

We are also offering a very limited amount of our very own mini-plum tomato. A chance seedling a few years ago in our field created this super flavor-packed plum, with the shape of an extra large grape. We have continued to grow it after successfully harvesting seed that first year and have really enjoyed it ini out home sauces and on the stand. If you know it you may want to try your own this year.

We have stuck with our traditional varieties on most of our other veggie transplants this year. We have added a few new peppers including one hot and one sweet. We are offering a few Serrano hot chiles and are trying a new sweet Red Apple Pepper. Both will be field trials for us and you’re welcome to try them yourself, we can compare notes in a few months!

Want Fries with that? These potatoes are forming already, ready in mere weeks for your summer garden.

What else is new in the realm of vegetable gardens this year? Well we are pleased to offer pre-started potato plants. People have been asking us about growing their potatoes in containers for a few years so we looked into it and found some great options from Grimes. Container gardening is especially ideal for potatoes in a situation where space is limited or soil quality is questionable.

Want to know more about our potatoes? Click here to watch a video from the seed provider.

We have started potatoes in small pots and large patio pots so that you could potentially be harvesting poatotes on your back porch by the end of June. The few we have pulled up are already showing the makings of small spuds. We have yellow, red, and purple potatoes ready for you in the greenhouse so consider making your own chips this summer.

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