Our 2021 Garden: progress and next batch started

While tending the seedlings last night, I finally remembered to take one of the tomato pots out, so I could actually get a picture.

These are the Spoon tomatoes (from Baker Creek). I planted three seeds in each of four cups, and so far there is one that has not shown any growth at all, while all the seeds have sprouted in the others, for a 75% germination rate – though it’s still possible something might show up in the fourth cup. The Mosaic Medley seeds (a mix of cherry and grape tomatoes from Veseys) were also planted with three seeds in each cup. Three of them all sprouted at close to the same time as the Spoon tomatoes, and all look pretty much identical in size and health. In the last cup, two finally did sprout, though they are looking much weaker than any of the others.

I would be happy with only 3 plants from each seed pack, since only half of us actually like tomatoes. We’ll see how they look when it’s time to transplant. In the future, we plan to grow varieties suitable for making tomato paste or maybe for drying, but not so much for fresh eating or even canning. A lot of gardeners in groups or channels I follow get so excited about growing massive amounts of tomatoes. I don’t see us ever going that far with tomatoes! We hardly even use them as an ingredient.

Last night, we broke out the rest of the gourd seeds.

We had seven of the Jiffy pots left, and four types of gourds. We decided we will do the Tennessee Dancing Gourd in just one cup (each cup will get three seeds). Someone on the Baker Creek website had left a review stating that their one plant had at least 250 tiny gourds on it. If they’re that prolific, I think we’re good with fewer plants! 😀

We’ll be planting two cups of three seeds of the other varieties. I had to do some searches to find the maturity information for them, as there’s nothing on the seed packets (they’re all from Baker Creek). It’s different with the Thai Bottle Gourd, as they are meant to be eaten like zucchini, while very young, though some will be left to fully mature. I’m sure the other varieties could be eaten while very young, too, but those are all intended to be dried out and used for crafting purposes.

The peat was saturated with water already, and added to the Jiffy pots at the same time as we set the seeds to soak, so the pots themselves would absorb excess water. After finding how much the cardboard egg cartons sucked the moisture out of the growing medium with our bunching onions and shallots, we don’t want any chance of that repeating, and I want to make sure these pots are in trays or containers to allow watering from below. We’ll be wanting to keep those pots damp.

So these will be planted later today. Until then, they are inside an under-bed storage container with a lid, to protect them from cats.

Meanwhile…

… when the girls went out for a walk last night, they managed to extricate this old wooden ladder from where it was sitting by the storage shed. It was a bit difficult to get to, and it’s been there for so long, I was sure it would fall apart if we tried to move it. It turns out to be surprisingly not-rotten!

It’s interesting to see how each step is supported by steel wire!

The girls are thinking it could be used as a trellis. I’d like to find some way to preserve it, if we can, so it doesn’t degrade too much. At the very least, find a way to protect where it will be coming in contact with soil. I’m sure the only reason this thing didn’t rot away is because it was sitting on top of other things, well above the ground.

I think the girls are pretty excited about gardening this year. 😀

The Re-Farmer

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