Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What's Growin' On: 4/25/06

I Couldn't Resist Them (and a couple of little African violets)

Realization Of The Day:
It is incredibly easy to rationalize the purchase of perennials when you are supposed to be out buying groceries. Simply remind yourself that this $6 campanula will most likely last for years in the garden--but that $6 worth of cheese will definitely be history in a week.

--We've had 1-1/4 inches of rain, and everything in the garden is taking off like crazy.
--I sure grow some extremely healthy weeds.
--Put some of my favorite Kellogg's Breakfast tomato plants into the ground yesterday (From the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog: "A giant, beautiful, orange beefsteak preserved by our friend Darrell Kellogg, a railroad supervisor from Redford, Michigan. The fruit are very flavorful and superbly sweet! This delicious heirloom is from West Virginia.") There is something about orange tomatoes--they are always so sweet. And the color! The Orange Banana tomatoes will hopefully get planted today. They were certainly a pleasant discovery a few years ago. Amazing flavor.
--Stuck a few dozen more garlic cloves into the ground as part of my Late Spring Green Garlic Plan--around the edges of one tomato bed and between the onion rows where the lettuce didn't come up. Realized that unless the garlic grows at a much faster rate than the tomato plants, it will soon be obliterated from the sun, so I nixed the idea of a ring of garlic around each tomato plant.
--Bull's Blood beets in greenhouse already going to seed. Always seems to happen so quickly--one minute something is ready to eat, and the next day it's heading toward the sky. (Reminder to self: there is no holding pattern in the kitchen garden--use it or lose it.) Will let them go and hopefully have some great seeds for next planting.


  1. I've also planted Kellog's Breakfast. It's currently the tallest tomato plant in the greenhouse.

  2. AWWW!!!!

  3. I grew Amana Orange tomatoes last year and they are my favourite yet. Have to try Kellogg's Breakfast one of these years...I'm at my limit though, with 12 varieties for this summer. (22 plants in the basement at present!)

  4. wonderful! i too planted some garlic based on your garlic post- i had some in last fall, and i am eating it as spring garlic- so i took your advice and threw in some more!

    quick question- arent beets biennial? how then are they bolting on you?


  5. Your so much head of us in garden. Well I live in North Idaho and it still sometime get down to freezing.

  6. Hi Angel,
    Great to hear from another Kellogg's Breakfast tomato lover. Hope you have a bumper crop!

    Hi Clare,
    Do you like flowers? You? Flowers? Really? ; )

    Hi Amy,
    I haven't heard of Amana Orange. Oh my. You started 12 varieties of tomatoes this year. Boy I'm sure glad I had NOTHING to do with that.

    Hi Tabitha,
    Always so nice to hear from you. Be sure to let me know if our late spring green garlic plan works. I sure hope it does.

    Regarding the beets. Well, I looked in some of my books and couldn't find anything that said they are biennials. They all just say plant the seeds, eat the greens, and harvest the entire beet preferably when 3 inches or less in diameter for best flavor and texture--this would obviously be the same year/season you planted them.

    In the wonderful and HUMONGOUS book, Kitchen And Herb Gardener by Richard Bird & Jessica Houdret, it did say this:

    "Many of the older varieties [which is what I plant] have a tendency to bolt, particularly if they are sown early [I sowed mine last fall in the greenhouse and they were sort of 'on hold' during the coldest months, then began growing like crazy once it warmed up] but there are now ample alternatives that have had this characteristic bred out of them."

    Let me know if you find any info about beets being biennial.

    Hi Peppylady,
    We have such strange and unpredictable weather here. Part of it has to do with being smack dab in the middle of the country. We get arctic blasts from up north, heat waves from the south, rain and other weather from the west. And when they all collide, well, it's crazy. So we were in the 90sF last week, 24F mornings the week before that, and then this morning it was back down to 36F.

    This is what makes it so hard to grow a lot of cool season spring crops like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, etc. here. But at least the tomatoes and peppers usually do very well because our summers are so long and hot (though it seems like only certain varieties of tomatoes do well each year, which is part of why I plant so many). And basil grows like gangbusters. So we dream of homegrown broccoli and feast on pesto and pizzas with lots of tomato sauce and toss sweet peppers into everything. : )

  7. Um, Amy,
    Oops. I just looked at your profile photo and realized you aren't the Amy I thought you were. (I didn't think her new house had a basement.) But at least this means I DEFINITELY am not responsible for your starting 12 varieties of tomatoes, LOL--'cause I know I was sort of a bad influence on the other Amy. : )

  8. Yeah, I've definitely overdone it but I love to give away those that we don't manage to eat. And we've got a lot of extra space to take advantage of!


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