Sunday, March 4, 2012


March 8, 2012 will be the full moon.  The next few days are perfect for planting above ground crops (if you believe the moon influences the living things in the world).  I am one of those who believe.  We have seen the results of not planting at the correct times.  For us, we saw a shortened germination time, when we planted with the moon.  We found root crops planted at the full of the moon do not develop shape or size the way they should.  All their growth seems to go to the tops.

BTW, if you are in an area where Daylight Savings Time is in effect,
Sunday March 11, 2012; you will need to spring forward. 

Today we have mixed our planting medium and filled the Styrofoam trays and are ready to plant our "Nightshade" family of plants (Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplants). 
These are our favorite varieties:
The tomato on the left is "Red Jelly Bean hybrid".  Prolific isn't the word,  this plant produces long after the first frost.  We covered the plants at night and it continued to set blooms for a month.  The fruit keeps on the counter split free for 3 weeks.  It's skin is not tough. It has the flavor of a beefsteak.   The only con we experienced was, if you know its going to rain pick all the orbs with color,  they will split.  

Be prepared with large sturdy cages.  The above picture was taken July 19, 2009.   The picture on the left was taken a month later, August 22, 2009.  The first year we planted this variety we planted 7 plants.  Each plant was just as full.  This variety even blooms on the lower branches the whole growing season.   These cages are 2 feet in diameter and 5 feet tall.

"Big Mama" hybrid, we have fallen in love with her.  It is a Roma.  We are not lovers of Roma tomatoes.  To us their texture is mushy and flavor is inferior.  The Big Mama's have full flavor of a large tomato and a firm texture.  This tomato is a Burpee's exclusive.  This is another tomato which requires large sturdy cages.
The picture on the left was taken July 1, 2007.  The picture on the right is a different view on the same plant July 14, 2007. 

Below are these same plants 6 weeks later still putting on Growth and plenty of young fruit.   They have out grown their 5 ft. cages.    This variety needs plenty of calcium to prevent blossom end rot.  It seems to be more susceptible than the other varieties.  This could be because of the extremely pointed blossom end.     As you can see it is very prolific.     

Other favorites:

Juliet hybrid.  Everything said above expresses the 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch orbs.  They are a Roma in nature but that is as far as it goes.  They are very much like a miniature of the Big Mamas.  They need a large cage too.  Our first year we only planted one plant and put it in a 3 ft cage.  It was up and over the top and growing back down to the ground and out 15 feet all directions from the plant.  It was loaded with fruit everywhere. 

Jubilee.  This is an old yellow tomato.  It has perfectly round fruits that are about 8 ounces or more in weight.  The color is a golden yellow with an orange tint.  The flavor is excellent for a yellow tomato.  We have tried other yellow tomatoes and they taste bland and are mushy in  texture.  The seed cavities seem smaller than most yellow tomatoes.  This tomato produces well and is very open in growth.  There is not a preponderance of leaves to the size of the plant.  Seems less susceptible to most fungus diseases.  Occasionally we have sun scald on an exposed tomato.  This tomato is  considered an heirloom plant.  You can save seed.

Delicious,  just like its name says.  This has been the only tomato we have had in the garden for over 40 years.  Everything you will read about it is true.  We have had 2 pounders with regularity.  It is my preferred canning tomato because of its meatiness and flavor.  It has tiny seed cavities.  It has high calcium needs. This plant which needs extreme cages.  If you are a "staker" I don't recommend it with this plant.  The weight of the tomatoes will keep you re-tying and re-staking everyday.  This tomato is considered an heirloom plant.  You can save seed.

Golden Rave Hybrid hasn't been on the market very long.  It is a yellow twin to Juliet, also bred from a Roma.  It's a larger version 1 1/2 inch wide and 2 inch long, yellow with a greenish tinge.  It's taste is tomatoey but with a lemon edge.  It's very flavorful.  I have used it in fresh pasta sauces and it was delicious.  It very quickly won our hearts with it's taste but when it kept producing after frost we knew it would be a regular in our garden.  It takes an average cage but the cage needs to be sturdy.  The foliage and fruit are very heavy for the plant size.

We have 2 more, new to us tomatoes, we will be trying this year:  Sunray, Sun Sugar.

We will also be trying again; Evergreen and Aunt Ruby's German Green.  They didn't do well in 2010 with the humidity, excessive rain and extreme heat. 

I have an old, small 4 ounce green tomato from Germany which I am hoping some of the seed survived, I didn't get to plant it and revive the seed the last couple of years. 

I have seed from 2010, I picked the fruit off a compost pile plant.  It is a large yellow cherry type.  It was very meaty with thin skin and a whopper of a tomato taste.  I named it Compost Gold.  The plants hold the fruit well and there was copious amounts of fruit.  Before this we had not planted any yellow cherry types on the farm (It must have been a plant that was an ancestor from one of the hybrids we planted).

Today I put 10 varieties to sprout.  I will get the rest started tomorrow along with my peppers and eggplants.

This the link to the two blogs I have about our planting methods we used for tomatoes. 

For more blogs by me visit at:
A blog mostly about quilting, but cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
New blog, tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
New Blog about dolls.
Not a garden blog.  There are articles which have nothing to do with creating or gardening. 
There are blogs on the new born baby kittens we found and mothered.  It is a blog where I sometimes voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.
As always, any pictures or writings are my own, if not credit will be given to the contributor.
Please do not use without permission.

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