Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Starting Tomatoes for 2012

This year, I started my tomatoes from seed on 1/23/2012 and 1/24/2012. I chose these dates taking into consideration that last year, I had started in March, which was simply too late. The year before, I started in December, and that was way too early.
I also chose the tomatoes very carefully, taking into consideration our cool temperature climate; this year, they are Black Krim, Momotaro, SunGold and Pineapple. No others because I find I have too many seedlings each year and not enough space. The Black Krim, a cooler climate tolerant tomato, should be perfect for our one block from the beach climate. As for the Pineapple, I think it won't do that well since it seems to prefer sunnier and warmer places so this is my challenge for the year. SunGold does well, since it is a cherry. The Momotaro does okay but I like this tomato and don't want to give up on it.
I harvested the Black Krim and Pineapple seeds directly from the tomato. The Momotaro and Sungold are hybrids and came from the Kitagawa seed company.
This year, I decided to soak the seeds in water for an hour, a new step but I don't know if it made a difference.
 tomato seeds, soaking in water planting tomatoes, soaking the tomato seeds, sungold and momotaro
Germination rate was 100% except for the Pineapple seeds (50%).

I plant the seeds into small containers.
 As the seedlings grow, I transplant into larger containers. Since I grow the seedlings indoors in my window, I find I need to cold-acclimitize the seedlings before taking them outdoors else they do not grow well. Our outdoor overnight temps drop to 50 F, which I think is pushing the comfort boundaries. The Black Krim have been slowly acclimitized outdoors overnight over a two week period.
Of the six Black Krim seedlings, one has already been given away, one will be given away to a local group, and the rest will be planted in my garden. Photobucket
This Black Krim has already been planted into the ground.
I follow the instructions from here for the most part.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Using CDs in the garden

The local birds have gourmet tastes, and they love my mesclun lettuce. Here's a shot of some their work in my garden. lettuce attacked by birds My solution was to try this old CD trick. I dangle a CD on a string so that it rotates freely in the wind, reflecting sunlight all around. Not the most aesthetically pleasing solution but it seems to work for now. I plan to eat the lettuce soon to make room for tomatoes. lettuce and cd

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boysenberry in bloom

I'm sorry to have dropped out of sight. I needed to find a new photo host site for this blog since I had maxed out my Flickr site. I'm currently using Photobucket and we'll see how that works. I'm not sure if I like the quality of the photos. In the meantime, I will be experimenting with how Photobucket works. If any of you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!
boysenberry flower
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