Welcome to NakedTomatoes

All about tomatoes, heirloom and home grown.
With a bit extra thrown in about Brugs and bread, growing and baking, and other semi-relevant thoughts. And maybe a few recipes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apologies for my absence

I realize it's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog. I had totally forgotten
about the mail option thingy too.
The proboards didn't seem to generate much interest either, so I had let that slide as well.

I've been keeping myself pretty busy, with work and the new horse. Gardening, or at least writing about
it, has been on the back burner for quite a while.

I will try to be better in the future.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why people like me should not pre-sprout peppers...

This is not Pizza. Although it can go on Pizza. And I usually don't bother trying to grow them, because I have very little luck, (or perhaps not enough patience to bother with them) and I don't really care for them anyway. And maybe they pick up on my lack of caring, so they don't grow well for me. I know, plants have feelings too, and they know when they are unwanted. So, tell me why five year old Carribean Red Habanero seed has a %100 germination rate in five days? I told it not to bother too much, and not to hurry, cause I was in no way ready for it yet. Peppers are apparently just like my children. THEY DON'T LISTEN.

Same for the other three types of peppers that I pre-sprouted (I blame this blogger for even thinking of doing this, cause I never do, never have, and never planned on it.) But now that I know how well this works for peppers, which can take up to 2-3 weeks to get growing when they are started the same way I start tomatoes, if I ever do actually want to grow peppers for real, I will start them this way again. Never mind that the shelf life for pepper seeds is supposed to be much shorter than for tomato seeds, so I think %100 on five year seed is also a good indication that this is an excellent way to get them going. Although I didn't believe it until I tried it. I figured all my pepper seeds were too old, they would not sprout, so what the hell. And now I'm stuck with all these little pepper seeds that are sprouting, and in need of potting up.

If you actually want to grow pepper plants, this technique is very simple. Seeds, coffee filters, water, ziplock baggies and a warm spot such as the top of your fridge, water heater, radio (if you're like me and it's on almost 24/7) and keep on eye on them. Keep the filter moist (won't dry out very quickly in a zip bag) and once they start sprouting, pot them up very shallow in little cells as if they were little tomato seeds. Peppers like it warm, and lots of light.

That is pretty much it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What is a brug

Brugmansia: Candida

These are gorgeous perennial plants native to South America. In our cold climates, they need to be wintered indoors. They cannot tolerate frost. The blooms are very large, and fragrant. There are singles -such as the one pictured above- doubles and triples with the flower form. Usually they are propagated very easily by cuttings, but some very interesting breeding work is done crossing specific parents and propagating the seeds.

For more information and some fantastic pictures, a good website to check out is ABADS.

I have several varieties that I grow, and I usually have cuttings, plants and/or seeds available for pick up in my area or postage. They are related to Daturas and are amazing plants!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm back...

After a long time away from this blog and my enthusiam for gardening, I am slowing waking up to the potential of a tomato seed again.
I have been super busy with work, and a few personal matters had consumed me for the last while. I am ready to indulge in the soil now.

First things first. The list of tomatoes seeds that I have at my fingertips.

Ananas Noir
Omar's Lebanese
Green Zebra
Orange Russian
Mortgage Lifter
Gold Medal
Black Krim
Black From Tula
Neves Azorean Red
Kelloggs Breakfast
Principe Borghese
Mr Bruno
Long Shelf Life
Jaune Flamme
Cherokee Purple
Black Plum
Black Pear
Black Cherry
Pruden's Purple
Box Car Willie
Cannabec Rose
Vova Yellow
Palmira's Italian Heirloom
Rhoades Heirloom
Purpe Price
Orange Jubilee
Russian Persimon
Clear Pink Early
Rouge D'Irak
Van Hert Ohio
Russian Size
Giant Italian Paste
Silvery Fir Tree
Moscow Suburb
Memory of Vavilov
Kremlin Chiming Clock
Jack White
Mers de Nom

and soon to receive:

Caspian Pink
Paul Robeson
Break o' Day
German Red Strawberry
Arkansas Traveller

I am trying to narrow down what I will grow this year, and I am having a hard time doing so. Such a hard time, in fact, that the last seven are ones I ordered the other day. And I recently asked a fellow gardener if she had any Eva's Purple Ball (cause I need another variety like I need another cat!)

In general, you want to start your tomato seeds 8 weeks from your last frost date. If you plan to follow the Moon phases, then plant just after the nearest new moon. This year I plan to start quite early, some this weekend and some just after Feb. 24th (new moon). Absolutely perfect timing for me. My last frost date is usually end of May, beginning of June. Technically I should be waiting till late March/early April to start but I have shop lights for indoors and outdoor grow tunnels and mini greenhouses so the plants should still thrive for an extra few weeks before planting out permanently. I want to start them early this year to get some really good large plants for my annual sales and to hopefully improve the chances of getting some of the late long season growing tomatoes.

I am really hoping this summer will be much better that last year. With all the additional compost I have at my disposal at least my raised beds will be full of great soil. Now if only the sun and the temperatures cooperate.