Thursday is Planting Day

by - March 29, 2010

After Thursday, Raleigh's evening temperatures are predicted to stay above 50 on the ten day forecast, which is perfect for tomatoes. April 1 is also our area's last killing frost date. I still don't have enough spots ready for all seven breeds I've started indoors. To avoid cross-pollination there should be about 20 feet between breeds, or netting should be used to block access for bees that travel back and forth between closely planted tomatoes. I may isolate a couple flowers on each plant with some netting for seed harvesting, because I'd rather not completely shut out the bees. And I'm cheap - I don't want to buy netting for potentially 14 - 20 plants.

Not all of my seedlings survived. The strongest varieties (based on how vigorous their growth seems post-germination) are Mortgage Lifter, Paige's Green (aka a potentially cross-pollinated Aunt Ruby's German Green), and some of the pinks and reds. The Brandywine sprouts refuse to stand upright and show more sensitivity to sunburn when moved outdoors, which led to the relocation of the hotbox to a shady spot under the Carolina Jasmine. Omar's Lebanese is somewhere middle of the road. This assessment if just of their sprout conditions. Last year, I planted many of the sprouts very young and nearly half drooped over after planting before rooting and growing into giant monsters within a couple weeks.

Plants will be ready for pickup this weekend, and after Thursday I will post how many of each are available. If you are coming downtown for Raleigh Easter and requested a tomato plant or two, we'll be back at the house around 1pm for lunch and nap. We're about a mile east from Moore Square. Just email me for directions and come around to the back door. I may also have some squash plants and watermelon for sale, which should be tended to indoors for a couple more weeks. Suggested donation is $1 a plant. It's a pretty good deal. While my tomato plants are smaller than those sold at stores, they are heirloom varieties (which are hard to find) and are in peat pots which can be planted straight into the ground.

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2 comments

  1. yay! go Paige, go Paige! my maters are still under 5", but mostly happy. The only ones that aren't getting big are the grape tomatoes. their little leaves are so sad - I think they want more sun. so more sun they shall have this week!

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  2. I haven't measured mine... some are still very small and refusing to grow as well. Time to take them out again ;)

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