Editor’s Note: I hope all my readers will welcome my brother to the blogosphere! He is going to blog the Minnesota half of the Garden Notes, and this will be a great way for both of us to work together to learn the art of vegetable raising. So without further ado, here is my little brother. ~Erika
Greetings! This is Ben, aka the Tomato Bug, aka Erika’s little brother. I was hoping to get a post in before I went out of town this last week, but I just plum ran out of time. Now that I am back in town I will see if I can get some updates on here and keep track of how things are growing. Things are a little crazy in the basement as we are trying to get a lot of painting done before family comes to visit next week, so pictures will have to wait for a future update.
Peppers – I am a little disappointed this year in my pepper growing skills. This is my first year growing anything from seed, so this is really a learning experience for me. I originally planted all of my pepper seeds on March 15th (aside from a Chinense variety that I started on the 8th). They started out doing great, and I had 12 sprouts a week later. This is where things started to go south. I did two things that I should not have done.
1 – I used both a heating pad and a humidity dome with a light to get things going, so I was really doing a good job of cooking those peppers.
2 – I did not give them enough water to grow or stay alive.
I started round two of my peppers two weeks ago today (much later than I would have preferred). As of today this is what is coming up:
2 Sweet Chocolate
2 Purple Jalapeno
3 Grande Jalapeno
1 Big Jim
1 Heritage Big Jim
I am still hopeful that more will come up, but we might be supplementing our home grown peppers with some nursery bought pepper plants.
Tomatoes – I couldn’t be happier with how the tomatoes are coming up right now. I learned a lot already from the original pepper failure, so the tomatoes already had a leg up. All of my varieties except one have at least sprouted some, and the one that hasn’t sprouted was a freebie from someone over at Tomato Garden. Here is what has come up so far:
6 Black Krim
3 Dr Wyche
11 Golden Sunray
6 Pink Ponderosa
6 Black Cherry
4 Purple Russian
2 Cowlick Brandywine
3 Pantano Romanesco
3 Cour Di Bue (these ones got a late start, as when I opened the seed packet nothing was in there, had to wait on a replacement from Baker Creek)
The tomatoes are doing great, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that first ripe tomato of the year. If you look at the numbers, that is a lot of tomatoes, and I am hoping a few more come up yet. Erika and I are doing a tomato swap this year (and hopefully all years to come). I am responsible for Purple, Red, and Orange varieties of tomatoes, and she is starting the Green, Pink, and Yellow tomatoes. I also have a few other people I was hoping to gift with tomato and pepper plants, but it doesn’t look like I will have a whole lot of mature pepper plants to hand around.
Well, I suppose that is it for now. I will try and keep some updates coming, and in the future will also get some pics of my setup and plants. Oh, I also started some Basil last Saturday, and currently have 4 sweet basil sprouts and 7 genovese basil sprouts poking up. I am concluding with a “hats off” to my wife, who watered everything quite well while I was out of town. I came back to more sprouts then when I left, so she is doing something right.
The Tomato Bug
Filed under: Minnesota Gardening on April 17th, 2010