Exactly two weeks after I started the first round of pepper seeds, I decided it was time to get the tomatoes in. In addition, I thought I’d try Minnesota’s trick of soaking pepper seeds and then planting them. When I planted dozens of seeds, and only had four or five up, I was concerned that I wasn’t going to have hot peppers. They still may come up, but I feel that soaking seeds overnight, and then planting a second round of hot peppers will be insurance. I can always give the extras away, or find another space of ground to plunk them in.
For the tomatoes, I have several people that I am starting some for, so first I had to determine what varieties I was starting for which people. My brothers each had specific requests, the two others I am starting for had requests for tomatoes for canning and cooking- good producers. Then I had to make my list, taking into account the amount of space I am planning for…
All told, I need 41 tomato plants, minimum. So this year, when I placed the seeds in the soil, I added 2 or 3 to each cell for insurance purposes. Yes, that means I could have a super abundance of tomato plants, BUT since my seeds are from years past, the germination might be less, so I wanted to be sure.
The hardest part was choosing the tomatoes for myself. I have six plants coming from Minnesota, and I have 16 spaces designated for heirloom tomatoes. 4 determinate tomatoes will be going in their own spaces, so that meant that out of the 30+ varieties of tomato I have, I needed to narrow it down to just 10 plants. TEN! Do you have any idea how difficult that is? It took no time at all to choose the ten most reliable and most abundant- as well as my favorite flavors. But then I would wistfully look at a packet that didn’t produce last year and wonder how it was.
You do know where this is going, don’t you?
About eight extra varieties made it into the cell trays. I had eight extra little cells when all was said and done with my tomatoes and peppers, it seemed only right. I’m sure I can find plenty of patches of dirt to put extra plants if I need them. Plus they are added insurance that I will have a good crop this year, and I am always willing to share extra plants as well.
So, this is what was planted:
- Black Cherry
- Green Pineapple
- Emerald Evergreen
- German Red Strawberry
- Woodle Orange
- Lemon Drop
- Pantano Romanesco
- Sub-Arctic Plenty (one of 2 determinates)
- Cosmonaut Volkov
- Brave General
- Arkansas Traveler
- Amish Paste
- Pink Grapefruit
- Grace Lahman
- Golden King of Siberia
- Siletz (the second determinate)
- Roman Candle
- Ananas Noire
- Gold Medal
- Green Zebra
I swear I can taste some of them already. My only concern now is that I’ll have enough room in the grow center as they turn into plants and need to be potted up.
I’ve already determined that I’m going to be saving seeds from many varieties this summer. Some of my seed stock is getting old, so I want to replenish it with fresh seed. Since I grow heirlooms, that’s entirely possible.