I finally planted my poor tomatoes and peppers. It was overcast the day I planted them, but it got windy later in the day and I lost my only Rose de Bern tomato plant, a pink slicer. Ugh. A gust of wind must have caught it just right and broke the stem. I need to purchase a replacement of some kind for that as Dan isn’t as fond of the purple tomatoes. I planted 2 plants per cage, and one, Pineapple, will go in the hoophouse. The peppers also went in, and suffered no wind damage, probably as the plants were slightly smaller. They all no doubt shivered a bit last night as the temps were in the high 30s or low 40s but at least the soil under the solar mulch was warm. Today I will make little Agribon slipcovers for the peppers to go over their cages, and I hope to drape the plastic from the chicken’s winter run (seen on the ground at left) over the tomato cages and make a little hoop house for them until the weather heats up.
2 Cherokee Purple
3 Speckled Roman
2 Orange Banana
1 Matt’s Wild Cherry
1 Yellow Currant
1 Sungold Cherry
2 Czech Black
2 Early & Sierra Fuego Jalapeno,
2 ea Tobago Seasoning, Suave Red, and Suave Orange mild Habanero types
2 ea Baby Belle Orange and Red
2 ea San Luis and Tibueron Ancho types
Unfortunately, my Carmen peppers failed to germinate this year (my fault the seed was old) and so I had to purchase the Lipstick peppers from a local nursery. I hope they do as well as the Carmen peppers did last year. I don’t know how the mild habenero types will do in our short season, especially given how cool it has been this year to date, but as always, I like to experiment a bit. I think they will be delicious roasted on the grill or stuffed and roasted, yum. Some will be in the hoophouse, the rest in front of the tomatoes.
The rest of the garden is looking good. Most of the potatoes are up and looking vigorous, the lettuces in the main garden are coming along, under the row covers we have tiny head forming on the broccoli and the cabbages are beginning to head up, and the onions, shallots and garlic look fabulous. I started my leeks pretty late, and they are looking pretty anemic, so I’m hoping I can find some leeks at a local nursery since I LOVE them and they are a nice hardy crop to keep me going through the season. My spring at work is just so crazy, and with the kitchen update this winter, I didn’t start things like leeks and onions early enough.
I have noticed a few things in the garden have been nibbled, but I can’t figure out who is nibbling, given that the garden is fenced in pretty securely. The new Swiss Chard plants have been bibbled, and I’ve lost a few peas as well as had a few of the plants nibbled. The lettuces, fortunately, were untouched. At least for now!
The hot weather last weekend spurred the overwintered spinach into bolting, so I picked all of that and a couple of lettuce heads that were looking ready to bolt. As the remaining lettuce matures, it will come out for peppers, melons and cukes in addition to that Pineapple tomato plant. I will also be harvesting the green garlic planted in the back left corner, as that area is proving entirely too hospitable to the encroaching quackgrass.
I hope today to get more IRT plastic down in the hoophouse, and to start some more cukes and some melons and to plant a few remaining pepper plants. As the weeds got away from me in the hoophouse last summer I plan on putting solar mulch down in the entire house to help eliminate the weeds. The quackgrass is pretty persistent, so I am hopeful the mulch will help us get it under control this year, and to prevent it from exploding the minute we go camping. Also on today’s list are to sow some pole beans, using remesh cages for trellising, and some squash plants under mulch laid earlier. Skies are again clear and blue, it looks to be a good day for gardening.