Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lots of Tomato Potential

Thankfully we've been having some warmer weather the past week, which is great because the ground started to dry up (but that was undone in the downpour we had last night/today!) and the grass is coming up.
But when the sun comes out, the greenhouse thermometer shoots up to 90 degrees in just a couple minutes. And if I don't run out there right away, things start to dry out, real fast. Especially if I didn't plan for a sunny day and left the heat mats plugged in. On Vashon you can never predict spring weather - it will be sunny and warm one second and then hailing/raining/windy and miserable the next. With no thermostat or automatic fan/windows, it's up to me to keep the seedlings comfortable. I've had a couple close calls, but luckily only a few celosias and lettuce bit the dust. At 7 am every day, I turn on the grow lights, take off the plastic covers and water if needed, then decide while I'm milking if I should prepare for a cloudy or sunny day (by watering more heavily and turning off the heat). I'm usually out there by noon to water, then again at 4 pm if it was a sunny day. At 7 pm I replace the plastic covers on the little seedlings and turn on the heat mats, and then my dad turns out the grow lights at 10 pm when he feeds the animals. It seems like a lot of work, but I really enjoy checking on the little green things!
The tomato plants are growing very fast in the warmth, so I transplanted the first flat on Saturday. These first ones were from the Baker Creek seeds; the Pinetree order came a couple weeks later so those plants are a bit smaller.
Here's a list of my Baker Creek tomatoes:

Cherokee Purple
Japanese Black Trifele
Woodle Orange
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
Gajo de Melon
Amish Paste
Costoluto Genovese
Cour di Bue
German Red Strawberry
Ananas Noir
Pink Grapefruit

I was a bit shocked to count all the transplanted tomatoes, because I have 93 of them! And that's not counting the other 45 from the Pinetree seeds! Between the neighbors' garden and mine, we should be able to plant about 70. So the other half will be sold in May. ($4 each, reserve them now!)

Elsewhere in the greenhouse:


The younger tomatoes, along with anise hyssop (lower right), statice (lower middle), and four o'clocks (the big leaves), along with Swiss chard and onions on the right.

Padron Peppers

Baker Creek tomatoes, pre-transplant


Lots of peas!

Salad Burnet


Broccoli Rabe

Lacinato Kale




  1. Well, you certainly have some good looking plants there. I do wonder, with all the rain you have been having, just how they get enough sunlight, and don't just become too wet! It is truly a delicate balance one must keep when growing plants so young.I can imagine you making all sorts of delicious healthy dishes with your great veggies this year. Hope you will post some good recipes, if you do!!!

  2. Okay kiddo, It has been a month now...How are those beautiful plants doing? I am thinking that with all your rain,they might be a little low on the sunlight. You will surely be able to cook up some wondrous feasts if these plants do right by you....Hope they are...Hugs, Aunt Jan (again)