Here’s an update from one of our local heritage orchards — gardening is about hope and the chance to do things better next year 🙂
This distribution is TENTATIVELY scheduled for May 18-20, if nighttime temperatures continue to be 50 degrees farenheit.
We chose to plant a diverse variety this year: in part because our summer weather is uncertain. Here’s what they are:
TOMATOES: in general, plant out when nighttime temperatures are reliably at or above 50 degrees F. Apply about ¼ c of complete fertilizer into the soil around each plant, add bone meal if the soil is acidic. Water when dry and fertilize monthly (some instructions recommend fertilizing twice a month). All seeds started between March 3 and March 22.
Slicer: Beefsteak Determinate may be planted in a large pot or raised beds. Seed is from Livingston Seed. 65 days to maturity. Plant 18-24 inches apart. 2-4 feet high.
Slicer: Beefsteak: Indeterminate plants begun March 3 are 90 days to maturity. This seed is an heirloom from Territorial. Red slicing tomato. Plant out about 3 feet apart.
Cherry: Gold Nugget Determinate plants from Territorial Seed can grow in a large pot; 60 days to maturity
Roma: Italian Roma – Bush Determinate; heirloom from Botanical Interests. Space 24 inches apart. 80 days to maturity; paste and canning tomato.
Slicer: Marvel Stripe: Indeterminate – plant three feet apart. May have a mature height of 5 to 7 feet. 80 Days to maturity. Heirloom. Slicer. From Renee’s Garden seed company; certified organic.
Roma: Marzano (heritage) Marriage Indeteminate; 70-75 days to maturity; an heirloom cross from Territorial Seed
Slicer: Moneymaker: Indeterminate plants ripen 75-80 days after transplanting. Heirloom from Botanical Interests seed company. Certified Organic seed. Space 24 inches apart — Poling or trellising is suggested. Fruit is versatile for use fresh or cooked.
Slicer: Orange Oxheart: Indeterminate; plant 18-30 inches apart. Large orange-yellow tomatoes for slicing. From Territorial Seed Company. 90 days to maturity.
Roma: Pink Tiger: Indeterminate; for fresh eating, canning, juice, sauce. Organic seed is from Johnny’s select seeds. Elongated dark pink tomato with yellow-orange striping. Considered to have a balanced flavor. Heirloom open-pollinated 70 days to maturity.
Slicer: Rainbow’s End : Indeterminate up to 6 feet high. This packet of heirloom seeds from Renee’s Garden includes Brandywine, Green Zebra, and Marvel Stripe. Roughly 80 days to maturity.) We recommend you take a significant number of these to increase your chances of getting some of each variety.
Roma: San Marzano: Indeterminate heirloom variety from Seeds of Change and Botanical Interests. 2 oz fruit; Italian paste variety. Plant 24 inches apart. Large plants, up to six feet tall. 80 days to maturity.
Slicer: Siletz: sets fruit in colder weather, and many of the earlier fruits are seedless. 52 days to maturity. Plant two to four feet apart. Certified Organic Seed is from Irish Eyes, and is an heirloom.
Slicer: Summer Feast Rainbow: Indeterminates up to 6 feet high. This packet of heirloom seeds from Renee’s Garden includes Black Krim, Sweet Persimmon (big/meaty/orange); Costoluto (deep-red, juicy for fresh eating.) We recommend you take a significant number of these to increase your chances of getting some of each variety. 80 days to maturity.
Cherry: Sungold F1 Indeterminate from Territorial Seed. 65 days to maturity. Plant 18-30 inches apart.
Cherry: Sweetie from Burpee. Plant 12 inches apart; grows 3-4 feet high. 70 days to maturity. Can plant in a pot.
Cherry: Tasty Treat Indeterminate from Burpee; plant 3-4 feet apart. 65 days to maturity.
Slicer: Taxi: Determinate plants expected to grow two feet tall and two feet across. Plant 18 to 30 inches apart. Tomatoes will be bright yellow when ripe. Should bear after 80 days for three to four weeks. Slicer. I have also grown these with success in my greenhouse (but monitor and treat for aphids.)
PEPPERS: in general, peppers can be grown in pots – which are warmer than soil, generally – and I keep the pots next to a concrete rockery. I also bring them indoors to continue to ripen if the autumn rains arrive before harvest. Watch for and aggressively treat for aphids and slugs. Water generously, but let soil dry out some between watering. (I use saucers under the pots, and tend to water from the saucer so the plant can take up its own water.) They do not like our shorter day-length winters. Excellent source of Vitamins A and C.
Jalapeno hot pepper from Mountain Valley Seed Co. Certified Organic seed. The elongated fruits ripens from green to red and is hottest when fully ripe. Space plants 12 to 36 inches apart; grow about 24 inches. May be grown in pots against a concrete wall in good sun. Will not overwinter outdoors. 70 days to maturity (approximately the end of June.)
Habanero hot pepper (by reputation, 50x hotter than jalapeno); heirloom from Bounty Beyond Belief seeds. Space 18-24 inches apart; plant grows about 36 inches tall but peppers are not large. 98 days to maturity (it will eventually mature to right orange-red but it is spicy even before maturity.) Prefers soil temps of 75 degrees when transplanted. Fertilize when plants are 6 inches tall and again in mid-summer.
Ecuadorian Yellow Picante: 80 days; 3-4 inch long bright yellow pepper narrow is spicy “like cayenne”, can be used fresh or in sauces. Spicy even while still green. I personally have not grown these before.
Eggplant Transplant 2 feet apart into rich soil in full sun when night temperatures are securely above 55 degrees. Fertilize regularly throughout the season. Consider using black plastic mulch and row cover.
Asian Trio: any one of these plants could be Asian Bride F1 (magenta), Charming F1 (white) or Farmers Long F1 (purple). We recommend you take several seedlings to increase your selection. Seed is from Renee’s Garden. Plants grow 2 to 2.5 feet high and are 70 days to maturity.
Rosa Bianca: Organic seed from Territorial seed Company; 80-85 days to maturity. Italian heirloom with rosy pink cast over a creamy white base. Mild. Plant 12-18 inches apart.
Happy Gardening — Dianne with SGGN
SGGN will have tomato starts ready for the giving gardens, kitchen gardens, and food banks approximately mid-May, 2018. Despite the cold April weather, we have lots of starts, and lots of varieties including slicers (beefsteak, Money Maker, Siletz) cherry tomatoes: (red and yellow) paste and pasta varieties (San Marzano varieties).
For those who’d like some tutoring before taking on the responsibility for new tomato starts, here’s one class:
Growing Vegetables including Tomatoes, Sunday, April 22nd – 10:00 am – 11:00 am at Magnolia Garden Center. In this class, owner Chuck Flaharty will go over planting and fertilizing vegetables with a special emphasis on Tomato growing in our area, including best practices for success and the best varieties to choose for the best harvest.
If you’re planning on attending the Center would like an RSVP to:
Magnolia Garden Center
3213 W Smith St, Seattle, Washington 98199