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How does the garden grow?

How does the garden grow?
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  • Post #61 - August 12th, 2006, 10:37 am
    Post #61 - August 12th, 2006, 10:37 am Post #61 - August 12th, 2006, 10:37 am
    I have 12 different tomato plants. One grape tomato, one cherry tomato, the other 10 are 3 different types of heirlooms and then the other tomatoes are a mix of early, late and long keeping tomatoes.
    We have 4 types of cucumbers, 2 types of corn, hot peppers, Italian peppers, Carmen bush peppers, yellow peppers and green peppers. Pumpkins, spaghetti squash, acorn squash and delicata squash. Lettuce, we had peas, 2 types of beans,radishes, carrots,zucchini,spinach strawberries and raspberries. We did dill, cilantro, basil, parsley and 3 types of onions, red hamburger, long keeper and big daddy.
    Later in August I will plant German Radishes and garlic and if I have time I will do some peas and lettuce.
    Then we will till it all up and plant the cover crop for fall and start all over again in the spring.
    ELLEN
    RAISED IN ROGERS PARK SJS CLASS OF 70
    LIVING IN NORTH CENTRAL WI SINCE 1987
  • Post #62 - August 14th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    Post #62 - August 14th, 2006, 12:44 pm Post #62 - August 14th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    How does the garden grow?

    With an abundance of tomatillos (and serranos, not pictured)

    Image

    Let there be salsa verde!

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #63 - August 14th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    Post #63 - August 14th, 2006, 2:21 pm Post #63 - August 14th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    Michael,

    I have never grown tomatillos or serranos. How does the flavor of freshly-picked compare to store-bought? Is the difference as dramatic as with tomatoes?

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #64 - August 14th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    Post #64 - August 14th, 2006, 2:31 pm Post #64 - August 14th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I have never grown tomatillos or serranos. How does the flavor of freshly-picked compare to store-bought? Is the difference as dramatic as with tomatoes?


    I doubt there is a dramatic difference, but I haven't tasted them yet. I'm making a couple salsas tonight--roasted and raw.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #65 - August 14th, 2006, 2:44 pm
    Post #65 - August 14th, 2006, 2:44 pm Post #65 - August 14th, 2006, 2:44 pm
    Bill,

    We grew some tomatillos (a second crop on the same plant is coming in now; see below) and were very happy with them but I didn't find the difference to be as great as it is between home-grown and store bought tomatoes. We used the bulk of the first crop to make a pork stew in green sauce which turned out very nicely. Alongside it, we had some fresh corn tamales (more on those elsewhere) and rice that I cooked in my paella with zucchini and zucchini blossom:

    Image

    We're growing our own serranos again this year; one cannot characterise the home-grown generally overagainst store bought, since they vary quite a bit. But the convenience and freshness is wonderful and, whatever we don't eat fresh, we dry and use over the winter. This year we have both serranos and jalapeños, as we did last year, and also some long thin hot peppers which remind me of the peperoncini my Grandmother always had on hand in either fresh or dried form.

    Tomatillo plants are quite vigorous and bear a lot of fruit but ours was limited by its location in a pot. After the great early harvest (about a month ago), something came along and started nibbling at the outer branches. Now, the plant is fruiting again and we hope to have a decent sized second crop with enough to make a salsa and a stew besides.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #66 - August 14th, 2006, 3:20 pm
    Post #66 - August 14th, 2006, 3:20 pm Post #66 - August 14th, 2006, 3:20 pm
    When do you guys plant your tomato plants?

    Here's a picture, the one on the left is a Purple Cherokee, 4" pot (largish) plant purchased and planted mid-June. On the right is a Viva Italiano (same size original plant) purchased and planted mid-May.

    Image

    (In between is a red bell pepper plant, also planted mid-May. Perhaps overshadowed by the tomato).

    I think I'm mostly planting too early. I planted most of my tomatoes mid-May - and we had no cold nights at all post planting, but it took quite a while to get HOT out.

    I have Brandywine, Sweet 100, Early Girl and those Viva Italias that are horribly small plants, producing early, but the tomatoes are not great tasting. Last year all my plants were like this - I thought it was the drought (but I did water) but now think I just planted too early.

    I have that Purple Cherokee and one Jet Star also planted mid-June. The Jet Star was just a tiny plant at purchase, and last week I ate a few absolutely delicious tomatoes from it.

    I planted these two late as an experiment, since I had such a bad year last year.

    I know the first year I grew tomatoes I planted mid-June and everyone I knew called me crazy late, but I hadn't gotten around to it earlier (started from seed that year). That was my best tomato year by a long shot.

    So how early can I get away with planting? First week of June, maybe??? Or is it best to just hold out to mid June, get honking plants with lots of tasty tomatoes, albeit a little late? Or not even late (though someone posted getting Purple Cherokees already, and I think mine will be 3 weeks from now).

    Also, which garden centers actually have good selection mid-June? I know Platt Hill in Bloomingdale has pushed me to planting early, big and heirloom plants only being sold in early May, by June they're gone and you might as well have gone to Home Depot.

    Pasquesi's in Barrington is where I was able to get a big Purple Cherokee in mid-June - but I could tell their selection was starting to get kinda thin.

    Nancy
  • Post #67 - August 15th, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Post #67 - August 15th, 2006, 12:46 pm Post #67 - August 15th, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Back in late May, my artichoke looked like this:
    Image

    I decided it would be nice to let it go and see how the blossom looked; it was a good decision. In late June, it looked like this:

    Image

    Quite a beautiful addition to the garden and it lasted a fairly long time.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #68 - August 15th, 2006, 1:00 pm
    Post #68 - August 15th, 2006, 1:00 pm Post #68 - August 15th, 2006, 1:00 pm
    I always buy my tomato plants mail order. I have a place that you can buy single tomato plants so that is why I can grow 12 different kinds. The name of the company is Territorial Seed Company. They are in Oregon and you just tell them when you want your plants shipped.
    I also plant some in the garden but I also grow tomatoes and peppers in pots on my deck. They produce quicker because it is warmer and I water them more often. And I can bring them inside when there is a chance of frost so I really extend the growing season. In Wisconsin we can get a frost right after Labor Day although lately it has been late September or early October.
    ELLEN
    RAISED IN ROGERS PARK SJS CLASS OF 70
    LIVING IN NORTH CENTRAL WI SINCE 1987
  • Post #69 - August 15th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Post #69 - August 15th, 2006, 1:49 pm Post #69 - August 15th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Antonius wrote:We're growing our own serranos again this year; one cannot characterise the home-grown generally overagainst store bought, since they vary quite a bit. But the convenience and freshness is wonderful and, whatever we don't eat fresh, we dry and use over the winter. This year we have both serranos and jalapeños, as we did last year, and also some long thin hot peppers which remind me of the peperoncini my Grandmother always had on hand in either fresh or dried form.


    Thank you, Antonius. I had a chance a few years ago to pick a bunch of different chiles at a local farm. I immediately made some salsa and rajas and other dishes and I could not detect any difference in quality as compared to store-bought chiles.

    I did recently discover shishito chiles - sauteed briefly in a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and consumed immediately - that is one chile I hope to plant next year.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #70 - August 15th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Post #70 - August 15th, 2006, 3:18 pm Post #70 - August 15th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    WIGIRL:

    What size pots do you use for tomatoes?

    I guess you're satisfied with the shipping from Territorial.

    I once mail ordered tomatoes from Burpee and they came much earlier than I had hoped (couldn't do anything) and definitely seemed to suffer from shipping. Now the berry plants I ordered from Burpee were fine, I just wouldn't order something delicate from them again.

    Also, what varities do you grow in pots (or found that work well in them)?

    Thanks!

    Nancy
  • Post #71 - August 15th, 2006, 4:08 pm
    Post #71 - August 15th, 2006, 4:08 pm Post #71 - August 15th, 2006, 4:08 pm
    Nancy,
    I use the biggest pots I can find. I need room to put the tomato cages around them. I buy them at Menards, the plastic ones with the dish under them seem to work fine.
    I have no complaints with Territorial for tomatoes. I usually lose 1 a year but that isn't too bad. I did buy some really neat peppers from Burpee this year, Carmen pepper an Italian pepper, mine haven't turned red yet and also Tangerine Dream which grows on a compact bush, the peppers are about 3 inches and are hot at the tip. I have tons of them but they haven't turned red yet.
    If I hadn't ordered my tomatoes all ready, I would have ordered the Black Pearl tomato from Burpees. Off the vine it taste like a cherry tomato but if it is refrigerated it taste like a grape. They are purple-black in color. They are on my list for next year.
    ELLEN
    RAISED IN ROGERS PARK SJS CLASS OF 70
    LIVING IN NORTH CENTRAL WI SINCE 1987
  • Post #72 - August 16th, 2006, 8:03 am
    Post #72 - August 16th, 2006, 8:03 am Post #72 - August 16th, 2006, 8:03 am
    Ellen,

    Don't ever refrigerate tomatoes - falling under a certain temperature kills a flavor component in them. That's why you found that difference.

    I honestly think I might do OK with local centers next year, just waiting and seeing what I can get June 1st.

    Or call ahead and maybe someplace can hold some plants for me.

    It's so easy to get caught up in fancy varieties, but the centers do stock some good ones. Frankly, Early Girl may not be extra special, but I'm sure it's the tomato my childhood friends Mom grew and let us snack on...

    Nancy
  • Post #73 - August 16th, 2006, 8:32 am
    Post #73 - August 16th, 2006, 8:32 am Post #73 - August 16th, 2006, 8:32 am
    I know you aren't suppose to refrigerate tomatoes. But the Black Pearl tomato needs to be chilled to bring out the concord grape flavor. I can't wait until next year to try it.
    ELLEN
    RAISED IN ROGERS PARK SJS CLASS OF 70
    LIVING IN NORTH CENTRAL WI SINCE 1987

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