Well, here we are near the end of March and yesterday I seeded the third and penultimate round of eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, as well as other assorted veggies.
This round of seeding took place on my kitchen floor (linoleum and easy to clean, luckily). Anyone in California will understand why I ventured outside yesterday only long enough to feed the animals and gather up supplies for seed starting. I forget which month is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but in any case March showed it’s roaring lion side this week.
The seed trays will stay in my house’s front bathroom to germinate. The temperature is easier to control there with a space heater than in the greenhouse.
Anyway, back to the seeds — I’m done buying seeds for this summer, and sooner than you know it I’ll be taking notes on what varieties to order for next year.
But before I put the seed catalogs away completely, I’d like to pay tribute to a few of the strange and wonderful things I saw in them this year.
Yes, that is the actual name of a lettuce variety. No, I’m not growing it, but I’d love to know the story behind this one.
Whaaaaat? Does life really have to be so complicated? As with fruit trees, for these tomato plants the desired tomato variety is grafted onto a rootstock of a different, more vigorous and disease resistant variety. So if you want a Brandywine heirloom tomato but they seem very susceptible to wilts and rots from bacteria in the soil, or if your soil has a really bad nematode issue, these grafted plants provide a way to the best of both worlds: roots resistant to soil-borne diseases, but with the same exact Brandywine fruits. Of course, they are expensive and available in limited varieties.
3. The entire Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog
If you ever forget or doubt the amazing wonder and diversity of vegetables in this world, this catalog will remind you pictures and descriptions of a wide range of interesting and sometimes bizarre heirlooms. I didn’t buy anything from this company, but looking through the catalog was a treat in itself. I’ll probably use it this summer to pique high schoolers’ interest in the vegetable world. White watermelon, anyone?
They look like a bell pepper inside (hollow) and out, but with the texture and taste (sort-of) of a tomato. Oh vegetables, how strange you are.
That’s all for today, the world outside is sunny again and calling me away from the computer…