Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tomato Varieties for 2018

Windy Acres Tomato Varieties for 2018
$2 each at Farm, $3 each at Market

Homestead (Red)
Heirloom. 80 days. Open Pollinated. Produces good yields of 8 to 9 oz red tomatoes. They are very sweet, meaty, juicy, and flavorful. Good foliage that protects tomatoes from sun scald. Does extremely well in hot and humid regions. Known for its reliability to set fruit at high temperatures. Heat tolerant. Plant requires support, either staking or cages. Developed by the University of Florida in 1954.  Disease Resistant: F, A. Semi-Determinate.
Rutgers (Red)
Heirloom. 73 days. Open Pollinated. Early maturing.  Produces high yields of 6 to 12 oz bright red tomatoes. Sweet and flavorful. A cross between a J.T.D. (an old New Jersey variety from the Campbell Soup Company) and a Marglobe. Crack resistant. Heirloom variety developed in 1934 by the New Jersey Experimental Station, New Brunswick, New Jersey.   Disease Resistant: V, F, A, St.  Determinate.
Cherokee Purple (Purplish-pink)
Heirloom. 85 days. Open Pollinated. Plant produces high yields of 8 to 12 oz purplish-pink beefsteak tomatoes. Rich old-fashioned tomato flavor. Consistently ranks very high in taste tests.  One of the best tasting heirloom tomatoes. To maximize yield potential, either stake or use cages. Grown over 100 years ago by the Cherokee Indians. Indeterminate.
Arkansas Traveler (Pink)
Heirloom. 85 days. Open Pollinated. Produces good yields of 6 to 8 oz deep pink tomatoes.  Grows well everywhere. Rich old-fashioned tomato flavor and is considered to be one of the best tasting tomato around. Tolerant to heat and humidity. Crack resistant.  Heirloom variety dating back to the late 1800's from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.  Indeterminate.
Virginia Sweet (Bi-colored yellow/red)
Heirloom. 80 days.  Open Pollinated. Plant produces high yields of 1 to 2 lb bi-colored golden yellow beefsteak tomatoes with red stripes that turn into a ruby blush on top. It has the rich full tomato flavor. One of the best tasting, most beautiful, and best producing bi-colored tomatoes. Excellent choice for home gardens. Heirloom variety from Virginia. Indeterminate.
Black Krim (Dark mahogany, blackish-red)
Heirloom.  80 days. Open Pollinated. Produces high yields of 10 to 16 oz dark mahogany, blackish-red beefsteak tomatoes. Has rich old-fashioned tomato flavor. Very sweet, juicy, and flavorful. Heat tolerant. Suitable for containers and patio gardening. Heirloom from the Black Sea region of Russia. Indeterminate.
Kellogg Breakfast (Yellow/Orange)
Heirloom. 85 days. Open Pollinated.  Produces excellent yields of 1 to 2 lb bright orange beefsteak tomatoes. Very sweet, meaty, juicy, and flavorful. Heirloom variety from Darrell Kellogg and originating from West Virginia. Indeterminate.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Planting Strawberries

If you follow my blog, you know that last year I tried growing strawberries in some cattle supplement tubs we obtained from a friend.  They flourished in the tubs and this spring I thinned them rather drastically.  I wrote about that in my blog last month.  Today, I want to show you what I did with the plants I that I thinned.

In my raised bed garden, I had a empty bed in which I had grown cilantro last spring.  The cilantro went to seed and died during the summer.  And, I didn't get around to planting anything else in the bed.  I thought this would make a good bed for strawberries, so a couple of weeks ago I cleaned it out and worked the ground up.

I had quite a few strawberry plants from thinning the cattle tubs, more than I could plant in this one bed.

The important thing to remember when planting strawberries is to not plant the crown of the plant too deeply.  In the picture below, the part of the plant above my thumb should be above the soil level.  This is the crown of the plant.

It didn't take long to dig a few holes and get the plants in the ground.  I spaced the plants about 12-16 inches apart.  As they become established, they will send out runners which will root and make new plants.  So, you want to leave enough room for the runners.

I didn't remember until afterwards that I had to do something to keep the chickens from getting in the bed and digging the plants up!  It is funny, but they will be completely uninterested in a garden bed until they notice me digging in it.  This acts as a magnet for them and they can't resist scratching in a bed where they see the soil has been recently disturbed.  

See what I mean.  Fortunately, I found a cattle panel that fit over the bed just before this hen came to investigate.  The grid is too small for her to scratch much.  Plus, it is not evident from this picture, but the panel is raised about an inch off the ground.

That didn't stop her from walking across the bed trying to figure out how she could manage to scratch between those wires in that nice soil.

In the end, she lost interest and went elsewhere.  However, when these strawberries bloom and set fruit, I will have to come up with a better way to keep them out of the bed because this will definitely not keep them from eating those nice red berries.