My green car is even greener.....

Elisabeth and I have developed a system for the seedlings we start indoors.  She has a cold basement and a shady backyard.  I have a warm basement and a good-sized sunny patch in my backyard.  She starts the cool weather seedlings (like the brassicas) in her basement, and I start the warm weather seedlings (like the nightshades) in my basement.  When the seedlings are ready to go outside, they go first to her backyard, and then to mine.


Today was transfer day for most of the warm weather seedlings, from her backyard to mine.  My car was completely filled (the back, the floors, and all the seats except the driver’s seat) with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tomatillos.  It did all fit, but barely.

Hot Lemon Peppers

I know that these peppers are very popular with the gardeners (and with me, definitely) but maybe there’s a reason why they’re so expensive when we typically buy them as seedlings.  This year, we’re growing them from seed, and they've definitely been the most problematic of any of the seedlings I've been fostering.

This is a picture of their current state (on 4/29).  I don’t keep detailed records like Elisabeth does (I should probably do that), but we planted the seeds on 4/4.  The largest seedling probably sprouted about 4/13.  The next largest seedling probably sprouted about 4/23, and the 2 smallest seedlings just sprouted yesterday.  Maybe we’ll get some more!

2013 Nightshades (end of season notes)

Eggplant: Italian, Asian & White, plants less robust – result of weather or fertilizing or location in garden?
Peppers: the best year ever, all varieties (bells, poblanos & chilis) did well – repeat varieties, staging
Tomatoes: many suffered from diseases, good long yield from remaining plants – grow more resistant varieties next year, cover soil with landscape fabric to warm it before planting, experiment with clover groundcover, repeat sucker experiment, plant some in lettuce bed, try a grafted plant, more normal-size varieties & fewer zebras next year?
     SMALL: Sun Gold*, Super Sweet 100*, Green Grape*  
     MEDIUM: Mountain Magic, Stupice^, Ramapo*, Paul Robeson^, Green Zebra^, Red Zebra^
     SAUCE: Granadero, Mariana*
     * varieties we should definitely consider next year
     ^ varieties that failed
Tomatillos: grew well, caging worked great – try one purple plant, start seeds a week or two later than tomatoes next year

Fresh-from-the-garden Chili

If you garden, you know the question: How do I make the most of the seasonal selection of vegetables from the garden tonight? In this case, it was finishing up several small Onions, five random Tomatoes in various states of ripeness, a few green Peppers, a half-dozen Tomatillos and some charming little Hot Peppers.

fresh from the garden chili

The answer was Chili. I chopped the Onions, Peppers (green & hot), Tomatillos and skinned Tomatoes, adding them sequentially to a sauté pot with a small amount of oil. When the veggies were all in, I added a standard can of rinsed beans (in this case, butter beans), whole cashews and some chili seasoning. The result was three very hearty servings of my best chili ever!

The plants are all right

We're looking pretty good after the great storm. I set right one climbing bean in the Three Sisters bed, and tried to straighten up a more-or-less fallen brussell sprout plant; it needs a stake. One of the people I gave tours to had never seen one. She had never seen a Kohlrabi either!

I opened the garden for an hour-plus, and we had several waves of parents and kids come through, some with grandparents in tow.

I gave one grandmother some basil sprigs, which she much appreciated.

In the photo, you can see this baby girl was transfixed with the hot pepper plant. I myself was attracted and tried to draw it last time, today bringing my color pencils. Not up to the real thing of course. Too bad we (speaking for myself and probably the baby) don't care for the taste of hot peppers!

Babies Growing Up

Zucchini.  Looking a bit battered- hopefully it won't make a difference when it gets a bigger.

Tomatoes changing color.  I think these are the grape tomatoes, in which case they are turning red, or maybe they're the Sungold cherry tomatoes turning yellow.

Peppers- these look like chili peppers rather than bell peppers.

Shell peas, finally.  Yummy.

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