Building chicken pens, checking on bees, moving seedlings from the grow lights to the sunlight and back again, mowing a suddenly growing lawn, celebrating a 13 year wedding anniversary with my husband, looking for a lost cat (still looking), digging up endless alfalfa (the garden is in an alfalfa field that was plowed last fall. A LOT of the alfalfa is still happily alive), and planting planting planting. These are just some of the things that have happened in the last two weeks. Not much time to blog, I must admit.
The seedlings of cool season crops, some of which I planted in early April, are finally starting to get their true leaves and look like they might actually grow. A few potatoes are tentatively pushing through the ground. My newly planted asparagus bed is coming up, and yesterday I got my tomatoes into the ground. After 8 weeks under not quite adequate grow lights and very little time out in the sun due to rainy weather, they have that “Minnesotan on a beach vacation” look to them. It is supposed to get down to 33 degrees Monday and Tuesday, so there will be some row covers coming into play in the near future. Drat!
A word about tomatoes. They come in determinate and indeterminate varieties. Determinates set all of their fruit quickly, and then stop growing. Indeterminates keep growing until the frost gets them. But if you live in short tomato growing season locations, determinates are your best friend. Like a quick lube oil change business, they know their job and get it done, leaving you with ripe tomatoes before your season ends.
If you’ve ever harvested 3 ripe tomatoes and 67 green ones off of an heirloom variety you had high hopes for (Amish Paste for instance…from personal experience) give determinates a try. Both Johnny’s and Territorial have a nice variety (you almost never find determinate varieties at the typical nursery or big box store). I’ve been trying out different types for years. One of my favorites is Legand, though the one with fruit already this year is called Beaver Lodge. Another nice feature of determinates is they tend to be smaller, meaning you can grow more plants in the same amount of space.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2011, where I’m wondering…if you take a lot of pictures of your garden babies, is that some kind of garden pedophilia?