Immediately following the commencement ceremony, I went over to Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, MA to buy a majority of the vegetables I wanted to plant this year. I had everything calculated and planned out - expect for a few varieties of tomatoes. There are many varieties to choose from, but I just picked a few based on wanting a combination of cherry, paste and slicing tomatoes - with some 'new to me' varieties. I am very excited to have the 2011 growing season officially commence. This is what I came home with:
- Marigold (Durango Orange, Durango Outback Mix, Bonanza Yellow)
- Tomato (Italian Ice, Jet Star, San Marzano, Sunsugar, Better Boy)
- Basil (Sweet)
- Cucumber (Diva, Northern Pickling)
- Tomatillo (Toma Verde)
- Eggplant (Black Beauty)
- Pepper (Golden Summer, Red Beauty)
- Parsley (Flat)
- Zinnia (Cut & Come Again)
Tomatillos are new for me and although I have some research still to do, I hope to diversify my salsa creations this summer. I am also curious about the Italian Ice cherry tomato variety. They are going to be white/ivory! The Sunsugar cherry tomato was just too amazing last year (about 240 harvested) to pass up. I grew impatient waiting for my marigold seeds (planted 4/17) to grow, so I bought some plants. I just love the instant color they bring to the boxes. I left a few of the marigold seeds that actually germinated, but there may not be enough room for them all to mature.
On Sunday I was able to get everything in the ground, but a rain storm interrupted me mid-day so I had to stop. Luckily it stopped in late afternoon just enough to allow me to plant the rest. I cleaned up the tomato plants, trimming the lower leaves to promote upward growth and placed a few crushed egg shells around the base of the tomato and pepper plants for added calcium. I have a few empty squares as I wait on the arrival of my mail-order grafted tomato plants, wait to sow the next succession of carrots & lettuce seeds, and purchase two cabbage plants. Here are what the boxes look like after planting - it is great to have them full.
This week I really need to start harvesting some of the Salad Bowl lettuce, which will be my first harvest! Over the past few days, I noticed a few volunteer tomato seedlings among the weeds that have popped up in the SFG beds. I am hoping to let one grow a bit to see what it turns into!
This week looks to be very rainy. Hopefully my all my plants will survive the heavy downpours. I have heard from a few people that crops seem to be behind compared to this time last year. It has definitely been a cool spring. However, since weather can change in a second, who knows what this summer will bring. My fingers are crossed that it will be as good of a year as 2010!