Before I get to the gardens themselves, I’m going start with a few items that I consider to be some of my main “crops,” mainly the beans & tomatoes, as they are planted all over the place, and thusly have a bit more of a story than, say, the onions (though I could talk for at least 20 minutes about my onions this year). As for the tomatoes, I know I have 14 plants, with six varieties planted, but there might be more.
Each year, at the end of the season, I dig a compost pit for the winter, and this year I dug two. In the bottom of each went the tomatoes that froze on the vines (though I didn’t compost the vines, of course). So this spring when I spread the compost and filled in the holes, I ended up with volunteer tomatoes all over the place (I’m sure I’m not the first to experience this, but it was a first for me. (Who needs fancy seed saving skills, eh? – Just kidding!).
At first I thought they were marigolds, as I have bunches of those and they reseed themselves most of the time. But then as the plants got over a couple of inches tall, I realized they were clusters of little tomatoes. Trouble is, I don’t know what kind. If they are Yellow Pear (which is most likely) or A Grappoli D’Inverno, then I’m not adding to list of 6. I’ve only let two stay put, but only time will tell if they are added varieties like Rutgers, Violet Jasper, Cherokee Purple, or Celebrity (which I didn’t plant this year, but did last year).
Most of the early ones were coming up in and around the broccoli, so it was hard to dig deep enough to transplant them without disturbing the broccoli, and I felt bad pulling them. One I left in, as it was right where I was going to transfer seedlings to anyways, and another I potted and gave to a friend. Yet another fooled me in to thinking it was a marigold, and then once I realized it was a tomato I decided to leave it as it was out of the way and next to a fence.
From seed I started Amish Paste, A Grappoli D’Inverno, Costoluto Genovese, Solar Flair, Black Cherry, and Beam’s Yellow Pear (so I might have two kinds of Yellow Pear). If you read my new seed starting station project posting, you’d know that they all started off great. Then the shed got some infestation of these little gnats. At first it was nothing, but then later the seedlings started to suffer, and I filled three of these fly strips. A few things didn’t make it, but I got the tomatoes out in time and into the cold frame. And though they are behind a bit (maybe quite a bit), all are healthy now and should produce.
A Grappoli D’Inverno (in a pot so I can move it into the shed come winter, and it will keep producing for quite a while)
Costoluto Genovese (maybe too many?)
Black Cherry & Beam’s Yellow Pear
Black Cherry (on the left) & Volunteer A (of course it is the largest of all the tomatoes so far!)
Why, yes. I do plan on preserving the harvest this year; why do you ask? :-)
-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell