It’s mid April and I thought I would give you an update on how things are growing in the greenhouse. Let’s just say every inch of space is being used. I have about 60 trays of plants on the go in the greenhouse. That doesn’t include the plants I have outside on tables. Yes, I overdid it again this year but I had fun. The Stupice tomatoes above are looking great and we have our first flowers ready to open. I can’t wait to taste the first homegrown tomato! The Stupice tomato is a short season tomato and perfect for our cool summer climate. It will hopefully produce fruit earlier so we can avoid the blight problems that August brings to the west coast.
I fell in love with Zinnias last year. They are so easy to maintain and produce the most gorgeous flowers in all different colours. This year I am growing Lilliput, Green Envy and Purple Prince. I have about four trays of Zinnias on the go. To see how the Zinnias looked last year and how to collect seeds, click here.
This is a photo of the Lilliput Zinnias from last year. The bees love this plant with its pollen so easy to get to.
Remember all the basil I grew last year? I said I wouldn’t grow as much but I did. I love this herb for making pesto and placing on homemade pizza. It has so many uses in the kitchen. This year I am growing Red Rubin, Cinnamon, Genovese, Siam Queen or Thai and a large leaf Italian. I have a feeling the large leaf Italian is just another name for Genovese, we will see. The other day I came across a recipe for cookies using cinnamon basil. I am hooked. Who doesn’t want a cookie with their tea in the afternoon? I hope the Basil is ready for the plant sale but it depends on the weather. Basil needs warm nights and we are not there yet.
So the Stupice tomatoes are a potato leaved type and you can tell by comparing the top photo with this one. The tomato above is Ivory Pear and has the more common serrated foliage found on tomato plants. Ivory Pear will have white pear-shaped fruit. I had to grow Yellow Pear as well. Won’t they look great in a salad?
This year I decided to grow some peppers. Our summers have been very warm the last couple of years so they should do well. I grew Early Jalapeno, Chile Jalapeno, Miniature bell peppers and California Wonder green peppers. The thought of being able to grow the miniature bell peppers that sell for $5 a bag at the market only made sense.
The Cannas that I started in the greenhouse are growing by leaps and bounds. They will fill my large containers for some dramatic foliage interest. The greenhouse is so full I have to be careful not to trip over plants. I will start hardening off the tomato plants today in preparation for my plant sale in two weeks. One thing I don’t want is someone to not be successful with a plant I have grown. Plants need to get used to the change in temperature slowly. It’s not like they can put a coat on at night. Mind you, you could cover them with a floating row cover for added protection.
One of my favourite tomatoes is Silvery Fir Tree. It is good for containers as it grows to about 18″. The fruit on this one has the flavour of sun-dried tomatoes and is great for cooking as well as salads.
So when am I having my plant sale? Here you go. I will have more than what is on the list above. I always do. I can’t resist growing different and unusual seeds each year. People often ask me what some of the tomatoes taste like. Unfortunately I haven’t tried all of them. I can say that Wapsipinicon Peach is my all time favourite with its sweet yellow fruit. Of course, Yellow Pear is a long time favourite as well. I like to grow heirloom tomatoes as I collect seeds each year for a seed bank. This year I have a few hybrids. I have to taste the Sungold as its supposed to be the best tasting tomato ever.
I am growing some ‘new to me’ plants this year. I am trying Cucamelons, Black Prince Snapdragon, Dahlias from seed, Chocolate flower, Lupin Pixie Delight (an annual Lupin) and lots of new Poppies. It’s a good thing we have a large garden.