A bunch of seeds have arrived. They were slowish to ship, but arrived within a day or two. I’m happy to see them.

I purchased heirloom tomato seeds from Tomatofest and then bok choy, chinese broccoli and some petite eggplant varieties from Evergreen Seeds. Tomato varieties were those recommended by Gardenweb planters in a previous post, the Asian greens were varieties recommended by the book McGee and Stuckey’s Bountiful Container:

I’ve added additional lights to the basement, adjusted light times to give a 16 hour light cycle (tomatoes prefer that, according to the tomato seedling FAQ on Gardenweb), added lettuce and Super Sweet 100s to the mix. Planted and down there are:

  • 3 Jubilee seedling groups (2 look bad and probably will be pared out)
  • 3 Cherokee Purple groups (in soda bottles)
  • 4 Sweetie pellets (1 looks bad)
  • 3 Black Krim (looking good)
  • 3 lettuce (Black Seeded Simpson, experimental)
  • 3 Super Sweet 100
  • 1 Boonie pepper (in soda bottle)
  • 1 uncertain (probably Jubilee)

With the additional seeds I need to count what I have, what I can add, what makes sense, what I should save to next year.

I have 16 new plastic 12″ pots for the tomatoes. The Bountiful Container says that tomatoes are deep rooters and that they prefer a minimum of 12 inches within which to root. I had okay tomatoes last year in depths far less than 12 inches, so it can be done, but I’d like better and more tomatoes than last years.

Of the remaining containers, I have 10 6″ – 10″ pots that I used last year. I went through the yard, found 5 clay pots in corners, 5 old clay pots too fragile to move or really use, a longish plastic planter and a really deep drum  that could be used for a large tomato or a small citrus plant. I have 7 unused 2 liter bottles and “enough” common water bottles.

Other notes. In this climate, tomatoes and  peppers probably should not go outside until April, until night time temperatures are closer to 55 degrees F than 35. That explains why I lost so many boonies last year. I put them out early. It also means my call to start plants in mid-January is about 2 weeks too early. 6-8 weeks ( 50-70 days) before April 1 is more like January 20ish to February 15 or so.

Greens, however, can go out sooner (35 degree nights) . So that’s why I want some lettuce to try, and perhaps also bok choy and/or Chinese broccoli.

With the Tomatofest seeds comes a page of good planting advice. Comparing it to the Gardenweb FAQ, one major differences are in the amount of time plant seedlings should be exposed to light. The Tomatofest sheet has very useful advice for starting seeds and seedlings in windowsills that the FAQ doesn’t.

My Black Seeded Simpson seeds and Super Sweet 100 seeds came from the local Home Depot. Seeds and seed starting supplies started arriving in the large home improvement stores last weekend.