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Gardening Vegetables Page


2020 4-24 Friday
I took some photos of the lettuce I started about a month ago.  It is time to transplant some of the plants this afternoon.  We had some rain last night and I will stick some of these plants in the sun but also next to some brocolli and tomatoes I already have.  Those plants will provide shade and slow down on the early bolting (flower production and forming of seed).  I have planted Cos lettuce but I found out that it is not very resistant to hot 80 degree weather so will choose some better seed for the fall planting.


photos here

2020 3-22     Today I start a new chapter with this page.  The Coronavirus is here and will continue for some time.  I have always liked to grow things and have been doing so for a long time.  My mother was a good gardener, and I suppose one of the things I remember from earlier years was when she would stick three tooth picks in a avocado seed and  place that on top a glass with water in it up to the bottom of the seed.  In recent years when I was navel gazing I thought What do I really enjoy doing.  Without much details I like to see things grow.  I have not always had a space where I could have vegetables but I have some experimenting and think I have some tips that I would like to share.  BTY since I have been retired, I have discovered that I like teaching.  I teach a fly tying class, so maybe I can teach some of you out there some things I have learned.

So here we go:

2020 3-22
I think this virus is here for a long time.  Hopefully we will have a vaccine in a year or so but meanwhile we will do the best we can.  I worked (volunteered) at Urban Ministries for eight years after I retired and was in charge of the vegetable garden.  We grew (started from seed)  everything we could under regular florescent lights or out in the garden once the weather warmed.

We started pepper plants and tomatoes inside during January or February and raised 100’s of plants.  The tomatoes would get a little leggy, and we would put them out in the garden after we thought the frost was gone.   Tomatoes can be protected by covering them if you have a few of them, but in our case we always had extra plants so if we lost some we could replant.

I will interrupt this story by saying since I no longer work at Urban Ministries, I still grow some thing from seed, but usually purchase small plants.  We are getting ready to move soon so downsizing is and issue in that  takes up a lot of time.  I have small plot at home and like to grow tomatoes ( more on varieties later),  Serrano hot peppers,  Kale, Brocklie, Okra, and Gladiolas (More on this later),

I took off to home depot a week ago  (about march 3rd) and was pleased to see that they were loaded up with garden vegetables, and all of them really looked good.  I got some lettuce seed which I do not normally buy, because my wife likes to buy the boxed lettuce from the grocery store which I think is very expensive.  Lettuce is little bit of a pain to grow from the time standpoint.  You can plant lettuce in the spring and follow each planting ten days later and have a continuous crop until hot weather when the lettuce will bolt which means it starts to produce seed and turns bitter when you eat it.  more on this later


In my situation, I wanted to start the lettuce as soon as I could since it was getting late in the seaons.  We have had some days where it has been 80 degrees and yet we have turned cool again.  I bought the lettuce see on ?????? and planted it in a round terra cota  Pot about “????? inches across.  Later I discovered a flat with small square sections in it which one would fill with potting soid  In my case, mostly just good dirt and old potting soil from my “dirt Pile.”  Here is photo about 10 days later when the seed germinated.  

I also bought seeds for cherry tomatoe plants.  It is a little late to start plants but once growing the cherry tomatoes will produce until frots.  If I did not say this already, I think the problems with the coronavirus will go on for a long time.  To me there will many business disruptions  and fresh produce might be in short supply.  These cherry tomatoes are really easy to grow and usually quite prolific.   There are sweet ones, yellow ones, cluster tomatoes .... just go on line and look.   got to stop but more later.


Go back to the top where I started   2020 3-22


Below is infromation from 2012

July 27, 2012
The Garden Peach Tomato has turned out to be a big surprise.  It has a number of great characteristics.  You can pick half a dozen or more tomatoes every day.  It is prolific and also very tasty as described below.  I have given the Garden Peach to a number of people and everyone has said what an excellent tomato it is.  Lastly and very important the Garden Peach is yellow and makes a very nice contrast when served with other tomatoes or vegetables.

I believe that Cherokee Purple is very popular and especially flavorful and juicy.  Supposedly Black Krim leads the list of favorites but I have not had the pleasure of tasting one.  Although I did not grow any Better Boy we like that in that it is disease resistant produces very well here all season long.  It is also about the right size for a salad for two.  Still,  I like a big tomato like the Cherokee Purple or German Johnson for tomato sandwich.  My experience with the tomatoes above is that they do not produce for very long, in otherwords they have a shorter season. 

July 05, 2012
 I thought I remembered that the Garden Peach Tomato was a hybrid but it turns out it is an Heirloom.  I found my seed packet which is from Seeds of Change.  We are very pleased with this Heirloom.  For us it ripened early and is quite sweet.  The yellow turns to blush red as you can see in the photo below.  I took one with me to Chef Ron at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte and he pronounced it excellent.  It is slightly acid and sweet.  Looks great in a tossed salad and is small enough to eat as a quick snack.  I will be saving some seeds from it and our other Heirlooms this year.

June 28, 2012
I’ve gotten serious about gardening the last few years.  Besides my own humble little vegetable garden, I have been working with Urban Ministries and their vegetable garden here in Charlotte NC.  Here is a link to some photos of the UM garden. Urban Ministries garden charlotte nc

Last year 2011 we grew 60 ft of Pontiac Red Potatoes and had 9 lbs of potatoes from one plant which I thought was pretty good.  This year a plant that I tried and like very much is the Garden Peach tomato.  Here are some photos of the Garden Peach Tomato.




*************************  Previous Information on this page is below.  Fall 2011

I have been gardening for many years.  Although I know a little about landscape plants and control of their insects, my real interest is with growing vegetables.  This time of year I look forward to the fall garden and saving seeds

Saving Seeds. Collards  Fall  2011

Last fall I let one collard plant stay in the garden all winter.  In the early spring it produced yellow flowers and stood about 4 feet tall.  I let the flowers go to seed and small pods about 1.5 inches long formed almost all the stems. Some of the seed pods at the bottom of the plant matured faster than the upper ones and the way I harvested them was to take a small garbage can that was about 36 inches deep and maybe a foot across the top.  I cut the plant off at the root and took the individual stems that had the seed pods on and stuffed them all face down in the garbage can.  I put them on the back porch where they sat for about a month. 

Under the original plant there were lots of collard plants that germinated on their own so I realized that there need not be any waiting period before I planted them.  Now it is about the middle of August and the information for our area says we should plant collards about August 15th.  Once they grow they are better once we have a nice cold snap which should be in November or December.

I now went back a few days ago and removed all the stems from the garbage can since all of the seeds had popped out.  There was about a 3 in layer of husk on the bottom of the container.  The seeds were on the bottom of the container and it was easy to remove the dry husk.

There were a gazillion seeds.  In fact I weighed them and found there were about ??? ounces / grams in the batch.  If  you look at a seed packet you will see that collards that there are 2 grams, and the cost at one of the big box stores for a package was $1.59.  Collard and broccoli seed last for up to 3?? years.

I used to get seed for 25 cents a pack maybe it was .50 but now its usually $1.50 to $3.00 for seeds so I am anxious to save the ones that I can.

It is so easy, try it   Saving tomato seed.



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