Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Market, Setback #2 & Some Germination

We started off this morning at the Farmer's Market. Because I had to be up early for another commitment, we arrived at the Market right at 9:00 AM. After eating breakfast, we began walking the aisles. This week I couldn't resist the beautiful new potatoes from Sweet Leaf. I filled my bag with a mix of baby Red & Yellow.

This was also the first week that I saw Strawberries for sale, though I did hear that they had been there a week earlier. I decided against purchasing a pint because of all of the rain that we have had this last month. The strawberries looked amazing but I was concerned that they would be excessively filled with water which really dilutes their sweet flavor.

A basket full of baby artichoke.

And a lovely basket of Rhubarb.

One of my "missions" today was to pick out my tomato plants for the year. I first walked all of the different booths, taking mental notes of who was carrying what varieties. Then I retraced my steps and made my purchases. My goal was to find indeterminate varieties. I wanted one cherry-type, and then I wanted the rest to be around the 6-10 oz. size. We just do not have enough hot weather to grow the huge, beef-steak varieties. I also was hoping for a mix of red, black, and orange colors. After much deliberation I purchased:
  • "Santa Clara Canner" -  Indeterminate, originating in Italy, 8-10 oz red/orange fruit
  • "Peron Sprayless OG" - Indeterminate, originating in Argentina in 1951, smooth red 3-4" fruit
  • "Black Plum" - Indeterminate, originating in Russia, 2" plum-shaped deep-mahogany fruit
  • "Super Sweet 100" - Indeterminate red cherry
  • "Black Prince" - Indeterminate, from Irkutsk Russia, purple-black 2" fruit
  • "Azoychka" - Indeterminate, from Moscow Russia, 10-16 oz. smooth yellow/orange fruit

After I got home from the market, I wanted to get my flats of seeds out of the greenhouse and into the direct sunshine. All was going well until I lifted out my flat of Winter Squash 4" pots. My eye was immediately drawn to the small craters in almost every pot. I immediately realized that during the night, a mouse (?) had gone into the greenhouse and eaten all but four of the Winter Squash seeds that I had planted two nights ago! Ugh! I guess that is why they give you more seed then you need in every seed packet. This seems to be the year of "planting everything twice". I did have a firm talk with the resident rodent control officer about the problem. He promised to be on the look-out - when he wasn't busy napping.

In the "good news category", I  discovered that more of the Zinnia and Marigold seeds had germinated. For the Zinnias, I have up (5) "Bling-Bling", (4) "Blue Point" and (5) "Zahara Double Cherry". In the Marigolds I now have germinated (2) " Queen Sophia" (3) "Duango" & (1) "Tangerine Gem".  Thank goodness for higher shelves in the greenhouse! And I ended my afternoon outside by potting up more dahlias. Including the potted dahlia cuttings, I now have exactly 100 dahlias planted in the 1-gallon pots.

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