Jim, Could I ask some questions about starting seeds for our 2019 gardens.
While many of us buy transplants for our garden, it’s a step up to know that our garden plans to start everything from seed. What’s your reasoning behind that decision?
By starting our seeds indoors, we can purchase the seed selection that we want and hopefully they will be ready to transplant at the proper time. Some seeds are difficult to start from seed and it is better to just purchase the transplants, for example onions and leeks. Also, some seeds are easy to start by planting directly into the ground – radishes, greens, beans, okra for example.
Are you planning to start everything for our vegetable garden from seed?
For the raised vegetable beds, we plan on starting the peppers, tomatoes indoors and for the first time eggplant and tomatillo.
Why not the pepper, Hot Big Boss Man, that you grew last year?
We like to try new varieties and interesting vegetables each year. This year the peppers will be from the All America Selection list.
Ok, that was my next question. Did I hear that all seeds would be All-American varieties and why is that important?
All of our peppers will be All American Selections (AAS) winners, except for the Poblano L. AAS winners have been “Tested and Proven Locally” for garden superiority by horticultural professionals across North America.
You are an expert on tomato grafting! Which tomato varieties do you plan to graft and on what stock?
No, I am not an expert by any means. I attended a workshop at a MG state conference and have grafted tomatoes with some success several times. I also, presented an informal presentation at Joe Field garden years ago. We plan on using the rootstock Estamino VFFNTA hybrid and grafting heirloom tomatoes, Brandywine Red and Cherokee Purple onto the rootstock. Hoping for the same excellent flavor of the heirloom with improved production.
When do you plan to start these seeds indoors for the spring season? Peppers we start mid-January and tomatoes mid-February. Probably, the other seeds around mid-February. That will give us about 6 weeks before we set them out into the garden. The seedlings will be in the greenhouse the last two weeks before transplanting.
Thank you, Jim, this will help all of us as we plan our gardens for 2019.
Here’s a partial list of the seeds we are starting at the Raincatcher’s Garden:
Tomatoes-Lemon Boy and Celebrity
Peppers-Carmen, Carnato, Gallo, Gypsy, Poblano L and Hot Sweet Hybrid
Picture in greenhouse by Starla Willis