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Monday, February 13, 2017

Snowpocalypse and Tomatoes, February 13, 2017

We had over a foot of snow in January, and every plant in the yard that could be bent, snapped, or felled did so.  Some of my ~20 years old fruit trees fell over from the ground.

This was the only original fruit tree when we bought the house so older than 23 years, it fell on a couple of other trees as well.  I'm considering trying to top it, stand it back up, stake it, and see if it survives.  Three more large apples fell over as well.  This was a wonderful early apple, William's Pride from the PR (Purdue) series.  Because of fruiting so early, it missed out on the codling moths and apple maggots that infest fruit that ripens later.  I'm also going to try topping it and standing it up  but it is very massive. 

Meanwhile, my early indoor seedling starting is underway.  I planted tomato seeds and have them transplanted into individual pots.  Some are heirlooms I have grown before- Black Pear, Lucky Cross (luscious 1# fruity-flavored bicolors, somewhat bumpy or prone to splitting), and Cherokee Purple. New ones are the Italian large pear-shaped Red Pear Gransasso, hopefully making a fragrant sauce, and bonus seeds- Cougar Red and Arbuznyi.  Then I'm experimenting with some new tomato strains with anthocyanin pigments bred into them because of their health properties in blueberries and aronia.  So the tomatoes are dark purple or with purple shoulders. I'm growing Adelaide Festival, Clackamas Blueberry (developed in my neck of  the woods, and supposedly they keep making fruit long into the fall instead of quitting like a lot of tomatoes), and also Indigo Rose.  

My grow shelf set-up is my design- metal shelves with 3 levels, with 4' fluorescent fixtures tied under the first and second shelves.  Two of the standard 10" x 20" flats fit on each shelf, and hold 36 2 1/4" square rose pots each.   Last year I added LED grow lights on the ends which make plants grow like they are on steroids.

The tomato in the middle with darker leaves was moved from next to the lights and looks darker, either from the lights or because of the anthocyanin pigments.  Some of the tomatoes are regular and some are potato-leaved.  
I have a couple of peppers I started as well and a few flowers.  Around the first of April I am planning to start a bunch of squash, both bush and vining.  I decided the vining squash might be better to grow on the inside of the deer fences than the pole beans which like to grow through the fence.  Bush squash include- Green Marrow, Genovese, Mayeras, and Caserta.   Vining summer squash include- Scarchuk's Supreme, Table Dainty, Upper Ground Sweet Potato Cheese type, long curved Tromboncino, and small egg-shaped Tatume.  I hope the voles will leave them alone and I will have a harvest to report on next fall.

And now a vase for In A Vase On Monday, hosted by Cathy, this is a thrown vase I made long ago, and a basket made by my youngest daughter.   The dried arrangement is made of a sprig of Lunaria, Money Plant; and a similar plant with the same kind of pod structure but smaller, called Fibigia clypeata, which has yellow flowers (http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2011/06/home-grown-successes.html third photo down from the top).  You can see they are smaller in the close-up.  They are fuzzy and stiff and I had to soak them to soften them up in order to peel off the outer layer.  There are also radish pods and mystery small seed pods in long narrow strips.






Today I am linking with-

In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I hope you are all looking forward to the upcoming gardening season with eager anticipation as well.
-Hannah


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10 comments:

  1. I can't decide if your vase photos are in sepia or not, Hannah, or if it's all for real - it works really well, anyway! ps hope your fruit trees do survive... :(

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  2. Thanks, Cathy, no, that is the actual color, it does look very sepia! ;-)

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  3. Your tree might survive, we had a Granny Smith Apple that was hit by a tree, and almost uprooted, we squashed it back, and to our amazement, it has fruited this year.But it wasn't quite as damaged as yours. Your money plant, I call it Honesty here, mine have done really well this summer,last year a dismal failure. I love those silvery pods as the seeds turn black and fly away.

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    1. Thanks, Jean, we are left with lots of extended chores to get rid of all the fallen branches. I enjoy seeing the purple Lunaria blooms every spring too.

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  4. I'm sorry to learn that this year's wild winter gave you some hard knocks, Hannah. I hope you can save the apple tree - it certainly sounds worth saving. I'm sure your healthy crop of tomato and pepper seedlings will give you a great start in the spring, though. Kudos on creating a vases in the aftermath of a snowpocalypse too! I tried growing Lunaria here last year but our summer killed all 3 of my plants.

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    1. Lunaria acts like a self-directed weed here, coming up wherever she may. I am jealous of all the beautiful flowers available to you right now! Fantastic Calliandra!

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  5. I find monochromatic arrangements supremely elegant.

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  6. Thanks, Ricki, I really enjoy the shimmer of the Lunaria pods indoors, and the other dried parts. I wish I had some Witch Hazel to enjoy outdoors.

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  7. What a shame about your trees - I hope you can salvage them!

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    1. Thanks, Eliza, I didn't expect the snow to cause so much damage. We were snowed in for a week then had to take my husband to his cataract surgery for his second eye at the end! Fortunately we made it, though he backed into a snow bank and we had to dig out.

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