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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 ( 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.

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