Starting the Garden

For those of us in Zone 5 this is the time of year when our green thumbs start to thaw out and we begin to prepare for the coming gardening season.

This year I plan to grow lots of tomatoes, so I wanted to start those from seed.

I have started 63 tomato plants.  Even if you estimate only $1.50 for each plant buying them from a green house, on sale, that amount of plants would be nearly $100!  All I needed was to purchase the tray refills (about $5 at Menards) the seeds ($4 total for all seeds) and soil ($3 at Menards).  I already had the heating pads and lights.  $12 invested means a savings of $88!

Here’s what I planted:

  1. Mortgage Lifter – At the recommendation of a coworker from the garden state of New Jersey I decided to try growing some “green shoulder” tomatoes.  There has been a lot said about green shoulder tomatoes.  My coworker describes it best in his wikipedia article on the topic: “The poor taste and lack of sugar in modern garden and commercial tomato varieties resulted from breeding of tomatoes which ripen uniformly red. This change occurred after discovery of a variety in the mid 20th century which ripened uniformly which was then widely cross-bred to produce attractive red fruit without the typical green ring surrounding the stem on uncross-bred varieties. Prior to general introduction of this trait tomatoes were able to produce more sugar during the process of ripening and were sweeter and more flavorful.”
    Plants started: 15
  2. Roma – These tomatoes are well known for their qualities, meaty cores with low numbers of seeds.  Great for canning, which is the end result of lots of our tomatoes.
    Plants started: 21
  3. Rutgers – This is a good smaller tomato which are great on a salad. Larger than cherries smaller than marglobes.
    Plants started: 6
  4. Marglobe – These are great for a burger.  Early to ripen and medium sized tomato.  Also can be sliced and eaten plain.
    Plants started: 6
  5. Valley Greene Cherry– These are the just labeled as “heirloom cherry tomatoes.”  Guess we’ll find out.
    Plants started: 15

Here’s all the seeds in the ground.  Already sprouted are the green peppers, which I started 2 weeks ago.