Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 18, 2009

First off, I must say, I like all the comments I got.  NEXT time I will do a better job labeling, both by not being so cheap with the labels (one on each tray), and maybe even use the great stick-pin idea, but for now, I love the mystery concept.  Most of what I don't know is lettuce and who cares where that goes.  However, the one problem. I think I got 2 or 3 of my 4 stevia starts to germinate.  If so, they look surprisingly like lettuce seedlings at this point.  My stevia however, will be potted rather than put in my beds, so that would be bad to be wrong.  Here's to hoping before I plant out that they distinguish themselves. hehe.  Thanks for all the comments!

Well, I knew this day was coming.  I've known for a long while, but still it is saddening in no small way...  Today marks the end of a 146 year old local paper.  It was almost as old as the city itself, but it was one of the worst run businesses out there.  I grew up with it, it was the paper of choice in my household in a two-paper town.  I will truly miss several of the columnists that I have come to admire, especially in the business, the editorial, and the sports sections.  However, it is a travisty that the better garden paper died while the pittiful one survived!  See for yourself.  Which is better, the P-I, or the Times?  Now you see why I am so saddened...  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, you will be missed!

Speaking of the garden section, they printed the last Edibles column.  Hopefully not, I sent a message to the Times asking them to pick up all the garden columnists now that they're out of work.  But anyway, they published it today rather than Thursday when it normally comes out.  Good thing too, since there won't be a Thursday paper.  Even better, I learned something from it.  Seems I may be in for a bit of a problem with my tomato crop this year.  I didn't realize that not ALL tomato varieties self pollinate.  Only certain ones do.  And my guess is that heirloom varieties like I'm growing won't.  That means I will need to be visited by pollinators.  That is a major problem in my garden.  There is nothing on that side of the house to attract bees.  Sure I've got the bee triangle over on the other side of the yard with my blueberries, but nothing for my veggie garden.  And nothing I plant will grow fast enough to attract them in time for the early varities of tomatoes I'm growing. Any idea if the varieties I'm growing (Bloody Butcher, Yellow Pear, Ildi, Black Cherry, San Marzano and Sunset Red Horizon) will take to my shaking them to pollinate?  I know my Early Girls and Momoarato did last year.  Let's say I'm a bit concerned. hehe

On a separate note, tonight at the preschool parent meeting, I had the opportunity to trade out some of those sprouted yukon gold potatoes that I couldn't eat for some 1 quart pots to pot up the tomatoes.  Really it wasn't a trade, since our teacher will get back the pots with the tomato seedlings I'm growing for her, but I have plenty of seed potatoes to plant if I find room in my garden for them.  Better if someone uses them!

Lastly, it seems the remaining soil blocks and the yellow pear tomato seeds are being stubborn.  Nothing more is showing any signs of sprouting.  Odd.  I'll give it til the weekend and replant.

Well, enjoy your garden!


  1. Just an information thing....many of the earliest varieties of tomatoes are parthnocarpic - which means they do not require pollination to set fruit - that's why they are able to produce fruit in very early/cool conditions. Legend, Siletz, Stupice, etc are all examples of this. Later in the season they will pollinate when conditions are better and from that will produce seed that can be saved for the next seasons' crop. As to your other variieties... I have never had a tomato plant ever that did not properly pollinate from gentle shaking and brushing action. While tomatoes can be pollinated by bees it is not necessary and actually causes problems if you are trying to save seed (as the bees are indiscriminate in which plants they visit and cause cross pollination). I am not sure what info the article was based on but appears misleading at best - and flat out wrong at worst. I strongly encourage you to get the book seed to seed - it has a ton of information on how each plant family procreates and what is necessary for that to happen successfully if you are trying to save seeds that are true to type.

  2. Short answer: your tomatoes should be just fine. The longer answer is on my blog, the comment I was writing was much more of a post than a comment.

  3. I heard about the paper yesterday on business news, it seems papers are dropping like flying in this environment. When the economy comes back so will advertising dollars and I bet a few will be resurrected.

    If you want to attract more pollinators to your yard you should plant some Bee Balm also called Monarda. You can get plants from the nursery or buy seed and just plant it in the ground. I grew one a few years ago and it was always covered in bees, they love it.

    By the way, the idea about the label pins is a really good idea.

  4. That's sad about the paper....I know you'll really miss it. I think I read the pollination thing somewhere, but haven't paid much attention to it. If needed, i'll have lots of bees to do the work for me. BTW, if you would be interested in some of those plastic things I germinate in, send me your addy. I've got some extras!


  5. My hubby works at the paper plant that made the paper for the Seattle PI...it will be missed all around.

    Kim your neighbor slightly south