Saturday, May 15, 2010

Here's Hoping...

I have planted roughly 2/3 of my tomatoes outside this week. Yes, it's a bit early, but I have been keeping my eye on the weather report, and I think things are going to be okay. May 15th is the average date for our last frost in the area, and as that is today, I'm hoping the numbers play out. Tomatoes can survive down to about 38 degrees - it sets them back, but they can make it to the morning alive. Ideally, your nights should be 45-55 degrees for maximum tomato (and pepper!) happiness! However, with the recent trend of high 70 degree weather, my plants (except the peppers who LOVE it) are frying with the heat inside of my greenhouse. So I had to weigh the choices of possibly losing plants to heat stroke or losing plants to frost. I figured that frost was the less likely danger, and thus the reason that over half my tomatoes are already outside. Unfortunately, with the recent thunderstorm predictions, I now have to worry about hail!...sigh...

I have been busy gardening, weeding, and filling out last minute plant orders this week. There is actually space to
walk around inside of my greenhouse - I had forgotten what that felt like! Yesterday, my Georgia Jet sweet potato slips arrived in the mail, and I spent the day planting them in pots until the nights are warm enough to set them outside. I think they made a mistake on my order however: instead of 12 slips, they sent me 24! Ah well, more potatoes for me! I am also still eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Purple sweet potato slips.

Speaking of potatoes (well, we were technically speaking of morning glories, but whatever), I have discovered a fascinating new "potato!" It's call the Negresse Potato, but it's technically a wild relative of the potato and not a
true potato. The Negresse is a little known and under-appreciated tuber! It is jet black in color, and tastes like a truffle! Unlike the black potato,
"Congo," it does not have a bitter skin. Negresse is the cheapest "truffle" you can grow, and also one of the easiest! It is very difficult to track down, but I finally did manage it (thank you, Seed Savers!). I am on the waiting list for my own set of seed tubers in 2011. In the meantime, I have ordered seed tubers for the Ajawiri. This tuber is thought to either be the same, or the parent of, the Negresse. Thus, I will be able to grow
both plants over the next two years and make comparisons. What is rather exciting is that, because of how little known these varieties are, I will be sharing notes with others about the two tubers!

Other plants that I am trying out in my garden this year for the first time: Crosnes, Lemon Verbena, Purple Cowhorn Potatoes, Oaxacan Green Dent Corn, Violetto Artichoke, Lazy Housewife Pole Bean, Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Bean, Camellina, and more!

1 comment:

Emerald Window said...

Your garden sounds Yummy!