Look at the thick stem on this Siberia tomato I mislabeled as Siberian.
With that thick stem it should withstand the windy weather we have around her even though our daughter's trampoline didn't. Yup, the 45 mile an hour wind pulled all those pieces that just fit inside each other but weren't bolted together apart into lots of pieces and scattered them for 200 feet beyond our property. The base which I had anchored was still sitting where we'd set it. You'd think the wind had fingers the way it dismantled that trampoline. With that in mind, we'll see how well the Long Keeper tomatoes do. They are suppose to store really well for a long period of time but can they withstand the wind and colder temperatures remains to be seen with their wimpier stems.
As for the Siberia tomatoes, they are another experiment. They are a determinate, thank you, thank you. Why the melodramatics? Well, I had a choice of indeterminate or indeterminate at the greenhouse last spring and I spent all summer trimming the 18 plants for a much much smaller crop of tomatoes than I've had in the past. That experience along with others in trying to find tomatoes that will grow well in our area has led me to the conclusion that to do it right you have to do it yourself. The tomatoes the greenhouses get are those reported to do well in a lets say 5 to 10 state area around you. I wouldn't grow the same tomatoes over the mountain four hours away that I grow here. The weather isn't windy over the mountain where I was raised. Here it seldom isn't. The weather extremes are more dramatic and the growing season shorter.
My plan is to put some of the tomatoes out two weeks early in wall a waters which equates to mid May and then place those wood window frames in a tepee shape that have plastic in them that I got off the construction site over the top. The anchoring of them I don't quite have fully worked out yet but Kirk bought the hinges to attach two together. It will be really exciting if the double greenhouse effect works well in giving the tomatoes an early start. Wall of waters are great for protecting the plants but they still don't grow very fast in them at first. That's where I'm hoping to make the change. The faster they get big the sooner I'm hoping to be eating a ripe red tomato.
I put up a new grow light this year, the traditional starter light, and I'm hoping to get some lovely fresh herbs going well under it along with growing salad greens this winter. The traditional starter light is far less expensive and is much larger than my other light and should therefore allow me to start more plants along with keeping herbs and salad going all winter. I figure I'll just do a bunch of smaller pots so that I can stagger the plantings to keep a steady supply going. For now I'm just doing two plantings. Two plantings, two hatchings. Maybe I have a fixation for two this year.
As for the cucumbers, I started this year instead of direct seeding in the garden, well, I should have read the label. Do not start until a few weeks before frost. Okay the label didn't exactly say that but it should have because boy are they going to be big when I set them out. I hope they can withstand the cold. I plan on putting them along the east fence where it gets hot and draping clear plastic I've recycled from the hay shed down off the fence and over them forming a mini greenhouse. Just in case I tucked a few more cucumber seeds in soil today for a later planting. Beside them under the plastic will be cantaloupe that I just seeded and will lay plastic on the ground around them to raise the soil temperature. Never had a ripe cantaloupe before.
Also today, I planted some broccoli since larger plants with stand the dreaded flea beetle better than smaller ones. Into pots went two kinds of pumpkin seeds a red heritage one and a cooking kind. I started some more pepper plants, some more herbs, and even one lone zucchini. Usually I direct seed my pumpkins, and zucchini but last year the pumpkins did so well from the plants I received from a friend I thought I'd do it this time only with different varieties I'm trying for the first time. Actually what I think was the catalyst for all the seed planting today was the room left over under the new grow light I just put up. I just couldn't resist filling in the space. Kind of like the freezer thing I think. Anyway in this country you need all the jump you can get on the growing season and I refuse to feel guilty about it. Now if only I can figure out where I'm going to put all these plants in the garden space I have.