Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden Seed Trials

I have re-learned a very good lesson this year, FIELD TRIALS aren't over in one summer. To tell if a breed of plant will do well in your area, you really have to work with it. What I mean is you have to be aware of soil conditions (nutrients etc.), the weather that particular summer, what the weather was like when you planted, and the location in regard to the sun (I've some tomatoes that are getting shaded by the corn as the sun moves to a different location now that fall is approaching.

 Yes, those Siberian tomatoes that gave me tomatoes in early July have only given me a few red ones so far this year. The plant has grown  to twice the size of last year and the tomatoes are much larger this year. The advertisement for them says cold tolerant, definitely didn't mean when they are young. It could mean when they are full grown though. 

 This year they were some of the latest tomatoes planted and we'll see how they do when cold weather arrives. Last year the plants were pretty well spent by the time cold weather hit so I didn't get a true picture of their performance.
This tomato is a Roma and they do do well in cold soils so I plant them in late May, early June. I haven't figured out what this particular tomato's problem is. No, it isn't aphids or the healthy ones next to it wouldn't look so healthy. I've got to get it ripped out.
The same thing happened to a few potatoes earlier this summer that were just six feet away from the sickly tomato plant.

And from last years trials I assumed buckwheat wouldn't grow very tall here so I planted it amongst some potatoes. Wrong move, it towers over the potatoes. Some of you are saying cut the things down for green mulch I do love buckwheat pancakes on occasion and silly me wants to try harvesting some of my own. If all goes well, they will get their own plot next year and not become a companion plant.

Two new kinds of corn are on field trial this year also and though the sweet corn is taller than any I've had before. The size of the ears and the taste will be the determining factor. But this corn has an advantage over the ones I've tried before for each stalk has two ears. If it does fairly well, it will for sure be a hit for two ears in the space of one is a huge deal in a garden my size. Yes, I should tell you the type it is but I'd have to guess for I'm on a very short time frame at the moment and can't dig through the box to look.  

The other type of corn on trial is a dried corn variety, Painted Mountain, and it was suppose to be planted first because of its cold hardiness label but I didn't get the plot of land cleared in time. And... though I had planted the two different types of corn two weeks apart hoping to have them tassel far apart enough to save corn for seed they played copy cat and both tasseled together ruining my plans. I haven't given up hope of growing two kinds of corn in my garden and so with a bit more planning, I'll try again next year.

So the moral of the story is, give a new variety a serious chance. Move it around the garden and plant at different soil temps and time of year if it shows any real promise. You never know, it just might end up being your favorite like my Washington Cherry tomatoes that give me loads of LARGE cherry tomatoes a month to a month and a half before my Romas.

Yup, gardening takes patient for it take time.

 Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you in my rush, please be patient and return next week for I will be gone for a few days while I take care of my parents. My step-dad is having surgery and my sweet hubby is goes to play double duty around here and he refuses to post. LOL I guess he has his own site to take care of. 

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