Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tomato Tuesday

Black Emperor

Black Emperor is a red-black colored plum tomato. I don't have much information about this variety because there is little known about it.  They are indeterminate plants that bear 4-5 oz. plum tomatoes. The plants are very productive.  They have a great flavor and are slightly juicy for a paste tomato. I had great production in the beginning of the season with some pretty large plums, but as the season progressed they got smaller and tended to split. I will definitely try this variety again in the future because there are not many dark plum tomato varieties. My seed source for Black Emperor was Trade Winds Fruit. This year I will be trying another dark plum tomato called Darth Mater, which is a cross of Prue x Black From Tula. I will give info on this variety in the future.

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post. Stop by next week to see which variety I will be spotlighting from my garden.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tomato Tuesday

Marianna's Conflict
This weeks spotlight is on Marianna's Conflict tomato. Marianna's Conflict is similar to Marianna's Peace, except it has regular leaves and is red. Marianna's Peace is a potato leaf pink tomato. The fruit is also smaller, 6-13oz. This tomato variety appeared as a regular leaf plant grown from the original Mischka's Marianna's Peace seed stock grown in Martin Longseth's garden in 2004. According to Martin Longseth, about 20% of the original seed gave regular leaf seedlings. I grew this variety for the first time last year and was pleasantly surprised. I grew it in a 5 gallon bucket next to my 6 foot fence and it grew up and over my fence and hung down the other side.  I was harvesting tomatoes from this plant until our first frost in October. My plant produced many tomatoes over the summer and they had a very good tomato taste. They made great tomato sandwiches! I will grow this variety again in the future.
The yellow bucket is Marianna's Conflict.

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post. Stop by next week to see which variety I will be spotlighting from my garden.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sowing While It's Snowing!

Today I decided to sow my pepper, eggplant, ground cherries and dwarf tomatoes inside. I definitely have the gardening blues and I can't wait till all this snow goes away. While I am sowing my seeds I look out my kitchen window to a winter wonderland. Here in PA we are getting another 1-3 inches of snow today to add to the foot of snow we got on Thursday. Yuck! Enough about the snow, I am excited about getting my indoor seeds started. I normally wait until the last week in February to start my pepper and eggplant seeds, but I got impatient and started them a week early. I am also trying ground cherries again this year, which I learned last year take awhile to get going. I did not have luck germinating my seeds last year, but I am going to give them another try with new seeds.  As for my tomatoes I usually start them the middle of March, but I am trying some dwarf varieties and I read they take longer to grow. Here is some information about all the seed varieties I planted today.


Corno di Toro (Islero & Giallo)
Corno di Toro or "Bull's Horn" sweet peppers are a traditional Italian pepper. They are tall, branching plants that bear heavy sets of 8-12 inch long, curved, tapered and pointed shiny peppers. The peppers have thick, sweet flesh in bright yellow (Giallo) and vivid red (Islero).

Purple Beauty
This variety produces loads of beautiful dark purple bells on compact, bushy plants. Crisp texture and mild, sweet flavor makes this one popular with everyone.

Feher Ozon Paprika
Originated in Hungary. Productive dwarf plants produce 5" long fruits that ripen from creamy white to orange to red. Exceptionally sweet flesh. Dried fruits can be ground to make paprika powder.

Thin-walled, long, tapered peppers have more flavor and a lower water content than bell peppers and are the perfect pepper for roasting and frying. Best when picked while they are light green but can also be left to mature until they turn orange-red.6 in. long, 2 1/2 in. in diameter.75 DAYS.

Chinese Giant
Sweet Chinese Giant is twice as big as the largest bell pepper. Plants are a compact 24" tall. Fruits are usually 4 by 4".

Romanian Rainbow
This pepper makes a colorful display as it ripens from ivory through orange to red. The bell-type fruits are 4-5 inches long and have a delicious, lightly sweet flavor with no bitterness.
Romanian Rainbow peppers are produced continuously and in abundance, starting early in the season. 60 days.

Hungarian Pumpkin (Paradicsom Alaku Szentes Pepper)
One of the truly great Hungarian peppers. Yellow, flat, ribbed, pumpkin-shaped fruit have the tremendous flavor that peppers from Hungary are famous for. The flesh is very thick, crisp and juicy. 80 days.

Sweet Heat
Mild, spicy flavor - like a pepperoncini, but with smoky undertones. Early and prolific, with loads of sweet bells that average 3 to 4" long by 1 to 1-1/2" wide. A perfect choice for grilling and salsa. Can be eaten at the green or red stage. Plants are compact and bushy.

Anaheim Chili
Anaheim Chilies are prolific bearers, of long thin fruits about 6" long. Mildly hot, people use them in roasting, stuffing, stews, sauces or raw.  Plants grow 20-30" and bear late in the season.

Pasilla Bajio
The popular "chile negro" pepper. While classified as a hot pepper, Pasilla ("little raisin") has almost no heat. Fruits have a berry, almost herbal, flavor, and strong, upright plants produce heavy yields of uniform, 8 to 10" peppers, thin walled, slender, very dark blackish-green maturing to a dark brown. Very easy to grow, with good resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus.


Prosperosa is a wonderful eggplant. Baseball to softball sized purple fruits with white shoulders. It is good just sauteed in olive oil, but makes for excellent eggplant parmesan or curry as well. Petite plants that are very prolific and do well even in cooler climates. This is an excellent multi-purpose eggplant. 70-78 days.

Lavendar Touch
Lavender Touch F1 Hybrid produces eggplants with a unique color, white with a lavender blush. 63 days.

Similar in shape, flavor and texture to Rosa Bianca. Earlier maturity, darker fruit color, and just slightly smaller (4-6" long by 4-5" diameter). Purple calyx. High yields of round, bright violet, Italian-type fruits.

Listada de Gandia
Stunning 8" oval fruits are white with lavender stripes. Small 14" plants produce heavy yields of high quality thin-skinned fruits with mild white flesh. Thrives in very hot weather. 80-90 days from transplant.

This is my view from my kitchen window while sowing my seeds today!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tomato Tuesday

Dr. Wyche's Yellow

I have to apologize that my post is late this week, I had a stomach bug. This weeks spotlight is on "Dr. Wyche's Yellow" tomato.  This heirloom was introduced to Seed Savers Exchange by the late Dr. John Wyche, who at one time owned the Cole Brothers Circus and used the manure of elephants to fertilize his heritage gardens. The plants produce slightly flattened, smooth, blemish-free, golden-yellow fruit with a meaty interior and few seeds. It has a very nice flavor and is suppose to be very productive for a larger tomato.  I did not experience high productivity with my plant last year, but I also did not have the best growing season last year. I will try this variety again in the future. This year I am going to give Aunt Gertie's Gold and Azoychka a try, they are both golden-yellow tomatoes that are suppose to have great flavor. Give Dr. Wyche's Yellow a try in your garden, it has very good reviews from many gardeners. My seed source was from Trudi at wintersown.org.

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post. Stop by next week to see which variety I will be spotlighting from my garden. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tomato Tuesday

Indigo Rose

The tomato I will be spotlighting this week is "Indigo Rose". This tomato variety produces stunning dark purple 1-2oz. tomatoes.  This type of tomato is sometimes referred to as a "Blue" tomato. The dark purple color is due to anthocyanin which causes the tomato to turn dark when exposed to direct sunlight. They are green when unripe, purple red when ripe. Anthocyanin's are powerful anti-oxidants. This tomato was developed by Jim Myers at Oregon State University using traditional plant breeding techniques. The plants are compact indeterminate with moderate production. The flavor to me was not that great, just average. I consider this tomato a looker not a taster. In the last two years these anthocyanin varieties are becoming more popular and new varieties are being created. I will be trying two other anthocyanin varieties this year that are suppose to have better flavor. They are Clackamas Blueberry and Melanzane. I am hoping they will produce flavorful tomatoes for me, because I was disappointed with the flavor of Indigo Rose. I have heard that other gardeners have grown Indigo Rose and liked the flavor. Every one's tomato taste preference is different, I tend to like sweet with a little acid. My favorites are the dark and pink varieties.


Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post. Stop by next week to see which variety I will be spotlighting from my garden. When planning this years garden consider trying a "Blue" tomato. There are many seed companies now that carry an array of "Blue" tomatoes.