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!



  1. Did you plant your seeds in milk jugs or they inside the house? We got 4 to 5 inches of snow here in North East Georgia it stayed on the ground for two days we are so not used to snow. Thank goodness it is all melted and expecting warmer weather next week just waiting on spring!! Ellen from Georgia

    1. The seeds I started yesterday are going to be grown indoors under lights. I do have some of my seeds outside in milk jugs.

  2. I haven't started a thing yet. I will start the celery, leeks and broccoli this coming weekend, cauliflower a week or two later, pepper March 9 and the tomatoes March 22.

    1. I normally start my peppers and eggplants the last week in February, but I was being impatient and started them a week early. They seem to always take so long to grow for me. I don't know how my winter sowing is going to do with the weather we are having, so I am going to start some of my cold crops inside just in case.

  3. Make sure to pet your seedlings! (=

    On a more serious note, indoor planted seedlings and plants can get very thin and leggy unless you grow under a very strong light and pet them frequently. The petting helps the plants to develop thicker stalks - which is probably important to their survival in the spring.

    Perhaps you already knew all this - but I thought I would just mention this from my many failed attempts to start my transplants off right.

    1. Thanks Jay for the tips! I do use grow lights and I keep them low to prevent leggy plants. I do not pet them though, so I will have to give it a try this year. Happy gardening.

  4. Reading your post I decided to sow my tomatoes too. I have some pallets for growing seed and will buy more for tomatoes and cucumbers. It's great idea lighting the seedlings, I loved to!

    1. Good luck with your seed starting adventures! I will probably be starting the rest of my tomatoes in another 2-3 weeks. Where do you live?