A week after planting out my tomatoes, I transplanted all the others – the eggplants, peppers, melons, tomatillos, and cabbages. And it did not go well. The next few days were incredibly windy, and the very next night dropped down to 39F. I’d babied the tomatoes, hardening them off gradually and wrapping them in plastic. This second round I did in much more of a rush, and I paid the price. Melons dissolved. Cabbages crumbled.
A couple of the stronger and better sheltered ones, like this tomatillo, have held on. I’ve seen healthier plants, but compared to what he was, he’s in top form.
The tomatoes, by now old hands at outdoor life, are a mixed bag. Three of my five grow bag plants are the picture of health.
The other two are… flagging. Those in the garden are in the same boat. I planted three varieties of tomatoes, and there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to this gross inequality. Two of the giants are Paul Robesons, and the third is a Blue Beauty. Here’s another Blue Beauty looking no bigger than when I planted it out.
The seeds I started in the ground outside are all seem happy. The Red Orach started slow…
But now it’s taking off. The leaves taste fine. The best word I can come up with is minerally. So far I’ve only eaten the odd raw leaf, wanting to give the two plants a chance to grow. With the bigger over a foot tall, now, I think I can safely cook some up.
My Beleah Rose Lettuce is coming in nicely.
But nowhere near as nicely as my green lettuce, self-sown from last year’s crop. Eating salad has become something of an obligation in my house.
I have a third variety of lettuce, all on its lonesome with the kale, that’s the lone survivor from a crop I tried to grow in the hoop house in November. All the others froze, but this one must have tucked itself under the plastic just right and is absolutely thriving.
The Magnolia Blossom Tendril Peas are gangbusters. They’re already taller than the trellis and me, and they’re showing no signs of stopping. The flowers are beautiful, the tendrils are cool, and the peas are… fine. More of a green taste than that nice pea sweetness. I’ve only tired the young whole pods, though – maybe when they mature the peas inside will be a different story.
My other peas are these snazzy Dwarf Blauwschokkers. They’re a Dutch bush variety that produces deep blue blossoms and even deeper blue pea pods. Just like the tendril peas, though, these guys get high points for presentation and low points for taste. I’d describe the flavor of these as so green they seem unripe. And maybe they are. The name makes me think that they’re meant for shucking and will be better when they’re more mature, but my Dutch is rusty.
On a strange note, some of my Blauwschokkers have come out as the plainest, greenest, pea-est peas I’ve ever seen. Where did these guys come from? I think there’s been some intermingling…
The Crapaudine Beets are doing well, though germination has been pretty sparse.
Likewise with the Pusa Asita Black Carrots, which seem to have been taken down from the site I ordered them from! I hope that’s not a bad sign… The plants that have come up seem to be nice and healthy.
I planted two kinds of beans: Chinese Red Noodle and Dragon Tongue Bush Bean. I wish I knew which was which. I also wish I hadn’t taken up valuable trellis space with a bush bean, but this is how we learn.
My Desi Summer Squash is coming in great.
My Kajari melons were coming in great, until they disintegrated in the cold. I’ve planted some seeds directly in the soil and they’re well on their way. This is supposed to be a fast-producing melon, so with any luck I’ll get some fruit out of it before fall.
One of my cabbages also fell apart, but I replaced it with another seedling I hadn’t put out yet. This is the state of a lot of my transplants – the scraggly guys who weren’t fit to put out at first are the new stars of the show.
Some are coming into their own, like this pepper.
And others, like this adorable little eggplant, have a long way to go.
Whatever happens, I probably won’t go hungry this summer.