Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Quit...

A month to the day after starting my tomato and pepper seeds indoors, I have decided to give up on them.  Sure, they sprouted, they developed true leaves, they got taller. But, they are in no way equal to what is now in nurseries and from my favorite corner tomato seller!

The cost of the shelf, the grow-light and its bulbs, the seeds, peat pots, etc. came to more than buying transplants. Sure, it would have been nice to be able to harvest fruit (for tomatoes and peppers are fruit!) from plants I grew from seed, but we don't have a long growing season, and they were much too small.  Our last frost date is May 15, five weeks from tomorrow.  My little plants would not be ready for outdoor life by then.  Below are the comparisons, and you can easily see why I decided to dismantle my grow-shelf unit.

Ace Tomatoes - mine and from the Tomato Lady - April 9

Oregon Spring from the Tomato Lady, and my remaining seedlings - April 9
The Tomato Lady is a local woman who sells tomatoes from her truck in a nearby mini-market parking lot.  Last year she sold me a terrific Ace!  It is still too soon to plant these in the garden, but I couldn't resist.  Plus, having them gives me a visual reminder of why I pulled most of mine up.  I am putting them under the overhang at night, and if the temperature drops below the 40s I will bring them inside at night.  It is 64 right now, at 9:15pm; it's been rather mild.

I bought two Ace tomatoes and one Oregon Spring.  I have not grown Oregon Spring, which is an early producer that can be planted out a month before the last frost date, so long as it doesn't frost.  What?  That makes little sense!  So, I won't plant it out until no sooner than a week before May 15, so long as the forecast is for no cold temperatures.  Last year I was hasty, planting tomatoes (very small, disappointing mail order ones) on May 4.  Since I am in Oregon, and Oregon Spring was developed here, it should do really well.   I intend on buying more closer to planting date.  More Ace, a few cherries (yellow and red), and I really hope to find another Yellow Brandywine at the Spring Garden Fair, May 4th.

Here are my new "babies."

Two Aces and an Oregon Spring - April 9
I didn't toss all of my seedlings.  I figured if I was going to throw them away, I might as well plant them and see what would happen.  Either the cold will kill them, they won't do well, or they'll be fine.  I planted one of my own Ace, a Sungold, and two peppers.  I kept a couple other tomatoes and a pepper in peat pots.



My pathetic remaining seedlings - April 9
So, you can see why I quit!  I will not be starting seeds ever again! 

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