Monday, February 24, 2014

Let the Gardening Commence in an RV

 It is that time, folks. If you've followed Baked Lava for any length of time, you'll know that I am passionate about two things: cooking and gardening. I spend all winter thinking about what I grew the previous year, thinking about what I'd like to do different and planning on getting a hold of enough containers and soil to do everything I want to do and I hope, like hell, I don't run out of room!
 This is my seed catalog. I use a big 3-ring binder and baseball card inserts. They work perfectly and hold 10 types of seeds per page. I have mine separated out by different categories: lettuces and greens, root vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, flowers, spices, peas and beans, carrots, radishes and so forth.
 I asked to join several gardening groups on Facebook. Let me just say that these are some pretty amazing folks in these groups. I've traded for different seeds that I want to grow. I'm tired of buying starter plants for a couple of dollars each, only to be sorely disappointed if they don't grow and produce. I consider that money down the toilet. I'm with like-minded people who believe in growing as much as they can to sustain themselves and their families through the winter. I've also found that my biggest passion when it comes to gardening is tomatoes. Not just any tomato. Heirloom tomatoes. Bob and I just love them. I had not one iota of a clue as to how many varieties of heirloom tomatoes are out there until I decided that I wanted to grow my own tomatoes this year from seed. There are new strains being developed on a daily basis, as well. My goal is develop my own strain of heirloom tomato, stabilize it and name it after Ralph and Dixie Doodle. That's another blog post for another time...first, I have to learn to grow the dang things from seed and I need to be able to save the seeds of the tomatoes that I grow!
 For Valentine's Day, my husband, ever the romantic, bought me 4 mini greenhouses with 72 starter pellets in them. I'm not a chocolate and flowers type of person. I don't care for cut flowers...they cost too much, live in a vase for a week and then you wind up tossing them out. What's the sense? If you like cut flowers...rock on...you gotta go with what works for you!
I also have my mini greenhouse out back. It has 5 shelves. I plan on filling up those shelves with starter plants that I will put into a container or a bucket or something that was once used for something else.
Our neighbors, Dick and Joan, are super cool. I'm glad we have people like them living next door. Anyhow, they've told me that I can use their backyard for my garden. I'm eternally grateful for the use of the space and I will pay them back...in produce! Dick grows a couple of tomato plants every year. They are on a very limited income. I told them not to buy their tomato starter plants...I'll be happy to share some of mine.
So, my plan is to grow leafy greens in the front yard, in cut off milk and water jugs, because that is super shady and lettuces and so forth like that. It won't be the prettiest looking thing, but, in all honesty, I care more for what is growing in the container than I do about what the container looks like! I'm going to be re-homing a lot of my different flowers to the neighbor that I've met who lives in the house next door to the RV park. She's got a passion for gardening, just as I do and I'm glad I met Meredith. She's pretty awesome!! I'm going to clear out my hollow log to make way for a bed of red onions that I'll be planting in there. I'll be growing a variety of peppers from seed this year. I have acquired 2 kiddie wading pools so far that I'll be turning into a squash garden and a pumpkin garden. I need to get a hold of 6 pallets to plant cucumbers and strawberries in...we watched some videos on YouTube on how easy it is to make a pallet garden and so, to get the most bang for our buck, as far as space goes, we're going to garden vertically this year. I priced out pickup loads of potting soil and it's affordable. And, lastly, here are some of the heirloom tomato varieties that I've amassed seeds for (click on each name to be taken to a photo of what the tomato looks like):
Crimson Cushion Beefsteak
Camp Joy Cherry
Cherokee Purple
Black Prince
Mortgage Lifter: Radiator Charlie's
Marianna's Peace (Thanks, Anissa!! I love you for sharing these with me!!)
German Johnson
Amana Orange
Silvery Fir Tree
Super Sonic (From what I've found out, this is a hybrid, not an heirloom, but a fantastic tasting and producing tomato)
Violet Jasper Cherry
Blondkopfchen Yellow Cherry
Southern Belle (These were acquired in a trade and I can't find a photo for them...they may be known by a different name.)
Box Car Willie
Red Currant Cherry
Rideau Sweet Cherry
German Striped
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
Great White
Black Brandywine
Banana Legs
Black Krim
Siberian
Cream Sausage
Striped Cavern
Reisetomate
Stripes of Yore
Yamali Blue
Principe Borghese
Large Barred Boar
Old Timey Yellow
Snow White Cherry
These are the tomato seeds that I have in my possession at this moment. I'm waiting seven more days for the last remaining seeds that I've traded for to come in and everyone is getting planted. I'm waiting for Green Zebra, Brandywine, Pink Brandywine and Carbon. There may be a few others, but we'll have to wait and see.
As for peppers, this is what I've got going. I'll link a photo to each of the ones that, most likely, won't be all that familiar.
Hot Cherry
Italian Pepperoncini
Serrano
Red Bell
Mini Bell Mix
Jalapeno
Cubanelle
Grand Bell Pepper Mix
Croatian Sweet Stuffer (No photo available...it's one of those wait and see type of things.)
Purple Marconi
Red Pimento and
Sweet Banana

As soon as this blog post is done, I'll be sending off a variety of trades for some other cool things: Brandywine, Costoluto Genovese, Yellow Stuffer, Polish Linguisa and Pink Brandywine tomatoes, poblano, Red Peter and Corno di Toro peppers.
I'm also going to attempt to grow different colored carrot varieties...10 pounds of each in 5-gallon buckets. Wish me luck!
Enjoy...Happy Gardening and...PEACE!
P.S.: I started a new group on Facebook called Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous. If you'd like to join, just click on the name and ask...I'll be happy to add you in.

7 comments:

  1. I never realized til this year how many different varieties there are of tomatoes and peppers. I'm looking forward to growing a wide variety of both but none as wonderful as your list! I can't wait to see the pictures this summer.

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  2. Your list will expand exponentially if everything grows well on mine, Dawn!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. You'll have to let me know how those mini-greenhouse seed starter kits work out. I used to start my own seeds when I worked at a greenhouse; it was pretty simple, I'd just claim an unused corner. But now I don't even have a window that gets direct light!

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    1. I don't have a window, either...but I have 2 full spectrum lamps that I bought to use with my photo light box...those and a little clip-on fan should make those tomatoes and peppers of mine grow. I'm getting tons of good advice, too.

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  4. Have you ever grown pumpkins before, if not let me warn you they need a lot of space? I finally got once to take last year and it sent on tendrils over 10 feet long.

    Your garden list is amazing. I can't wait to see pictures.

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    1. Oh, yeah...I've grown them. I have 4 different varieties and I'm growing one of each. I take everything off each vine but 4 pumpkins. That will let them concentrate on growing the fruit (or is it a veggie???) and I won't be overwhelmed by too many pumpkins. I usually cook down 4 every year and that's plenty for me. I will have a couple of white ones to carve, too. I have a really big kiddie wading pool ready for them.
      I have sugars, whites, Old Timey Cornfield and Amish Jarrahdale heirlooms.

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  5. Thanks for linking up to the Think Green link-up! Best of luck to you with your tomatoes! I love those things! I've only had heirloom varieties a few times, and I tell ya - can't beat 'em! YUM!

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I love hearing what you have to say!