Saturday, June 5, 2010

Transplanting Tomatoes & Peppers

Today was a beautiful day! Earlier in the week, the forecast temperature for today was 93 degrees which I was somewhat dreading. My house does not have central air and it's early in the summer for that kind of heat, I'm just not used to it. Thankfully, the forecast changed. Today was in the mid-80s and a little cloudy most of the day with just a little wind. It was hot in the garden when the sun came out and I did end up with a bit of a sunburn, but I finally got some more planting done.

I transplanted the peppers into their designated area (I call this ring #3- though it's really more of a rectangle, it's named for the way it was built). I added the jugs of colored water and a couple dark rocks to absorb heat and there's plastic 3/4 of the way around the outside to add some warmth and cut the wind. I tied some row cover fabric over the top as well- sort of a pepper-incubator if you will. I add the extra heat steps because our nighttime temps dip pretty low all summer long- in part because of the altitude (we're at 7000'). I am just now planting them out because I think I put them out too early last year and the peppers were stunted until late in the season. I'm hoping I get some peppers before October this year. In this ring I have planted two Banana peppers, two Pimiento peppers and two Carmen peppers. I also have a third Carmen that I planted in a pot. I'm especially looking forward to the Carmen peppers, they sound like they'll be really good. The Carmens are the big plants in the foreground.

I also planted the tomatoes. Some of the little guys are still so very small. Hopefully they'll grow now that they're outdoors. The photo shows about half of a 4x10' bed. In that half, I've got 12 tomato plants. I suspect some won't make it or will remain small this year. The big ones you might actually be able to see in the picture are Galinas Gold Cherry (2) and Thessaloniki (2). I've also got a Jubilee Yellow, a Kelloggs Breakfast, two Black Cherry, three Rutgers and one Roma. Since it doesn't look like hubby is likely to be around this summer either, I'm not terribly concerned about tomato production. I'm not a big tomato eater (though I do sort of like the flavor of the gold and black cherries). At this point, I'm starting to think of growing tomatoes as sort of a challenge. Except for the cherries, we have not had great success yet.

When watering yesterday, I noticed there were a lot of ants on my larger Catnip plant. When I flipped over the leaves I found masses of aphids. I hosed them off last night but as you can see, I didn't get them all.

The lettuce & salad greens are growing pretty well now. The cabbage worms have discovered the Savanna Mustard though. I'll have to remember to look carefully when I pick them - I'll pass on the extra protein if I can at all help it. It's not a major infestation at this point, hopefully hand-picking will keep them at bay.

The poor started-too-early spaghetti squash transplants are still looking pretty sickly though there's actually a female bloom starting on one of them!. I planted some seeds just in case and I noticed one direct-sown sprout today. I wish I could remember how many seeds I planted though, the pumpkins don't look like they're going to make it and I hope I tucked in a few seeds.

I lost all the zucchini transplants (I think the wind beat them up too much) but the pattypan squash transplants are looking quite healthy.

I also planted two more varieties of beans today, Top Notch (yellow bush) and Burpee's Tenderpod (green bush). The Tendergreen Improved (bush green) and Cherokee Wax (bush yellow) I planted earlier are starting to sprout now. I'm still waiting on the Zi 28-2 Long beans and the Rattlesnake beans to sprout. They should be popping up soon.

Now, we just need a little rain... (just a little with no hail please) :-)


Annie's Granny said...

Hey, I'll send you some of my rain if you'll send me some warm weather! I'm actually surprised at how well my summer crops have grown in this weather. The garden is a bit behind last year's but not by too much. It looks like yours is getting off to a pretty good start now. Good idea putting the dark colored jugs in for heat.

Ribbit said...

I'll give you rain, too, but we've got the heat. Actually, it's the humidity that makes it so you can't walk outside without sweatting buckets.

Everything does look good! I'm hopeful that squash will bounce back.

Kris said...

Boy, how challenging for you to grow all those warm-weather veggies at 7000 feet. Quite daunting to say the least. That's a good trick of darkening the water. I wouldn't have thought of that!

sb158 said...

I'll take some of that rain, and be delighted to send some heat anybody's way. Totally miserable this weekend.

I guess the warm weather crops are a bit of a challenge, but you look like you're getting a handle on it. Good luck with them!

Amy said...

I wish I could take credit for the colored water idea but I actually got the idea on GardenWeb.

Ribbit, I'll pass on that humidity, thanks! I haven't spent much time in the southeast but growing up in humid Vermont and living in hot dry west Texas, I'd hate to combine the two!

The Pogue's Garden said...

I'm jealous that your squash is already blooming. To me, anything with blooms says that it will be alright.

Amy said...

We'll see PG, I hope it doesn't mean "I'm gonna die I'd better reproduce fast!!

Joelle said...

Hi. I just found a HUGE aphid infestation in my catnip. I thought catnip was suppose to repel them. It is planted right with and next to rose bushes, and my rose bush closest to it actually got aphids on it this year. What happened?! I am in the process of cutting it back. It was a good sized bush, and when I pulled it back, I found a TON! UGH!! How did it go with hosing them off aside from the small amount that was still there. I have thought about buying lady bugs, but I read somewhere they could bring disease. Do you have thoughts on this?