tedln
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Gardening is exciting again!

I've gardened for many years and I have gained a lot of pleasure from it. Typically, a gardening year will start with planting some seed and some seedlings. Water and feed the plants until they produce as they did the year before. Enjoy the produce through the season. Enjoy the pleasure of friends and family who also receive produce from my garden. Always look for ways to do things different from the year before. While it all has been a great pleasure, it contained little excitement.

This year, I have made an effort to grow heirloom tomato plants from seed and then plant them in the garden. I find myself checking the plants often and anticipating the results of planting the heirlooms. I've spent many, many hours researching the different heirloom varieties available looking for the perfect plants which will provide the combination of productivity, size, taste, and variation from the norm that interests me. I have high expectations, but I know that some of my selections will probably disappointment me. You simply can't control all the variables which different varieties require. Even the disappointments will be positive because I will have some new seedlings of other varieties waiting to be planted where the disappointments were growing. For me, it is always exciting to find something new, something different. Does anyone else find that kind of excitement in gardening?

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Sun May 02, 2010 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
I simply enjoy gardening!

tedln
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I've only grown chard once. I planted it last fall hoping to have some during the winter. It didn't really start growing until spring. That was just before I needed to prepare the bed for onions and tomatoes. I still don't know what chard tastes like. I had pretty much decided to not try chard again until I read about the "Bright Lights Chard". Now I want to try it again. I'm thinking about planting it in front of my tomato plants when the onions are gone in a month or so. Where did you get the seed?

Ted
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Duh_Vinci
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Absolutely, Ted!

Surprises, discovery of the new varieties and just watching something grow is excitement it itself! You take a dry little seed, you plant it, you give it water and next thing you know - the dormant life is awaken, and transformation begins!!!

To be honest with you, I usually get fairly board with things, really don't enjoy the same thing over and over again. Once upon time, I discovered that Eggplants are not all dark/purple/black... And somehow that is how it all started. The label had a picture of orange/striped, apple shape fruit, and read "Eggplant Turkish Orange" - how could I say no to that. Not only edible, but a great looking compact plant that has such vivid contrast of bright lime green leafs and bright orange striped fruit! Whites, pinks, greens, striped - to me, that's excitement!

As as you said, something may disappoint a little, but more often than not we can find something on the positive side! Last year I've ordered a sample pack of Russian tomato varieties that do well in the heat. Among those, were De Barao and Black from Tula. God only knows why, but I had the highest expectations from De Barao. Well - it was a production monster, more than vigorous plants of 11' high. Nice snacking/canning tomato indeed. But it was Black from Tula that took me by surprise! Everything from color, to taste and steady production when others would just drop blossoms.

Somehow, the gardening is a way for me to entertain myself, something exciting in every planting hole, in all colors and shapes and I love it!

Regards,
D

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gixxerific
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I feel the same way. I have been gardening for years. I would just get what the stores had, though I notice more and more are carrying heirlooms. But this year thanks to this site i am growing 90% of my stuff from seed. Like DV said i have eggplant that are pretty and hopefully tasty. And many different kinds of tomatoes I didn't' even know existed of all shapes and colors. I even have odd colored carrots cucumbers lettuce. If everything does well i should have a colorful tasty little garden. This makes it exciting because like you said you never know what you might end up with.

Though I am having a few problems in the garden that I need to get worked out. New variety's newer garden and all. Everything is not up to snuff yet. I still have hope, and you guy's to back me up. Not too mention more exciting new seedlings waiting in the wings for just this type of thing.

I wish you all the best of luck and let's hope our new exciting choices all turn out to be winners. :flower:

Oh and about the chard, something new for me last year. I loved it so much, and it's excellent production. I have bright lights in my veggie garden in my rose/garlic/onion bed and in my front flower bed. So that means go for it again, make some room.

You were wondering where to get it try [url=https://rareseeds.com/cart/products/Five_Color_Silverbeet_Chard-845-0.html]here[/url] it's a different name but same thing. I actually have a pack of seeds that is called Bright lights as well.

Tigerlilylynn
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I love my little bright light seedlings. They came up today and I can already see some reds and yellows :D

tedln
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Dono, I agree. I have also planted some "experimental" cucumbers and squash and eggplant. I can't wait to see what they produce.

Duh_Vinci,

You have ruined my day. I had everything planned for the succession planting of my heirloom tomatoes. I had Black Krim, Cherokee Purple,
Sweet Carneros Pink, Berkley Tie Dye, and Black and Brown Boar tomato seed waiting in the wings to be germinated and planted. Everything was decided, firm, and set in concrete. Now I have to go looking for some Black from Tula seed. :roll: (Just kidding, I love it)

Since I am also one of those people who believes that one of anything is simply not enough, I am going to have to bequeath my collection of tomato seed to someone in my will. I've only been collecting it this year. I've had to move everything from a quart ziplock bag in the freezer to a gallon ziplock bag. I guess I could turn my place from a garden into a tomato farm. Now the only thing I need is a tractor and plow with all the attachments. I wonder if I could get a better deal buying two tractors in case one breaks.

Ted
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tedln
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Marlingardener,

Are you going to attend the heirloom tomato tasting at Washington On The Brazos this year. This will be the fourth year for the event and people come from all over the United States and Canada. I think it is in the second weekend in July this year. It's only about 100 miles south of Marlin down highway 6. I'm not sure, but I think we will be in Colorado riding our ATV that weekend. If we are not in Colorado, we will be at the tasting.

Ted
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tedln
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Tigerlilylynn wrote:I love my little bright light seedlings. They came up today and I can already see some reds and yellows :D
Lynn,

How long has the chard been planted in your garden? Was it a fast germinater or a slow garminater?

Ted
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applestar
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LOVE IT! Everybody has new projects. Me too. DH asks me WHY I'm so OBSESSED. Me? Just because I'm checking on the seedlings for the 4th time in the day? :lol:

Now that I've moved some plants out for the season, I can see my pot of back-up rice starting to grow on the bench by the kitchen window. I'm pretty sure the direct seeded ones are growing in the paddy as well, so I may have to grow extra bucket rice, storage tub rice, ... or kiddie pool paddy rice. 8)

Tomatoes are great because all by themselves, they provide endless variety in color and taste sensation.

Chard -- I think I have the kind called Rainbow Chard, not Bright Lights -- from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange -- Ah, it's they call it in parenthesis "Five Color Silverbeet" -- let's see, White, Yellow, Pink, Wine, and Orange -- yep. 5 colors.

The thing is, a lot of my "new" projects are on-going once started, so they keep piling up. Then there are the seasonal repeats as well. Busy, busy! :()

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rainbowgardener
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Most of the on-line nurseries sell the Bright Lights Swiss Chard: johnnys, burpee, park seed, jung, etc. I love it. Swiss chard is my favorite thing to grow. Attractive, easy, productive all season long from frost to frost. I'm already eating baby chard and it will keep going for me until November, right through the first fall frosts.

And yes, I love trying new things. Every year I make sure to grow (or attempt! :) ) something I've never grown before. This year I did borage, which is turning out to be super easy and hardy and producing lots of extra greens for the compost pile, and started goatsbeard from seed for my native woodland shade plants garden.
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gixxerific
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Ted about the Black From Tula. That is the variety I'm am most exited to see this year. I have never seen an unhappy customer yet, most people say it is the best of the blacks.

It may be late but if you would like a few seeds pm me.

tedln
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gixxerific wrote:Ted about the Black From Tula. That is the variety I'm am most exited to see this year. I have never seen an unhappy customer yet, most people say it is the best of the blacks.

It may be late but if you would like a few seeds pm me.
I'll trade you ten for ten if you can afford that many. If not, I will send ten for five. I have plenty of the following. Mortgage Lifter, Kellogg s Breakfast, Brandy Wine Sudduth, Prudens Purple, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Cuostrolee, Sweet Carneros Pink, Black and Brown Boar, Berkley Tie Dye, and Stupice. I also have a lot of Climbing Trip-L Crop. While I'm hoping the Trip-L Crop will be my most interesting because of the size of the plant and heavy production, I'm not expecting it to be a good eating tomato. I expect the Stupice to be an early tomato but only fair in taste. If you agree, we can "pm" addresses. I decided last night to build two more beds for the extra tomatoes and hopefully get them planted in mid June. That should give me some production through out the summer into fall.

Ted
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gixxerific
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I have a million thing going on right now Ted but I just checked and I have plenty of BFT seeds. I will pm you later.

See now this is exciting. :lol:

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Is swish chard really good? I'm not all that fond of bitter greens and had always thought it was bitter....am I worng? Everyone else seems to like it :)
On another note I am thoroughly annoyed. I wanter to throw some borage and nasturtiams in the garden and not one single nursery around here has them. Evidently I have to grow everything from seed :roll:

And finally: eggplant. I was going to plant black beauty, but do other varieties taste better? I mainly deep fry it (I know I know not healthy) and use it in veggie lasagna....

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Ted,

You should look for JD's Special C-Tex. It is a popular black tomato from Texas. I don't see any green when ripe tomatoes on your list (Cherokee Green, Green Giant etc.) Pretty soon you get away from growing for production to growing for novelty because there are so many to try. It Doesn't matter what they taste like fresh, they all make pretty good sauce when mixed together.

The ultimate may be growing potatoes from true seed, which is interesting because all commercial varieties are hybrid and very few of them produce berries. Everything you get will be your very own lines unless you start out with one of the few places that offer seed. Those will be all sorts of colors and shapes.

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tedln wrote: Lynn,

How long has the chard been planted in your garden? Was it a fast germinater or a slow garminater?

Ted
I put them in Tuesday or Wednesday. They are indoors under lights to get a little burst before I put them out and frankly the frost the other night is making me nervous as a first time seed starter.

Dixana,

Chard was one of the plants I decided to buy seeds for before I'd even eaten it since I figure everything can be altered to taste. Since then I picked some up at the store it's great braised in tomato sauce or braised and tossed with tomatoes and feta. The young leaves are also good in salads.

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rainbowgardener
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Chard works in any recipe that would use spinach including salads, etc. I made a swiss chard lasagna last year following the spinach lasagna recipe but substituting chard. I thought it came out better than the spinach version.
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Now I *almost* wish I hadn't asked, gonna have to find a spot for chard... :roll: :lol:

tedln
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TZ, thanks! I will put it on my list for next year. Don't have room for them this year. I've never eaten or even seen a "green when ripe" tomato. I've thought about them, but I'm not sure how you know when they are ripe. If they start out growing green and they are green when ripe. How do you know when they are ripe?

I do have a few tomatoes which I think taste absolutely the best when they still have green shoulders. I guess the best example is my Juliet cherry tomatoes. They are small plum size fruit, that turns a beautiful red when ripe. They are very sweet when ripe. I eat them between pink and red with green shoulders and they still have an acidic bite that appeals to me. I like to just snack on them in the garden.

I've tried to cover the premium red, pinks, orange, and blacks this year. Next year, I will go for green and yellow and striped. I guess what keeps my motor running is the fact that somewhere in those 6800 varieties I haven't tried, may lie the "perfect" tomato. I just have to find it.

I went to Home Depot today to start collecting the materials to make two more beds for this summers late crops including some heirloom tomatoes. I also will add another twenty four foot bed this coming winter. Will it never end?

Ted
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Duh_Vinci
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Oh snap, Gixx beat me to it - I was going to say, Ted, if you want to try Black from Tula, I'll be happy to send you some seeds... And from the greens, if you want, I have some Aunt Ruby's German Green seeds if you want to try...

Regards,
D

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There are two ways to pick GWR tomatoes. The first is to do it at night (or close your eyes) and determine by softness. The second is to go by color. Most have yellow epidermis, which give the fruit an amber cast when they ripen. Even Green Giant, which has a clear epidermis, turns white and or gets a little yellow color on the blossom end when it ripens, so after the first one or two fuits it is pretty easy to tell when to pick.

The only problem with GWR tomatoes is that they turn a yucky muddy olive drab color when cooked so it is a little bit odd eating spaghetti sauce made from them, but they tend to be very juicy, like bicolors, so take too long to cook down for sauce so its not a big loss.

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I got this one DV putting the seeds together here in a minute. :wink:

tedln
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Thanks Dono and Duh-Vinci! I'm going to germinate the BFT when I get them and wait for next years garden to try the green tomatoes. Who knows, I may just like the ones I am growing this year so much, that I may not want to try any more. (I don't really believe that. I believe curiosity will overcome complacency)

Ted
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