Appalachia

The Greenhouse is Full!

The blind pig garden 2016 wnc
The recent bout of beautiful weather has given The Deer Hunter and me gardening fever. When there’s a string of sunny days with temps in the 70s it is so very tempting to start planting things with abandon. But we both know old man winter will surely be back before summer arrives in all her glory.

We did use our enthusiasm for this year’s garden to get all our greenhouse seedlings planted. We were able to re-use the plastic cups we used for seedlings last year, but I’m not sure they’ll make it for next year.

Since we only transplant the tomato plants once, when we plant them outside, the taller cups really help the plants stay upright once they began to get top heavy from growth. And the cups don’t take nearly as much soil to fill as regular planting containers.

Let me tell you what we planted.

Sow true seed mountain princess 2016

 

Mountain Princess. This variety produces tons of tasty red tomatoes that are the perfect size for canning. I can’t imagine not growing it in my garden.

Sow true seed cherokee purple

 

Cherokee Purple. The Deer Hunter couldn’t make it through the summer without this one! We’ve grown this variety of seed from Sow True Seed for several years and it has never let us down. If you’re looking for a tomato with tons of flavor this is the one for you.

Sow true seed black cherry

 

Black Cherry. The tastiest tommy-toe ever. We discovered this variety from Sow True Seed’s first sponsorship of the Blind Pig garden and we’ve been growing them ever since. We usually share a few of our plants with friends and hands down this is the one they request the most.

Sow true seed yellow pear

 

Yellow Pear. Last year I swore I was done trying new tomatoes. I was going to stick with what worked and what we liked the most. But I fell prey to one more variety this year, the Yellow Pear. Years ago we grew these tomatoes and they were so tasty. Back in those days we didn’t have our own greenhouse and a friend shared her seedlings with us each year. She and her husband grew yellow pear tomatoes every year.

Sow true seed king of the north

 

King of the North. This will be my second year growing these sweet peppers. They did really good for me last summer and produced all the way up till the first frost of fall.

Sow true seed cayenne pepper

 

Cayenne Long Red Thin. I grow a few of these each year-one pack of seeds lasts a long time that way. I don’t like hot things, but sometimes you need that flavor in pickles and other dishes.

Sow true seed marconi peppers

 

Marconi Red. This will be my first year trying this one. I’m hoping they turn out as good as the Gypsy Peppers we’ve been growing for the last few years.

Do you have anything planted yet?

Tipper

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Tipper,
    and Ed…..Whoops…..ha

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    March 15, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Those Sow True Seed packets are works of fine art.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 15, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Tipper & b. Ruth – The internet didn’t like all those little dots you put after the website. It gets confused easy, just like me. If you want the dots to remain try shipping a space after the html. Like http://hummingbirds.net/map.html …. When it sees a . at the end of a web address it thinks there is more address to look for. When it sees a space it knows it is at the end. That seems contrary to human logic but that’s true of a lot of internet stuff.

  • Reply
    Ruth B
    March 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    It’s great to hear all you southerners planting your early gardens! Here in northern Ohio we have to wait a lot longer, usually around Memorial Day before we can be sure with fragile plants.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    My friend just got mine plowed last Friday. He still has to come with his tiller before I can begin. It rained Sunday and Monday so it may be next week before I can get started.
    I had two hot pepper plants last year. When the weatherman forecast frost I dug up the small (super hot) one and put it in a bucket. It is still producing. I put it out during the day and bring it into the garage on cold nights. I will probably put it back in the garden about mid to late April. I make salsa with jalapenos and these are so hot I only add 3-4 per quart. Even then I have to be careful eating it.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    SHUCKS….Don’t know what happened to my link for the map…..
    Go here…..hummingbirds.net… to the website and the “migration map” is there with a click…also much information about our little friends and species…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…If all else fails….enter hummingbirds.net in the BING search engine….they will definitely find it for you….ha

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Tipper,
    and Tamela….Aren’t you lucky that the Indian Paintbrush is blooming early….LOOKEE, LOOKEE HERE WHERE THE HUMMINGBIRDS HAVE ALREADY MIGRATED INTO TEXAS….They just love to sip the Indian Paintbrush…..
    Here is the migration map for the Ruby Throated Hummingbird….
    http://hummingbirds.net/map.html…..
    I do believe they will be in East Tennessee early…usually around the time the azaleas begin bloom…I have my feeders about ready to hang…just in case a few early birds show up…ha
    Thanks for passing this on Tipper….
    It ain’t Spring without the birds…..any birds…even the irritating Starlings that make messes in the corner of the gutter down pipe with their attempted early nesting….ha

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Tipper,
    Somebody musta been reading my mind cause Donna Lynn played “Shepherd of My Soul” at 20 till two today. That’s the best song in my opinion I’ve ever heard. I love the last line that says “If you’ll put your trust in Him, He’ll give you New Birth.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Tipper,
    I buy my canning tomatoes for the Cross Farms. They grow those
    Mountain Princess also and I just love ’em. They’re my favorite!
    All this warm weather sure puts folks in the gardening mood, but we might get a couple of cold spells yet, especially around here.
    I’d love to be there Saturday for Chitter and Chatter’s concert, but I just got too much going on right now…Ken

  • Reply
    Alica
    March 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Those seeds you have look interesting…I don’t think I’ve heard of any of those varieties except for the black cherry tomatoes! I just bought some kale and spinach plants to transplant, and I will put some onions in the ground soon too. We’re having an early spring here, but I have to be careful that I don’t jump the gun and them have things get zapped by a late frost in May! My fingers are itching to get dirty in my garden soil again!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 15, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Tipper,
    I think you and Deerhunter will love the Marconi Pepper. We grow the Giant Marconi Pepper that won the All American award in 2001…we have found we like this one over the other many varieties of Marconi peppers….They turn from green to red fairly quick and are at their sweetest when red ripe…
    We lay them whole, on the grill and turn over as they cook…If we put an extra one on the grill we usually discuss politely who receives the extra one…”NOT”…..It’s first come, first serve! But, in a couple of weeks we have more than enough to grill…the smoky flavor goes well with about any grilled meat. Still very early to plant peppers here…since we don’t have our greenhouse anymore, we generally buy plants…Green Bell, Jalapeño, Gypsy, Marconi, etc….we love peppers…
    We are putting in my tall permaculture bed…red, mixed and leaf lettuce also Spinach and Kale. A few cabbage plants in another raised bed….today!
    Thanks for this post…
    PS…I found some parsnip seed yesterday, a very small package…will soak the seed first…and plant them on the long side of one raised bed….I have never grown them before only carrots, but my Father’s family did!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    March 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Tamela
    Thank you for the comment! I watch for the flush of green that starts along the mountain edges : )

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    March 15, 2016 at 10:05 am

    You need to get a few Jalapeno peppers started in various heats. I love the meaty sweet taste of the medium hot right off the plant and the hot in my Salsa. I also pickle some to eat over my Pinto and/or Navy beans or a mixture thereof.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    March 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I have tomato and pepper seedlings stretching for the sun from my kitchen counter – I will move them outside today to start hardening for the garden. Temperature was 93 yesterday!! and supposed to not get below 70 for the rest of the week – the SXSWers will have nothing to complain about weatherwise this week.
    I should have had part of my garden in a month ago but , as usual, life gets in the way of life, (or maybe I’m just lazy). My Dad (95) got impatient with me and tilled the garden last week. We purchased mushroom, cotton bur, and organic compost and plan to till that in this week before planting.
    The spring greens are showing up on the trees; but, oddly enough, after such a warm winter here in Central Texas some of the trees have been slow to green up. I’ve been taking pictures of the same area across the creek each day to document the arrival of spring – O.K. – my family thinks I’m an odd duck but I think its fascinating to watch the changes.
    What are the daily changes y’all watch?
    Bluebonnets started to peek through here and there but another spring oddity this year is that the Indian paintbrush already are putting on quite a show. They don’t usually put on their best display until the bluebonnets are fading.
    This year looks to be a great year for dewberries! (local wild blackberries) They are blooming all over the place! Come Mother’s Day, I hope I can get a few before the local critters do!!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 15, 2016 at 8:58 am

    These temperatures make me think I am losing time but I’m trying to concentrate on preparation. I have planted Kennebec white potatoes, Red Pontiac potatoes, Georgia Sweet onion, Texas Sweet onion, Little Marvel english peas, Salad Bowl mixed lettuce and Cherry Belle radish. I count on the peas, radish and lettice to produce before they succumb to the heat. They do not get much time to grow in temperatures they really like.
    I still have kale, brussel sprouts, spinach, mustard and turnip from last fall but they can’t last in temperatures of 70+. I’ll have to pull them shortly.
    On a side road, the thyme I grew from seed survived the winter just fine. The fennel re-seeded itself too well. I will have to remove or move some of them. The cilantro re-seeds itself each year but usually in places I do not prefer. It is not warm enough yet to know if the basil has re-seeded well.
    I have some beans this year I’m trying. Frank Barnett in KY sent them to me. He collects and grows heirloom seeds.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 15, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I’ve got my tomato seeds in the starter pots. That’s all so far. It is so tempting to plant in the garden when it’s 80 degrees, but we know better.

  • Reply
    William Roy Pipes
    March 15, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Tipper, It’s good advice to wait. Once I grew trellis tomatoes and I, trying to get tomatoes on the early market set out 2500 plants. That night (early May) it frosted and killed all but one plant.
    We usually get a frost in early May.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 15, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Most of my planting days are in the past, but your account of the seeds, seedlings, and growing the tasty products makes me want to get out there and plant these things again! My last garden in my backyard here at the Milledgeville place all got cut down to the ground because it wasn’t “fenced in.” I guess “wandering deer” which we have even here in this thickly populated region of Carrington Woods just took over when okra was waist high and tomatoes were blooming! Such a disappointment to see on an early morning! So that dampened my efforts to garden here! But best wishes to you and all the other eager gardeners out there. I hope the last cold snaps of spring don’t thwart your efforts, nor the friendly beasts that wander don’t mow yours down! In other words, best wishes with your gardens!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 15, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Now that’s what I call a plan. The Cherokee Purple are currently my favorite tomato, they go great in my salads. Those tall cups are a good idea Tip.
    This warm weather really makes me long for summer!

  • Reply
    Rebeca DeLong
    March 15, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I’ve got broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage planted here in Washington Co. TN. Starting things indoors weekly.

  • Reply
    Quinn
    March 15, 2016 at 6:05 am

    It’s still a bit early here – snowed yesterday – but I’m getting ready. You will laugh…I am trying to find the plastic trays and little pots to start my seeds. I recall gathering them up and carefully putting them away last year. What I don’t recall is here the heck I put them!

  • Reply
    Chuck Taylor
    March 15, 2016 at 5:26 am

    I have a few cabbage plants ready to go, some onion sets, and some pink tomatoes started in cups. It’s suppose to drop below freezing here in a few days so the garden will have to wait. Not sure which winter it’ll be unless it’s redbud. Brrrrr , so ready for winter to be totally over.

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