Appalachia Gardening

We Started the Tomato and Pepper Seedlings


The Deer Hunter and I got our tomato and pepper seedlings planted and we managed to give the greenhouse a good cleaning too and boy did it need it!

Sow True Seed offers a wide variety of heirloom tomato seeds. In fact they offer so many that I’m often tempted to try them all. The problem with trying them all is we have limited garden space.

A few years back I decided I would stick to growing the tomato varieties that grow best for us. We always grow Cherokee Purple, Mountain Princess, and Black Cherry. Those are our tried and true tomatoes that always produce well and please our taste buds the most.

For the past few years I’ve been tempted to try a new Sow True Seed tommy-toe tomato called Matt’s Wild Cherry. For those of you who don’t know The Deer Hunter’s given name is Matt. This year I gave in to the temptation and planted a few of Matt’s Wild Cherry to see if we liked them.

A few years back Sow True Seed ran out of Mountain Princess seeds before I got mine and I tried Arkansas Traveler. The substitute did very well for us, but since then I’ve stuck to Mountain Princess. This year we planted a few Arkansas Travelers too.

Typically we plant too many tomatoes and even though we give some away we still end up with over crowded beds. This year our goal is to plant fewer tomato plants and have less waste with healthier plants.


The only sweet pepper we planted was a new Sow True Seed variety Ashe County Pimento.

Usually we only start tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse. This year I planted a few melons to see if the jump start on growing might help them actually produce fruit for me here on the north side of the mountain.


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  • Reply
    March 15, 2018 at 2:39 am

    I planted some tomato plants near my front door last year and I didn’t get a single tomato from any of them. I allowed the plants to remain throughout the winter months, Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan. The plants remained green and my winter was very mild. I live in Southern California. When Feb. rolled around I noticed that the tomato plants started to bear fruit. Then we were hit with 3 weeks of cold temperatures between 60 to 34 degrees. I thought for sure that my tomato plants were going to die. The ends started to wither away but over all the plants remain healthy.

    Just last week I harvested 4 tomatoes. I had a few for lunch and they tasted great. On Friday I will harvest about 20 or so tomatoes. I told my wife to get the salad ready cause we will have some nice tasting tomatoes to add to them. The tomatoes I had planted last year were Early Girl and Big Boy and Beef Steak. Won’t wonders ever cease?

  • Reply
    Marshall Reagan
    March 14, 2018 at 7:17 am

    You might try covering your mound where you are going to plant your melons with black plastic to help warm the soil.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    I’m going to try o grow melons this year, too! I got Minnesota Midget seed from Sow True Seed, and I plan to start them indoors. I figure if this melon will produce in Minnesota, I’m in with a chance here in Massachusetts!
    By the way, we are in the throes of our third nor’easter in two weeks. We are getting everybody’s snow this year, apparently.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Quinn-that’s exactly what I thought! We’re trying the Minnesota Midget too 🙂

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    March 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I have to grow everything in a barrel or large pot here b/c of the red clay soil. I’d love to have a few tomatoes growing. I’ve tried the pot growing in Atlanta and Jax but to no avail. Something always happened to them. A bug, blight or too much water apparently. In past years I grew great tomatoes. Also, I’d love to know what my Grannys bunch beans were called. I had her seed but they got thrown out on purpose a few years ago , not by me.
    I grew rhubarb in a pot last year and its already come back up about 8″. Hardy thing.
    I can see you Tip, with Matt and Granny have professional help down there and two good worker bees too.
    I love reading your articles. Thank you.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    You, Matt, and the Girls brought me a big float of Tomatoes awhile back. It rained the next day so I just watered them and let ’em sit till it cleared off. I didn’t even bother with those from the Bank, but I had so many tomato sandwiches that year, I almost got tired of ’em.

    I met Chitter at the John C. Cambell Parking lot to get 2 necklaces. In the bag was a bunch of beautiful Cherokee Purple tomatoes. As long as I don’t have to look at ’em, I’m fine because I always thought of a Tomato being Red or Yellow. They tasted wonderful.

    I can several quarts of Mountain Princess every year. …Ken

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve just got to tell you about a man I knew from work. He work for a cleaning service and came once a week to exchange rugs, mats, dustmops heads and such. He would always slip in to the office where I worked and leave without a word. One day Sandy who worked with me asked “Do you know what his name is?” I told her “No.” After I thought about it a while I said “Why don’t we call him Matt. Matt the Mat Man!” So the next time he came we both spoke to him and called him Matt. He nodded, smiled and left.
    After that we continued to greet him as Matt and got him to where he would talk to us. I finally asked his name. He told me but I don’t remember now what it was. To me he will always be Matt the Mat Man!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I love good tomatoes, Yes, I’m picky! My favorites for several years now are the Cherokee Purple…hands down the BEST! So, I’m hoping you plant some for me too, like you always do!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 13, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I need to get ours done, too. My husband made us a box with glass top that works well. I put a regular light bulb inside to use if it gets very cold. We did some purple tomatoes last yr and they were delicious but just didn’t keep well either on the vine or pulled.

    We’ve been plagued with peppers that weren’t what they were labeled to be so i’m going to plant my own this yr.

    Had some snow here in TN yesterday! I’m so ready for spring!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    March 13, 2018 at 9:02 am

    A few years ago I put out a tomato called Jetsetter. It was a g ood size tomato, Bigger than a Bigboy, with a nice round shape and pretty red color. It looked like the perfect tomato. It was flavorless. I now stick with the old and true varities.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Brandywine has always been a favorite around here, but the Delicious Tomato is about to take first place. Neither of the varieties seem to produce long enough. I wish I could remember what kind of tomato I raised one year that kept on producing right up till Thanksgiving.
    My aunt visited several years ago just about the time I planted my seeds and placed them in a portable greenhouse. She told me that tomato seeds should be kept in a dark place for three to five days after planting. I wonder if anyone else has ever heard that.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

    It is that time, about 6 weeks before the warm season crops go in the garden. I would like to try a few of everything to but I don’t have the room either. I’ve had to let things go that take too much room, like sweet potatoes, melons and pumpkins. Have you all ever tried any of the paste tomatoes like Romas? They are good for tomato sauce. I think the ‘pear’ tomatoes are one form of paste tomato.

    I’m restricted to tomatoes and peppers that are nematode resistant. I used to plant Rutgers but now Better Boy. Very big difference in the root system at the end of the growing season between them. But it is hard to find nematode resistant pepper plants.

    Right at 32 here this morning. Still waiting for the ground to warm up. But I’ve been getting ready.

  • Reply
    Sheryl PaulI
    March 13, 2018 at 7:39 am

    You will love Matt’s Tomatoes also called Everglades Tomatoes. They were a wild tomato on Florida. I love them straight and they are best eaten like candy. Can’t wait to hesr how you like them

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 5:26 am

    We love tomatoes, I usually plant a few varieties each year in some half cut plastic barrels, don’t have time to grow a garden anymore with work and just keeping the grass mowed, and giving my wife a break from her care-giving is about all the time I have anymore, and I try to check in on Mama and Daddy every other Saturday, Man I wish I could grow another Me, I’d put him to work.

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