By Jannie Vaught
The big question is “When can I plant?”
It appears that the old adage of” Wait till Easter to plant the cold-sensitive plants.” might be right !! I even heard a woman who picked up a plant at the local grocery and returned it to its tray, she said I’m waiting till after Easter! With the High Winds we have been having and the sudden drops in temperature she is probably correct.
Those tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can hold in the house under lights or in the greenhouse for just a little longer. I have 3 new raided beds I have been preparing. I also have wire hoops with frost and bug netting that goes over the plants I took a chance and planted English peas and planted in the other, I planted 4 tomatoes plants with marigolds in the corners, also Borage plants. When the latest wind storm came along I was out there securing the covers. It was fierce! But happily, they are all ok. And the peas are now in bloom. The potatoes in the in-ground garden are finally up. It was risky. the flat of tomato and pepper starts are still in the greenhouse waiting for that last possible wind and cold spell to come. Let’s talk about planting tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.
The topic is Determinate and indeterminate plants. Definition: Determinate varieties are usually small and more compact and produce for a specific amount of time than they’re done. Indeterminate are usually heirloom varieties and grow sometimes Huge vining up and out and will produce till the frost. Both are personal preferences. Both need trellising or cages, pruning for any limbs off the soil area regular feeding schedule, and sufficient water especially in the heat of summer. Plant tomatoes deep as the stalk and stems are covered with little bristles of potential roots. Prune off the lower leaves and plant with some compost, bone meal, a calcium source, or Tomato Tone organic fertilizer. Give them some water and keep them damp as they form a rooting system. Peppers are Indeterminate plants, that is they continue to grow new roots and stems, and can require staking or trellising when they become heavy with ripening peppers. Peppers should be planted at least 1 1/2 feet apart in a sunken mote area to retain water. I use a bulb planting tool, which is a metal cone. this makes a good even shaped hole. When removing the transplant try not to disturb the soil around the roots. place in the hole so the soil line is even with the existing soil line, I place a little compost in the hole as they need phosphorous to fruit. You can prune peppers, but I have grown lots of peppers and I do a little pruning mainly to keep any stems off the soil and if they get too top-heavy.
Potatoes are Determinant or indeterminate. Determinant potatoes will only produce tubers around the soil depth, these are best for growing in pots, or growing bags, some varieties are red russet, Yukon gold, and red Pontiac. Indeterminate varieties require mounding because tubers continue to produce as the plant grows up and they need soil or mulch to cover from the sun, and to be fed. Plant in deep furrows 1 foot apart and as they grow tall cover the stems with soil. Where ever you purchase your seed potatoes should be able to designate the varieties. I have grown Indeterminate potatoes in tall pots but with little tiny potatoes as they do need room to grow, Remember they need soft loose soil and lots of space.
Yes, it’s time to start digging, and for those of us who have been struggling to get into the garden our time is here. The peach, plum, apricot, and nectarine trees are in full bloom and the bees are working. Even if the wind gets rough I think the trees need the wind as they really start growing after a wind storm. Happy Planting.
Growing Green With Jannie