This year it’s time for something new. If it’s not a tomato or a pepper, it gets sown directly. I know many have had success starting seeds indoors and indeed I have too, but the growth difference has not been enough for me to give up room on our south facing windows. Without a greenhouse space is limited.
I have come to realize, with heirloom varieties that I get from places like Baker Creek and Seed Savers Exchange, my growing season are much longer than usual. Any other tomato will putter out before the first frost, but these varieties are like freight trains. They just don’t stop! My hopes are that if I utilize this crazy weather correctly I can yield much more than I would have with normal varieties under normal conditions. Growing only tomatoes and peppers as starters will allow me more time to devote to perfecting the varieties we love. Accompanied with possibly having longer growing season I hope to get a lot more canning in this year.
As in most of the United States, Ohio has had a very mild winter and an early spring this year. If these early starters get to large I will have no problems planting out before the official last frost date. We have many other successions to follow behind encase of frost. With hardly any inputs from me, I don’t have much to lose. Now if I was using electricity to warm these plants I might feel differently, but as long is they are chillin in our bay window they don’t need much attention.
Now here is a cool little experiment we are doing. I picked up these glass doors at the beginning of winter. Using a couple of old wooden windows for the side I have thrown together a cold frame. There are a couple of opening that need to be filled in on the ends, but I expect descent results. Again with the extra tomatoes that I have started, I have no qualms about sacrificing them if it means that we may get some extra early tomatoes. We may have a very mild spring as far as cold goes and playing my cards right I hope to capitalize on this.
For my starters I having been using some Jiffy Peat Pellets I found in the garage, though I do use the Soil Cube with great results. For potting-up I use a mix of soils I have around. The tomato pictured was planted in a mixture of composted manure, peat, and a little perlite. Heavy on the composted manure.
Overall I am excited for this year. I expect droughts and some hot weather, but with the rain catch I built last year I hope to be prepared. If you have any questions or have something to add feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.