Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tomato, Pepper & Basil Nursery Order

So here are the pictures of my long-awaited Cross Country Nursery order. I picked them up on Sunday May 9th, but it was too cold to plant them so I had to wait. These pictures were taken a week later right before planting on May 15th. I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed, especially in the tomatoes.
This is the Ramapo, Snowstorm and Matina tomatoes. Granted, the bottom leaves are a bit more yellow than they were on the day I brought them home, but they still looked pretty leggy to me right when I got them. It is definitely not what I expected. I actually showed the Ramapo to the woman working at the nursery, and she told me "we like our tomatoes tall, afterall they are big plants" and that the short, leafy ones you see in other stores are sprayed with growth retardant.

I was as nice as could be about it, b/c I didn't want to cause a stink, but I did say I didn't think that's what they look like when you grow them at home. So then she admitted, "Well, we do grow hundreds of them together in flats so there really is no where for them to grow but up" and told me to pull off the bottom leaves and plant them about 6" deep, so that's what I did. She also assured me, "we're so well known for our tomatoes, really it is not a big deal". I hope that's true! I'm actually not that concerned, because I do think they will grow good roots that way and come back as strong plants. But still, for the price I paid I was just hoping for something a little less leggy!
Here's the Sungold, Grape & Black Cherry. The Black Cherry looks the best - I'm happy with that one, and the Grape is pretty decent too. The Sungold not so much though. I planted that one deep.
I was much happier with the peppers. I guess that's their real specialty though, so it makes sense. Lots of them had blooms and even tiny peppers on them already. As much as I hated to do it, I pinched them all off so the transplants could concentrate on growing roots. Above you see the Orange Sun, Ariane, Bell Boy and Lady Bell peppers.
This is 2 Marconi Golden, 2 Cubanelle & the Nardello.
The Little Dickens and Yummy Orange minis.
The hots: Pepperoncini, Ancho Mulato, Thai Hot Dragon and Jalapeno Tam.
Finally, here are the basils. 2 Genovese, Magic Michael, Summerlong, Osmin Purple & Red Rubin. I was happy overall with these, except the purples do look kind of leggy too. After planting I snipped the tops off of them to encourage more bushy growth. Also, ironically, I picked the Summerlong because I read online it is supposed to be a special variety that takes extra long to go to seed. Well, it is the only one that was already full of flowers! So much for that one.

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