We are deciding which tomatoes and peppers to grow for this season’s garden; which ones for sauce, for sun-dried tomatoes to be stored in olive oil and herbs and for fresh salsas and salads. We’re looking at which peppers to restock our dried chile powder, to ferment into a delicious chile paste that keeps in the fridge forever, and which ones we want for fresh roasting for warm salsa.
You should be choosing yours, too! Now is the perfect time; deciding early gets you the best selection – while they are still available.
For those in hot climates – Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, South Florida, etc. choose short season tomato and pepper varieties of 50 – 70 days and you’ll have enough time for a good crop before the intense heat arrives!
Think about what you will use them for – fresh slicing into salads or on sandwiches, sauces, salsas or canning, freezing or dehydrating. Look at the days to harvest and pick a couple early ones and some late ones to spread the harvest out. Decide if you want indeterminate or determinate tomatoes for your specific needs. Do you like more sweet peppers, or want some heat?
We’re also planning and setting up our seed starting area, getting it ready now so there’s no last minute rush. We’ve done this for a number of years and we’ll share our process with you, just stay tuned!
Here are some things to look at:
Make sure you’ve got the ability to keep the moisture and temperatures high during germination, and can reduce them after sprouting.
Tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds need a high moisture and very warm conditions to germinate, with consistent soil temperatures around 85°F and very damp soil. After sprouting, the temperature and moisture need reduced to prevent mold and fungi from causing problems for the young seedlings.
We’ll have more on starting your seeds in Wednesday’s post!
Seed quality matters, whether you are a home gardener, small scale grower or large farmer; whether you buy all of your seeds, save some for next season or a combination, this information can help you be better informed, make better choices and buy more wisely.
We’ll walk you through what seed quality is and what you can do about it. You will see what goes into a seed crop and how you can improve the quality of the seed in your garden, which will boost your production along with flavor!