Gardening Season is short but sweet here in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. May is usually a month everyone is out digging in the garden, planting up their basket and planters and sowing seed. Usually. Right now, May of 2020 there have been 3 snows already and we’re only halfway the month. Indeed.. a bit of a slow start. That usually doesn’t dampen our spirits though. It’s Canada. It’s to be expected!
So the little greenhouse in the picture here is being put into full service this year as I attempt to begin my retirement business. I’m starting small with some hanging baskets, planters, a few bedding plants and cute little pots and planters. We’ll build as we go 😀
So, I was planning a garden for this year and browsing through the seed catalogs was a wonderful pass time in the cold winter months, but now it’s rubber meets the road time and I still don’t have my plot of land, so I may have to “borrow” some land from someone in the meantime. Shopping for land isn’t as easy as one would expect.
I’m all about growing non-GMO, organic and heirloom varieties so was quite successful in finding the seeds. I’m still surprised that anyone would bother with GMO seeds.. doesn’t make sense to me. But I was raised with the old small farm common sense ethic. The old varieties have stood the test of time and thankfully many seed harvesters kept those old heirloom varieties going in the face of gmo adoption by the mega food growers. There are now a wonderful plethora of varieties to choose from against all odds. People are extremely wary of growing food that doesn’t produce it’s own seed, and well they should be. No corporation should have exclusive access to growing food… God has given us that gift and most of us will be darned if we surrender that right to greedy corporations.
I couldn’t resist including this picture of bright red, juicy tomatoes. This is a variety I remember from my childhood. These tomatoes were abundant, very tasty and meaty. We used them for eating, cooking, canning… you name it. Most of the small farmers grew one or two varieties of their favourite tomatoes and would sometimes plan with their neighbours to grow a different variety so they could trade with each other. It was fun to try something different and share it. That’s what small farming communities are like!!
So a little about this tomato… Costoluto Fiorentino
Beautiful deep red Italian Heirloom. The fruit are about 1/2 pound each and about 4″ wide. They have a distinctive flattened, heavily-ribbed shape and are quite juicy with a high sugar and acid content. It’s excellent for spaghetti and chili sauces and canning. Perfect for sandwiches, salads, and slicing. Grows quite well in hot or cold climates. This is an Indeterminate variety and matures in 85 days.
So, a lot of people ask me what the difference is between determinate and Indeterminate plants.
Indeterminate – the plants are tall, require staking and produce flowers, and thus tomatoes, over a longer period of time. Instead of having one large harvest at once, they bear over a period of months. They’re the right choice for a home gardener or commercial grower who wants their harvest spread out over a longer period of time. They’re perfect for greenhouse growers that want tall plants they can train on strings to make better use of vertical space.
Determinate – The plants tend to be a bit more compact than indeterminate varieties (although still large). They flower profusely and the fruits tend to mature around roughly the same time and once the crop is harvested, the plant usually dies back. If you don’t have a greenhouse or the space to keep a plant protected from cold temperatures, then this is the type of plant to get your crop and then be done with it.
I prefer indeterminate tomato plants so I don’t have to deal with a huge harvest all at once. I can eat tomatoes over a 2 month period if I care for the plants properly and protect them from early frosts. I can also grow them in containers on my deck and train them up a trellis on the side of the house for easier picking! Once cold weather sets in, I can extend the growing season by at least another month by putting them in my greenhouse. It’s unheated, so there is an end to the season with them, but it’s nice to have even another month of fruiting.
OK… that’s all for now. Be sure to check out the Greenhouse Sales Room!