Starting seeds in containers and in the soil.
During this continuing 100+ temperatures in my garden, we wishfully look forward to cooler weather and enjoying that whole new set of veggies and posies. First, some suggestions on getting seeds started. Then, I’ll review the results of my tomato harvest from this summer so you can compare with yours and perhaps add a couple of new varieties for next year’s consideration!
SOWING FALL AND WINTER EDIBLES
From now through January and perhaps even February, we can sow and transplant the cool-season edibles.
Soil temperature optimums to germinate these seeds are 50-75 degrees, so be forewarned that you may need to resow seeds a couple of times as the weather cools before you get good germination.
Last year, I resowed my peas four times over a two-month period, and then they all came up at once! They do so when they're ready and their environment is what they want!
Here's a list of which seeds to sow using the three sowing techniques. Note that some seeds can be started both in the soil and in trays.
Directly sow these seeds into soil, in a "nursery" bed so you can keep your eye on the progress and keep moist and a bit shaded -- chard, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading Bibb and buttercrunch types, which overwinter well with minimal damage from light frosts), green and long-day bulb onions (which will mature during the lengthening days of next spring and early summer), parsley, spinaches (especially savoy types for more frost resistance).
Directly sow these seeds where they'll mature (no transplanting) -- fava beans, beets, carrots, garlic cloves, peas, radishes, shallots.
Start these seeds in trays or other containers for later transplanting -- artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, chives, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading Bibb and buttercrunch types, which overwinter well with minimal damage from light frosts), green and long-day bulb onions (which will mature during the lengthening days of next spring and early summer), parsley, rhubarb, spinaches (especially savoy types for more frost resistance).
2020 TOMATO REVIEW
Despite the mid-March shutdown due to COVID-19 and consequent cancellation of Tomatomania events where I usually purchase my tomato plants, I did manage to find most of my favorite varieties at local nurseries. I grew 20 plants of 14 varieties that resulted in 603 fruits.
167 Mid- to Large size fruits
3 Ace 55 – blah flavor
2 Big Rainbow – ok flavor
2 Black From Tula – excellent flavor
20 Black Krim – excellent flavor
110 Celebrity (4 plants) – excellent flavor
6 Cherokee Green – ok flavor
13 Cherokee Purple (2 plants) – excellent flavor
11 Chocolate Stripes – ok flavor
436 Small and Cherry size fruits
66 Chocolate Cherry – excellent flavor
109 Chocolate Sprinkles (2 plants) – excellent flavor
70 Flamme – blah flavor bordering on tart
15 Isis Candy – good flavor
28 Red Cherry – ok flavor
148 Sungold (2 plants) – excellent flavor
For more gardening info, see October Monthly Tips