Hooray, Hooray, the 8th of May!

Kale, Snap Peas, Broccoli and Kohlrabi all in the same raised Bed

Kale, Snap Peas, Broccoli and Kohlrabi all in the same raised Bed

 Well actually it's the 9th, but I really meant to do this yesterday! Wow, the weather in the Pacific NW is finally starting to feel like spring. Most of the garden is planted, just trying to stagger my plantings now so I don't end up with everything ready to pick at once. Here is the list of the Vegetables I am growing this summer:
  1. Early Green Broccoli
  2. Buttercrunch Lettuce
  3. Maxibel Filet green beans
  4. Fortex Pole Beans
  5. Zephyr Yellow Squash
  6. Eder Kohlrabi
  7. Sugar Ann Bush Snap Peas
  8. Spicy Mesclun mix
  9. Bunching Green Onions
  10. Lacinato Kale  (see the picture below)
Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

 How I plant my Tomatoes
I plant all my tomatoes deep so just the top is sticking out of the dirt, and then I cut a length of cardboard toilet paper roll and surround the stem to act as a cutworm collar. I add a mixture of steer manure, lime, bonemeal, worm castings and organic fertilizer to a 1 foot planting hole and mix with a shovel before placing the tomato plant in the whole.  Water well with a B-12 Starter fertilizer to reduce transplant shock and your tomatoes are off to a great start!
Here in the Pacific NW, zone 7-8 with our sometimes cold and wet spring weather, we need to help out our tomatoes a little. I use Wall-O-Waters around most of my tomato plants. I think they do help force an earlier harvest.  Early varieties planted around the 15th of April will usually give me a few tomatoes the first week in July. I have picked tomatoes as early as June 20th, but that is pretty rare.
I get my Tomatoe plants mostly from Millennium Farms in Ridgefield, Washington.  Mike Stucky has been a great resource for me over the years. Millenium Farms always has a nice selection of heirloom tomato varieties, plus they have lovely fresh eggs.
This year I took a trip out to Uncle Wayne's Tomatoes in Eagle Creek, Oregon
I was able to pick up some Stupice plants and I also am trying out a new grape tomato called "Jelly Bean". 
2009 Tomato Varieties
  1. Pineapple (my very favorite heirloom tomato) Large yellow tomato with a sunburst of red stripes inside, very sweet, lovely texture, not at all mealy.
  2. Brandy Boy
  3. Brandywine
  4. Jelly Bean Red Grape ( new to me this year)
  5. Stupice, first to produce, last pick of the season
  6. Pruden's Purple, great heirloom flavor, earlier than Brandywine
  7. Goliath, new to me this year
  8. Roma
  9. Sungold, also new to me this year, everyone I know raves about it.
My Lazy Tomatoes in their Wall-O-Waters

My Lazy Tomatoes in their Wall-O-Waters