please....our 2013 Heirloom Tomato line-up is now online!! Please
click here to go to the beautiful and completely revised Tomato page on
our website!! This year we're offering a total of 52 varieties, with
21 of them being brand new!
trying something different this time: we're taking Pre-Orders through
PayPal (or email and mailed in check) on your tomatoes, which you can
then pick up at our Spring Kick-Off Sale & Food Drive. This
way you can read, ponder, decide, order, and your new babies will be
ready and waiting at the Sale. Plus, it should give us early clues as to
what the buying trends might be, which will then inform our second and
third round of seed sowing.
last year's "storm of the century", we're hoping that Mother Nature
will smile on us the weekend of March 16th and 17th. Please do plan to
join us for this wild and wooly Sale! As always, it will also be a Food
Drive for the L.A. Regional Food Bank, who does such great work helping
those in need in Los Angeles County. Your generous food donation will be
your "admission" into the Sale; you'll then receive 10% off Everything:
Seedlings, Soils, Trees, Blueberries, EarthBoxes, Smart Pots, etc. And
at the end of the event, Alex & I will donate 5% of the total sales
to the Food Bank as a monetary donation. It's a win-win!!
Tomato descriptions are formatted a little differently this year; we
hope it keeps the pertinent info clearly visible. There are also these
new buttons to check out:
An all new "Growing Tips & Info"
Here you'll find all you need to know about Planting, Watering,
Fertilizing, Staking, plus a discussion about Common Problems and lots
of Tomato Terminology.
Plus, there's a "Quick A-Z" listing for a fast look at what we're growing this year.
A "Cool Tolerant Varieties" page, which lists those tomatoes that like the coastal climate and will grow late into the year.
And a new "Tomatoes by Season" which will help you select your varieties for the longest harvest period possible.
One to a Box, please...
although I mentioned it in an earlier Newsletter, I've reiterated our
plan to grow larger-fruiting tomato varieties just one to an EarthBox.
Last year, as an experiment, and with a great desire to finally have
success with Mr. Stripey (which was my beloved Aunt Martha's favorite
tomato), I grew just one seedling in an EarthBox, and ended up with 24
gorgeous beefsteaks!! So, we're going to suggest you try your big ones
solo in the EarthBox, and perhaps the Cherries and other small fruiting
varieties two to an EarthBox.
Spring Offerings Taking Shape...
will also be offering several other new varieties in the Spring
line-up; the "Spring Veggies" page will be revised and ready to go
within the next few weeks. Eggplants and Peppers are already sown and on
their heat mats, and soon we'll be sowing many more of the amazing
Warm Season categories!
Sweet Potato Reports
Sweet Potatoes will return later in the season. Some of us did better
than others with this new addition to last Spring. Ours only grew to the
size of Fingerling Potatoes! I suspected this might happen because I
ignored our own Growing Guide (link) and tried to grow them in our
native soil, which is mostly clay. I harvested and cured them
nonetheless and have eaten a few, and they're actually very tasty! I'm
excited to try again in a few months, but this time I'll grow them in
30-gallon Smart Pots!
A couple customers answered the call for a Sweet Potato Report:
Our customer, Ceebs Bailey, took this prize with this one! She wrote on the Two Dog facebook page:
"Finally got around to harvesting my sweet potatoes today and this
is the biggest one of the bunch. Those seedlings took off and were
happy and busy during the waning days of summer. If only I had pulled
and cured them sooner,
they'd be ready for the Thanksgiving table. Funny how nature and our
customs collide like that. Thanks for the sweet potato fun, Two Dog!"
It's always fun trying something new! Ceebs grew hers in half
whiskey barrels; this gave me the idea for growing them in big Smart
Pots. We'll see how it goes next time around. Oh, and the 30-gallon
Smart Pots, which are new to us this year, will make happy homes for
your tomatoes as well!
Below: Our Customer Leslie's Beauregards had abundant vines and small fruits, but will try again this year!!
We just planted another
round of Carrots & Beets and will keep the Lettuces coming; don't
forget how fabulous they grow in this lovely cool weather! Lettuces are
continuing to sell like mad. We've got Red Salad Bowl, Astro Arugula, Romaine Trio
and a great new batch of sweet & crunchy Parris Island Cos ready,
and very shortly, we'll have two hybrid Spinach varieties: Spargo and
Renegade. Our Spargo, planted right around this time last year, lasted
until the end of June! Renegade is new to us, and it has a reputation as
one of the most warm weather tolerant varieties available...Yay! We
Leeks & Onions Returning!
Walla Onion & Lancelot Leek Seedlings will return just in time for
our Spring Sale. Our Fall Leeks are almost ready to harvest. They're so
easy! Here's a tiny video we shot on the spur on the moment showing just
how simple they are to plant.
NEWS FROM "DOS PERROS DEL SUR"...
(Otherwise known as Joaquin's Mom's garden in Argentina)
recently received these great photos from Paz (one of Alex's 4 amazing
sisters!)...she's having a great time sampling Sun Gold and Japanese
Black Trifele tomatoes, Baby Persian Cucumbers and Spanish Musica pole
beans!! These are all grown from the seeds we sent home with Joaquin
last July! Beautiful harvests (and a beautiful sister-in-law) in the
This is Paz! This is me in 1975!
What is it about gardening that makes one want
to wear a peasant blouse? LOL!
Oh, and an NRDC Update:
Since so many of you so kindly responded to our request for Letters of Recommendation
to be included in our NRDC Growing Green submission, I thought you
might like an update: I called early in January, and was told that the 4
winners would be notified by phone just a few weeks before the big
awards ceremony held in San Francisco in early April. Those not selected
will not hear anything... They want to keep the element of surprise,
because the San Francisco shindig is going to be a big anniversary
affair for NRDC, and there will be lots of press. I've put it out of my
mind - or rather, it's been temporarily crowded out as we prepare for
Spring - but absolutely we will announce any news the second we can
ascertain it!!! Still have our fingers crossed!
I think that's it for the moment. We sincerely hope you are pleased
with this year's Tomato selections. We'll see you soon, and thanks, as
Jo Anne, Alex, Jake & Lalo
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