Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Plan for the Tomatoes, Cilantro

My idea for the tomatoes is to plant some seeds in a hanging planter and let the plants drape over the sides, sort of like the ones you may have seen in that infomercial. So I have before me a medium to large-ish size hanging planter, filled with some store-bought top soil. I basically just followed the seed instructions, planting about a dozen seeds in there a few inches apart. Hopefully I'll get some sprouts in the coming weeks.

As for the cilantro, I put a bunch of seeds in some top soil in a pot and left it by a window. I'm already imagining a big, bushy bunch of cilantro growing out! But of course, my seeds may not grow at all. =(

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cilantro Added!

I found some old cilantro seeds (AKA coriander, AKA Chinese parsley). I love cilantro and use it in a lot of food. If you make Mexican food at home and don't use cilantro, you are missing out!

I had bought these seeds years ago, as you can see..2004. I kept them stored above a radiator for four years, so it will be a small miracle if these actually grow into anything. But I will give it a try!

Starting With Tomato Seeds

I headed out to Cost Cutters (local discount store) to see if they had any heirloom tomato seeds. Heirloom seeds are, as the name implies, seeds from tomato varieties that have been passed down by small growers--some literally "discovered" in the backyards of families who have been growing the same variety for generations.

Tomatoes you buy from the store are bred to have long shelf life and an appealing appearance, but not for taste. For this reason, I wanted to avoid mainstream tomato seeds. Cost Cutters had one single heirloom variety for sale, pictured here. That's Brandywine Pink, in case it's hard to read. I can't say I've ever eaten one before, but I hope it turns out good.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tomatoes and Limited Space

With rising food costs, growing some food at home sounds like a smart idea. We all could save a little money this way. Furthermore, home growing is just plain responsible in terms of reducing the need for veggies to be trucked around the country.

But alas, my dilemma: I have a small yard that gets very little direct sunlight. Most of the yard is entirely shaded, and the rest gets hit with sun maybe four hours per day. Looking over various seed packages, I'm discouraged to see just about every type of plant requiring full sun. Oh well. My plants are just going to have to made due with less.

I decide on trying out tomatoes. I know nothing about growing tomatoes. But I do know they tend to be both pricey and tasteless at the supermarket, so hopefully I'll solve two problems at once by growing my own. This blog will chronicle my progress.