Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yard work

cut the grass, not much grass left but it takes a while to cut cause I have to go around so many obstacles LOL. nap time then I'll do the clipping and plant two tomato plants...Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter. I usually plant Brandywine and Old German but decided to go with the other this year. I also need to plant some chives and some lemon balm. Still have the pink garden to put in but Hali doesn't seem interested lately. Peach tree didn't make it. No growth after the rabbits ate all the bark off. Just buds and then they died. Lots of flowers in bloom in the raised bed I planted last year. Some of them are Bee Balm,Grape Hyacinth, Beardtongue, Columbine,Danford Iris, Bistort, Wild Geramium and Bleeding Heart. The 4 Lilacs are in bloom to and the Lavender has buds on. Of course on the other hand I have the little emerald pines that the rabbits ate...thank goodness they don't like rhubarb. My plan is to finish a few things in the yard and then set up my hammock chair and read until dark. Or maybe I'll get a garden light. I wonder if they have solar lights bright enough to read by.

Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato was developed in the early 1930's by a man named M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles. Byles was a radiator repairman who, like many of his countrymen, struggled to keep his finances in order during the Great Depression. As the story goes, Radiator Charlie cross-bred the largest tomatoes he could find in his hometown of Logan, West Virginia, and sold the resulting plants for a dollar each. The profits he earned were substantial enough that he was able to pay down his mortgage with them!
Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate tomato variety, which means that the plants will grow vines and continue to grow taller as the gardening season progresses. Without pruning, the plant will continue to grow longer. To allow the plant to focus on growing higher yields of fruit, pinch the suckers on the tomato vine, and stake the plant well.
Thomas Jefferson grew Mortgage Lifter tomatoes in his extensive vegetable gardens at Monticello from 1809 until his death in 1826. Indeed, many gardeners fall in love with this tomato, growing it year after year in backyard vegetable gardens all over North America.
How to Grow Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes from Seed
Growing heirloom tomatoes from seed is not a difficult task, even for beginner vegetable gardeners. Sow Mortgage Lifter tomato seed indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Seeds should be sown in the seed starting medium of choice 1/4” deep, placed in a seed starting tray and covered with a plastic dome or plastic cling film in a warm room out of direct sunlight until seedlings emerge. Use of a heating mat designed for seed starting may be useful in cooler climates.
When the Mortgage Lifter seedlings begin to emerge, remove the plastic cover and position the tray under a fluorescent light, 1 to 2” above the seedling. As the seedlings grow, keep the light about an inch from the top of the growing leaves. Regular fluorescent shop bulbs work just fine. After the first set of true leaves appears, fertilize the seedlings weekly with a diluted solution of 20-20-20 fertilizer. Transplant the seedlings into larger pots, if necessary, to facilitate root growth.

Brandywine. While there are many stories about the Amish origins of this tomato, William Woys Weaver has documented this tomato as being introduced in January 1889 by the Philadelphia seed firm of Johnson & Stokes. Flavor is the sole reason that this Pennsylvania heirloom tomato from the nineteenth century remains available. The large pinkish fruits range in size from 10 to 24 ounces and are borne on vigorous vines. Fruits are flattened and irregular, a pinkish red. This is the true Brandywine from the famous Tomato Guru Ben Quisenberry. This outstanding large pink tomato is considered by many to be the best tasting of all.

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