Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New Guinea

Now a follow up to my April posting of the New Guinea Impatiens. Here's the 2015 post -

The impatiens grew and here are some pictures of the progression.

They are starting to outgrow the 6 packs.

Time to up plant them to bigger containers.

They couldn't wait to get outside, some starting blooming under the lights in the grow center.

Time to put them in the ground.

A few by the garage and under the Elephant Ears.

and finally at the peak of their growth.

The sun conditions in our backyard have changed dramatically. Last fall we had two soft Maple trees removed from the east side of the yard. Therefore, 2015 was the last year for the Orange Bronze Leaf New Guinea Impatiens. I will be propagating a new variety this year along with some harvested seeds. However, the Orange Bronze Leaf performed very well and may return in future years. Along with the New Guinea impatiens I grew some Walmart red impatiens. Here's those in the test garden.
These spread out and formed a nice border.
And the Elephant Ears leafed out!
I've lifted the Elephant Ear tubers and I will try and plant them again in the spring. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Verdict

Continuing with a recap of last year, I am ready to assess some of the crops that were planted. I started some cherry tomato seeds for a friend. He praised the "Mexico Midget" variety so I tried them. Here they are planted on a trellis.

If you look closely at the bottom of the plant you can see a few green tomatoes already starting.

Here's another photo later in the season.

My friend was correct about the vigorous growth habit of the Mexico Midget. Unfortunately the flavor of the fruit was lacking. There were a lot of tomatoes but they didn't taste very good. The best way to describe them is that they tasted like winter tomatoes. The kind you would buy from the grocery store in the off season. Even my friend acknowledged that he was disappointed with the end result. So the verdict from the field trial is - once and done.

Purple Beans

Six months ago my purple beans began to flower. A few days later I had beans growing on the plants. This variety is called "Amethyst", these are the beans on the plant.

As you can see the purple color really makes the beans stand out and makes for easy picking. These purple beans taste the same as green ones and they turn green when cooked. Which is nice if you have some fussy eaters.

The Marathon

The Marathon begins. It's the middle of January with low temperatures around ten below and not much to do except look out the window at the snow and cold. This is when a Minnesota winter slows down the clock. On the bright side, the seed catalogs are sprouting in the mail box. I've taken a seed inventory and placed a couple orders. Seed prices along with shipping and handling have gone up so I'm cutting back a bit on the mail purchases. This seems like a good time to catch up the blog where I left off last year.