Rare & Heirloom seedlings for you this year!

Get rare heirloom plants!

The community garden needs a bit of love! Many of the plots are falling apart, the tools are bare-bones, and hose nozzles keep breaking. The city isn’t able to provide us with many extras since they are on a budget too (they aren’t able to provide us with compost or extra wood to fix the plots). We don’t have a source of revenue or funds at our disposal, so I’d like to start an annual seedling fundraiser.

Instead of getting plants from Home Depot, or even a local nursery this year, consider buying the extra seedlings I’m growing. The varieties I have aren’t even found at nurseries! I’ve separated the plants into 2 sections: vegetables that I’ve grown in the past and did well, and new varieties that I am trying this year.

I will use the money that I raise to put it back into the garden. From tools to repair materials and more. The plants will cost $5 each. I’ll accept payment when I deliver the plants sometime in April.

Leave a comment with the plants you’re interested in so I make sure to set aside the varieties you want.  I plan to open this seedling sale to the public as well, but I want to give first pick to my fellow gardeners.

 

Tomatoes that I’ve grown in the past and would recommend!

Each year I grow a few favorites and try all sorts of new ones. And each year I pick the best ones and add them to my ‘grow it again’ list. Below are 4 tomato varieties that I grow each year, these are my tried and true keepers.

Hawaiian pineapple tomato from Tomatofest#1 Favorite! Hawaiian Pineapple

These tomatoes have the best flavor of all the ones I’ve grown so far. Last year, they averaged 1 lb each and I got 25-35 tomatoes on each plant. They take a bit more time to ripen, but are well worth the weight.

 

 

Sasha Altai#2 Favorite! Sasha Altai

These tomatoes always produce well throughout the season, last year I got 115 tomatoes off one plant (3 oz each on average). Organic gardening magazine listed it as one of the top 10 best early producing tomatoes in the world! I would tend to agree, they have a great flavor with a meaty flesh. Another outstanding Russian variety from the mountains (which do very well in our climate).

Sweet Pea CurrantSweet Pea Currant

These tiny tomatoes are adorable. They are literally the size of peas, so they are really fun for salads (especially when guests come over).

 

 

Nicholayev yellow cherryNicholayev Yellow Cherry

Another Russian variety that performs well. These sweet, tasty tomatoes ripen early and produce all season long.

 

 

 New tomatoes to try this year:

I always try new tomatoes, and a lot of them! It’s the only way to find new varieties to add to the ‘grow it again’ list. Below are the ones I am trying this year.

principe borghesePrincipe Borghese – best variety for sun-dried tomatoes

70-75 days. The seeds are authentic, imported from Italy and are famous for sun drying. Small 1-2 oz. grape-shaped fruit are very dry and have few seeds. They have a rich tomato taste that is wonderful for sauces.

 

Blue Berries tomatoNEW & RARE! Blue Berries

Here’s a new, small cherry variety from Brad Gates, Wild Boar Farms. Brad Gates is known as “the tomato guy” in the bay area, having grown over a thousand varieties. “These tomatoes are very dark purple color, which means it’s super-rich in anthocyanins. Unripe, the fruits are a glowing amethyst purple. At maturity they turn deep red where the fruit was shaded; the areas that received intense sunshine are a purple so deep it’s almost black! The flavor is intensely fruity, and sugar-sweet!” Plants are very productive, yielding all season.

Large barred boar tomatoLarge Barred Boar

Another tomato from Brad Gates. This tomato grows fairly stocky and not as tall as most indeterminate varieties. Flattened beefsteak fruit are pink-brown with metallic green stripes and weigh 8-12 ounces. Very meaty pink flesh is very flavorful. One reviewer described the taste as sweet with an acidic finish.

Cour di bue Cour di Bue – Original Italian sauce tomato

These heart-shaped beefsteak type tomatoes are very meaty with few seeds. That makes them a great tomato for sauces, soups, salsas and more. One reviewer says she grows these in the Pacific Northwest and said she got her first tomato on July 8, when most of her tomatoes aren’t ready until August.

 Anana's NoireAnanas Noire

This unusual variety was developerd by a Belgium horticulturist.The multi-colored fruit (green, yellow and purple) weight about 1 – 1.5 lbs each with a heavy yield. The flavor is said to be smoky with a hint of citrus (however, reviewers were split on the flavor, some said it was amazing, other’s didn’t pick up on the smokiness and citrus).

King of SiberiaKing of Siberia

Russian varieties do very well in our cooler-summer climate. This is one of the best varieties according to Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seed company. It has a sweet, balanced, creamy flesh with few seeds.

 

Orange strawberryOrange Strawberry

Their flavor is “robust, complex and surprisingly tart for an orange variety.” They are meaty with few seeds and have one of the most perfect heart shapes of any tomato variety. The meaty flesh makes it a great sauce variety.

 

RiesentraubeTomato Riesentraube

The name means “giant bunch of grapes” in German. Massive yields of 1oz fruits. It’s said to be the most popular small tomato among seed collectors, as many enjoy the rich, full flavor most cherry varieties are missing.

 

San Marzano Heirloom Variety

A great sauce tomato with meaty flesh and few seeds. Heavy yields. A common heirloom tomato.

 

Tender Gem ZucchiniSummer squash: tender gem

50 days. Easy to pick, almost spineless. Huge yield and performs well under stressful conditions.

 

 

 

Golden ZucchiniSummer squash: golden zucchini

Golden zucchini that grow 7-8 inches and set all summer long.

 

 

 

Flowers:

Mammoth SunflowerMammoth Sunflower

I’ve grown these before and they are huge (about 10 feet tall). The heads are about 10 inches across and produce great seeds for eating (if the birds don’t get them first!)

 

Ms. Mars sunflowerMs. Mars sunflower

Dark red to lavender petals. Grows 20-30 inches tall and blooms in summer.

 

 

 

 

Skyscraper sunflowerSkyscraper sunflower

They grow up to 12 feet tall with a bunch of flowers per stalk. Each flower is about 14 inches across.

 

 

 

Evening SunEvening Sun Sunflower

These have a mahogany color, a great fall-colored sunflower. Up to 6 feet tall.

 

 

 

Tall Orange SunTall Orange Sun Sunflower

Is this not the most adorable sunflower ever? Grows 5-6 feet tall.

Blue-eye daisiesBlue-eyed daisies

A mix of lavender, pink and white daisies with blue centers. Grow 12-18 inches tall.

 

 

 

 

HERBS!

I have a lot of herb seeds. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll make sure to grow some extras.

  • Basil
  • Stevia
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro

 

  • Robert Haddad

    Vee,

    Great idea for fund raising and what a great service to our “Garden Community”.
    You could not make this any easier and we get excellent choices.

    Please sign me up for the following (wish I had a bigger plot):
    1 x Hawaiian Pineapple
    1 x Sash Altai
    1 x Blue Berries
    1 x Large Barred Boar
    1 x Golden Zucchini
    4 x Stevia
    4 x Basil

    Robert – Plot 12

    • zoopercat

      Robert! A few of the plants are ready to be transplanted. I left them in my plot (#25, in the back corner near the rose bushes on the ralston side).

      Look for the plastic tray with some plants in them (there’s dirt in the tray to keep it from falling over. There’s a hawaiian and a san marzano you can take. There is also an orange/brown pot next to it with some ziploc bags. Take one for each plant and put it in the bottom of the transplant hole. It has bone meal, blood meal, 2 aspirin tablets and 2 microfungae tablets to add good stuff to the soil. (The aspirin was proven to help ward off disease by the University of Washington extension office).

      The orange/brown pot also has some spare twine in case you need to tie them to a stake.

      I’ll have more plants soon – they just aren’t big enough yet :)

      • Organic Rusty

        Hi Vee,

        I think I goofed. I read this last message as if it were addressed to me. So, I inadvertently planted those three tomato plants in the 4H garden plot. I’m happy to pay for them, or if possible and needed, deliver them to Robert. They would need to be dug up and transplanted to his plot, but luckily tomatoes can take the abuse. Let me know. Also, what is the best way to pay you for the compost and plants? Might you take $30 in local honey in payment? I’ve more honey from my hives then cash on hand these days, but the bank is just down the road.

        Rusty

        • zoopercat

          Not a problem at all, I have plenty more at home to share with both you and Robert. They should be big enough by this weekend :)

          I would absolutely love some honey! If you are able, can you put it in a few smaller containers (like normal sized honey jars). I’d love to share it with my friends. I can drop off some spare jars if you need them, I have plenty.

          • Organic Rusty

            I have 1.1 pound jars. I can give you three to cover the compost. Where should I drop off? Garden plot? Also, any glass jars you have I can reuse if they are standard canning jars. I sterilize them and fill ‘me up again.

          • zoopercat

            You can leave them in my plot, I’m there every other day, if not every day. I don’t have standard canning jars, just old spice jars. So without sterilizing them, I guess it wouldn’t work!

          • Organic Rusty

            Hi Vee,
            Sorry for the late response of getting you the honey. With the recent rain I had not visited the garden in a few. I dropped off three 1# jars in your plot. I tried covering them best I could with a plastic tray. With the heat coming you might want to get them soon.
            Enjoy

  • Rusty Hopewell

    Hi Vee,

    Great idea. I commented on another post with my desired tomatoes, but here is my refined order with variety types. I would like to purchase the following:

    Hawaiians X2
    Sasha Altai X2
    YellowCherry X2
    Principe Borghese X2
    San Marzano X2

    I would like to caution against the Skyscraper Sunflower in a community garden plot. It may not make for good neighbors if it steals the light from adjacent plots. With that said, I’d like to get 2 for my house.

    Thanks so much for organizing,
    Rusty

    • zoopercat

      Rusty, good point on the skyscraper sunflowers. My plot is against the back fence, so that should be ok, right? Also, they sprout very well from seed, would you like me to give you the seeds, or start a couple for you? The san marzano’s haven’t sprouted yet, so I’m planting a few more (so they might be lagging a bit).

      • Rusty Hopewell

        You should be fine with the sunflowers being up against the fence. I’d imagine even a single plant in any of the plots should not be a big deal. It’s the wall of sunflowers that poses a shading issue. If you have some seeds I’d be happy to purchase them from you. I’ve some space at my house for a wall of sunflowers.

        • zoopercat

          I will leave a ziplock bag of sunflower seeds in your plot this week (likely tomorrow). No need to purchase the seeds, that packet was only $3.00. When I start the seeds, like for the tomatoes, that ends up being a lot of work. Getting 100 seedlings to sprout, xferring them to pots, taking them outside to water every day, fitting them under the grow light, etc. But a seed packet, no work at all :)

          • Organic Rusty

            If you need help with the tomato propagation and transplanting, I have a group of about eight 4H kids who could help if the timing worked for them. (You may have noticed our new garden sign that our plot is run by Belmont 4H’ers.) Let me know. Do you have a bottom heat mat? Really helps in germinating heat-loving plants.

          • zoopercat

            I have 2 heat mats and 2 LED grow lights. I have them all started right now, but if you wanted, I could hand off some seeds for the 4-H’ers to try to germinate. It isn’t too late to start them for a late april – mid-may transplant. I have some spare seed starting containers too. Just let me know!

            Most years, we transplant in May, this year has just been so unseasonably warm that I’ve seen people already put tomato plants out. But if you want a mid-may transplant date, starting now is totally fine.

    • zoopercat

      A few of the plants are ready to be transplanted. I left them in my plot (#25, in the back corner near the rose bushes on the ralston side).

      Look for the plastic tray with some plants in them (there’s dirt in the tray to keep it from falling over. There’s a hawaiian and a san marzano you can take. There is also an orange/brown pot next to it with some ziploc bags. Take one for each plant and put it in the bottom of the transplant hole. It has bone meal, blood meal, 2 aspirin tablets and 2 microfungae tablets to add good stuff to the soil. (The aspirin was proven to help ward off disease by the University of Washington extension office).

      The orange/brown pot also has some spare twine in case you need to tie them to a stake.

      I’ll have more plants soon – they just aren’t big enough yet :)