Friday, April 22, 2016

Greenhouse tropicals and tomatoes

My Plumeria cutting with first leaves
Have you ever grown Plumeria (aka Frangipani)?  I did so several years ago while in Saskatchewan and got a good sized flowering plant.  I don't know what I did with it eventually, since I didn't have it for a long time.  Anyhow, I decided to try it again here, growing it from a cutting purchased online.  I got this one in October and it finally produced leaves this past week!    That is 6 months to go from an inch-wide, foot-long stick to a rooted and leafed out stick.  This one is called "Benz" and should be a nice pink and yellow.  I did have two cuttings, though the other one died of root rot.  I should have used a more airy potting mix, by adding more perlite and sand and watering less.  I did realize the problem quickly though, and left the other cutting more dry.  Success!  Now to wait for flowers.  Gardening does build patience. 
A flowering Plumeria(By Kerina yin at ms.wikipedia - Own workTransferred from ms.wikipedia, Public Domain,
Even more exciting for me is the germination of a handful of Blue Passion flower (Passiflora caerulea).  I have always had failure with germination of passion flowers in the past so I took one last try at it after reading online advice to get good fresh seed and then soak them before planting.  The recommendations were for soaking for 1 day, but I got side-tracked by life and left them to soak for 3 days.  I put them in regular potting mix and about 2-3 weeks later, got a nice bunch of seedlings!  I am pricking them out now to grow bigger, though have no idea what I am going to do with these very tall-growing tropical flowering vines.  If I get a single flower though, I will be very happy.   

 Passion flowers are the most ornate flowers I have ever seen.  It's hard to imagine such intricate designs just occurring spontaneously in nature!  They are native to South America and can grow 9 meters tall, but of course, mine will be limited to the size of the sunny bathroom in the house, or my sunroom/greenhouse. 
On the non-tropical theme, my 9 varieties of tomatoes and 2 varieties of tomatilloes are up and growing.  I am trying a few of the new compact indeterminate varieties (e.g. "Better Bush"), which produce throughout the season but do not grow tall and need staking.  These will work much better in my raised beds than the 10 foot varieties I put in last year and then had to climb into the clouds to harvest.  Those tall kinds can go in the ground this year (and risk the hazards of the crazy new puppy). 

In the front row is "Indigo Rose", which I wanted to grow after seeing other gardens with darker cherry tomatoes than my "Black Cherry".  I just had to have these anti-oxidant-filled black tomatoes (same anti-oxidants as in blueberries).  I threw in one Roma "Pomodora" just to have a few sauce tomatoes, "Black Plum" because made the sweetest dried tomatoes, some yellow pear shape for pretty salads, "Manitoba" because my mom wants a [boring] round plain red tomato, "Cherry Falls" for short but wide plants for the raised beds, "Conestoga" for tasty big hamburger slice tomatoes on tall vines...and  a few more for good measure.   

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