Tonight, my daughter and her friend helped me plant herbs and additional tomatoes. These will be the last of the vegetable and herb seeds that we will start indoors, but I need to plant some flower seeds before too long.
We planted several types of herbs. This year, I’m using peat pots for the herbs because many of them have delicate roots that I fear are easily damaged when I transplant them. We planted calypso cilantro, zaatar marjoram, regular marjoram, summer savory, flatleaf (Italian) parsley, lemon basil, and sweet basil. We planted four seeds in each of two pots for all the herbs except sweet basil, which we planted in four pots.
I’ve found that calypso cilantro works better than other cilantro varieties because it is slow to “bolt” (flower and produce seed), meaning we can harvest leaves from it later in the season. Cilantro seeds are known as coriander, a useful spice but not what I intend to produce in my garden. Zaatar marjoram is from the Middle East and is supposed to have a spicier flavor than the regular marjoram, but I couldn’t get it to grow last year when I planted it for the first time. Using peat pots may help me this year. I really like the flavor of the regular or “sweet” marjoram fresh from the garden.
We planted early tomatoes about four weeks ago. Those plants will go into the garden fairly early and run the risk of a late frost in return for (hopefully) some early fruit. Now, it is time to plant the other, later crop tomatoes. The tomato seeds were planted in medium sized pots with five seeds per pot. We planted four varieties of paste tomatoes: viva italia, health kick, agro, and margherita. We also planted a slicing tomato that was selected by my mother — she found it growing in her compost bin one fall, kept it in a pot all winter, and transplanted it into her garden the next spring. It produced large, tasty fruit on a plant that seemed immune to diseases. We planted seeds from that plant, as well as seeds saved from subsequent generations by my brother and myself. Unfortunately, I haven’t found them to be as disease resistant as my mother did, perhaps because of the climate here in Pennsylvania.
Here are all the seedlings (on the right) and newly planted pots (on the left):