Tomato and Pepper Varieties Growing in 2015

Three weeks of intense planting of seeds into 288-cell plug trays, now in the early stages of potting up into 3-1/2″ trays.  Garage and basement are filling up.  Tally is at:

735 varieties of tomatoes – see list at:  DT Tomatoes 2015

210 varieties of peppers – see list at:  DT Peppers 2015

25 varieties of eggplant, tomatillos, ground cherries, etc.

7,600  = minimum number of seed planted so far.

Melons, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, etc. still to be determined.

A few pics of work in progress follow.

Some seedlings on 4-10-2015.  Note how the row of a dwarf variety stands out:

Tomato seedlings, dwarf (Bonsai) C rev

This variety is Bonsai (seeds obtained from Andrey Baranovski of Belarus) and here’s what the ripe fruits look like.

Bonsai (0.046 DT 2013) C rev

Seedlings in progress:

Seedlings 4-14-2015 B Seedlings 4-14-2015 G

Somehow, the weather of March and April have switched this year.  A massive windstorm blew in today, with sustained winds of 49 mph, and gusts as high as 92 mph recorded in the area.  Dust storm leading to virtually zero visibility, semi-trucks blown over, accidents (including fatalities), wildfires, the temperature dropped from 76° down to 35° in less than three hours, it was raining mud (very bizarre…) and it’s snowing now:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015

Next morning:  4″ and still coming down hard:

Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 D Wind and snowstorm 4-14-2015 E

Next day –

Storm produced 9″ of snow in this (West Valley) City, local ski resorts up to 42″!  Snowiest April on record – all in one day.  Average temperature for all of March was 49.7°.  Through April 15th, average has been 49.5°.  On rare occasion, procrastination can result in less negative outcomes…

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Update 4-19-2015

Heavy into potting up from 288-cell plug trays:

Seedlings 4-17-2015 B Seedlings 4-17-2015 D

up to 3-1/2″ pots:

Seedlings 4-19-2015 D

This batch is 63 trays (1,134 seedlings) in the recovery room under a 1,000-watt metal halide light.  This is only about 15% of the 7,800+ total seedlings I’ve planted this season.  Space, time, energy, $, and especially my marketing skills are all severely limited.  Still have 18 of these plug trays to pot up and time is very short, but doing what I can and getting some good help!

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Update 4-21-2015

Just finished potting up plug tray number 14, so 12 left to go – all tomatoes.  Recovery room was completely cleared out yesterday morning, but is now jam-packed again, this time with 70 trays (1,260 seedlings).

Here a few pictures of the process –

Following 3 weeks of intensive planting, here are a few of the thousands of seed packets, only 95% organized, though feels like utter chaos.  Imagine what it’s like when a seed packet is badly misfiled!  It will take a couple of days to reorganize and many weeks to update computer inventory.

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 Y

Here are the 12 plug trays of tomato seedlings (3,400 +) left to pot up:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 G

The main ingredient for potting mix:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 K Seedling Production 4-21-2015 N

Main amendment is Sustane 4-6-4; also Azomite, Redmond Sea Salt, black mineral residue, bone meal, wood ash and perlite.

Fertilizers BSeedling Production 4-22-2015 F

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 ESeedling Production 4-22-2015 I  Seedling Production 4-22-2015 GSeedling Production 4-22-2015 K

Preparing pots and trays:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 NSeedling Production 4-22-2015 O Seedling Production 4-22-2015 M

Blending customized potting mix in an old concrete mixer:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 B Seedling Production 4-22-2015 L

Potting mix in pots ready for soaking up water:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 E Seedling Production 4-21-2015 F

Rain water heated to 90° F with an aquarium heat, then a 1/2 dose of Alaska Fish Fertilizer and a tablespoon of Sea Magic dried seaweed.

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 H Seedling Production 4-21-2015 I Seedling Production 4-21-2015 T

Inventory must be done with care in advance of preparing labels and plant tags:

Seedling Production 4-22-2015 R Seedling Production 4-22-2015 S

Last tray of pepper seedlings ready for potting up:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 U

Tags and labels in preparation (someday I’ll have a thermal imaging printer so I can print right on plastic tags…):

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 R Seedling Production 4-21-2015 D

Plug extractor, dibble and work station

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 C Seedling Production 4-21-2015 A

Production 4-24-2015 AProduction 4-24-2015 B Production 4-24-2015 D  Production 4-24-2015 E Production 4-24-2015 F Production 4-24-2015 MProduction 4-24-2015 J Production 4-24-2015 L

First room full outside under shade cloth to prevent sun scald of leaves:

Seedling Production 4-21-2015 P

Seedling recovery room, round three:

Seedlings 4-19-2015 D

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Update 4-29-2015

Finally getting around to “Fall cleanup” of the high tunnel last Thursday morning:

Seedling Production 4-23-2015 A

Thursday afternoon:

Production 4-23-2015 C

Thursday evening:

Production 4-23-2015 F

Monday – seedlings getting leggy,

Seedling Production 4-27-2015 B

and round 4 in recovery room:

Seedling Production 4-27-2015 A

Today, final surge to get tomato seedlings potted up – 58 trays with potting mix (see    DT Starts page for list of ingredients) in 3-1/2″ pots, watered fish/sea/rainwater mixture, and in place ready to go:

Seedling Production 4-29-2015 A

Round 5 in recovery room:

Seedling Production 4-29-2015 E

All need to be taken upstairs and outside to make room for the final 58.

Then it’s on to cucumbers, melons and squash – and someday soon perhaps getting around to prepping my own garden plots??

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Finally, more than one week later than I had hoped, all 6,000 plus seedlings – from nearly 8,000 seeds planted and of nearly 1,000 total varieties – are potted up.  Wow, this is NOT what is meant, in the jargon of economics, as “Economy of Scale”.  Quite the opposite.

The last few seedlings:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 A

Round #6 in recovery room for a another 2-3 days, depending upon weather:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 F

Here’s the light source, a 1,000 Watt Metal Halide light:

Seedling Production 5-2-2015 C

From about 15″ or closer, intensity registers brighter than noon day sunlight on a light meter!  Really not the best choice for growing plants.  An array of 400 Watt bulbs, spaced about 4′ apart, would be better.  For anyone who might be curious, here’s a summary from a bit of research I did into light vs. energy consumption:

Another way to compare light sources is to consider efficiency, that is, lumens of light output per watt of energy consumption.  Here’s a brief overview:

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Incandescent, 100 W              14

Compact fluorescent               54

T-12 fluorescent                      60

LED                                         82

T-5 fluorescent                       104

Metal halide                            115

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Now on to the cucurbits…