Greenhouse coming!

Hopefully by this time next month, I will be able to report that a 200 square-foot greenhouse has been built and contains hundreds of young plants, destined for other gardens and small farms throughout the area. More on this when I have photos to show – not just words!

That one purple sweet potato produced 31 slips, which I potted up into 5-1/2″, 2-quart pots and placed on a large heat mat. They are growing like crazy and are ready to go in the ground now, 3 months ahead of schedule! What to do, what to do.

A character flaw is once again on public display: I cannot bear to throw away healthy plants or seeds or seedlings. I am quite familiar with the laws of ecology, but seem to be unwilling to accept limitations of time, space and energy — an emotional attachment to imagined possibilities, or something like that.

Anyhow, the variety name is Stokes Purple, and it has an interesting history, which can be read about at this newspaper article:

Stokes Purple Sweet Potato

If any reader wants to give some of these a good home, drop me an email at dale@gianttomatoseeds.com and lets work something out. Offer good until June 01, 2021, at the latest. Sweet potatoes like a warm climate with well drained soil – not something I can give them right now.

Now that my non-tomato seeds are semi-organized, I’m conducting hundreds of seed germination tests on older batches of seeds in these families:

Amaryllidaceae (Alliaceae)
Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Boraginaceae
Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Lythraceae

This will be followed soon (time management is critical..) by close to 2,000 germination tests of seeds in these families:

Amaranthaceae (Chenopodiaceae)
Asparagaceae
Cucurbitaceae
Fabaceae (Leguminoseae)
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Malvaceae
Poaceae
Polygonaceae
Rosaceae
Solanaceae

It probably goes without saying that 75% of the effort with this project involves seeds in the Solanaceae family – tomatoes, peppers, etc.

With approximately 25,000 batches of seeds in inventory, it simply is not possible – logistically, financially or otherwise – for me to conduct “official” germination tests on every one of these batches every year. Not to mention, such tests would use up around 80% of my seed inventory every year, especially with tomatoes and peppers, where many batches involve only 10 to 50 seeds.

Some people have expressed concern over tomato seeds that are more than 5 years old. With the dry climate where these seeds are stored, they should be viable for at least 10-12 years. Please refer to this blog post from two years ago:

DT Seed Germination Tests and Rates

I am doing my best to replenish these older seeds and conduct current seed germination tests. If you would like more information on this effort, please drop me an email. And on the Delectation of Tomatoes Store page, this seed refund/replacement policy is published:

I will promptly replace seeds that did not germinate or did not produce true-to-type with seeds from another batch of the same or similar variety as you prefer. Or I will refund full or partial purchase price of any order at your discretion, for any reason, no questions asked. I strive for perfection but have not yet arrived…

A reminder that Delectation of Tomatoes is a one-person operation, and I offer only what I personally grow – no seed co-ops, no middleman, no reselling, no restocking from what other people have grown, no employees, just the occasional volunteer (thanks a bunch, you know who you are! 👌 ) . When I run out of seeds of a variety, it will take me up to a year to regrow and replenish my stock. But for now, running out of seeds has only been an issue with a handful of varieties – just not that many gardeners know about this endeavor.

Recently I have harvested peppers for seed saving from the plants growing under a metal halide light in the cellar, Including Aji Limon:

and Bhut Jolokia (aka Ghost Pepper):

Not very many seeds result from such a meager harvest! The cellar is just too cold for pepper plants to thrive.

I’m also still processing seeds from several squash varieties, including Beloplodnyi, an excellent, “white-fruited” zucchini-style summer squash that turns yellow when fully ripe. This one is extra early producing, listed as 36 days from seed on one website! Perhaps – if not planted in early July, as the vines grow like crazy when it’s nice and warm.

As with the nearly 2,000 other types varieties that don’t yet have their own page on the website, seeds of this variety can be ordered through this link:

DT Seed Store, Generic Ordering Page

Nearly all revenue from seeds goes towards preserving heirloom varieties from around the world, and sharing those through seedlings, fresh produce and seeds. And for the next few weeks, that means some heavy inputs into constructing a greenhouse and high tunnels — all purchases and contributions to these efforts are much appreciated!

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Supporting Delectation of Tomatoes means supporting the preservation, propagation and promotion of an amazing diversity of fruit and vegetable varieties from around the world, while also enjoying and appreciating the best that Nature has to offer. You will also be promoting your own health and supporting the local economy when you grow and share what you grow.

2 thoughts on “Greenhouse coming!

  1. Would pruning be an option, to get those sweet potatoes under control? Then you’d have even more plants to share! I’ll shut up now. They look absolutely beautiful Dale and if I didn’t live in the frozen north I’d try some myself.

    • Excellent idea Amy! From what other growers report, it seems that sweet potato vines root easily under proper conditions (warm water, frequently replaced). Lack of space and time present a challenge for me; but with some ingenuity, I could probably find a market. Until the greenhouse is complete, I really have no suitable place for growing sweet potatoes – or okra and a hundred other tropical or hot-weather types that interest me!

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