Today it begins! Time to get ready for Spring planting. If you’re wanting to grow tomatoes, eggplants and peppers yourself from seeds, you need to get them planted indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost.
In Tucson, Wilcox, Yuma, Deming and Southern Arizona, New Mexico and California along the Interstate 8/Interstate 10 corridor, that would be in mid-March, giving you just enough time to get those seeds into containers right about now. Texas panhandle and the Gulf States, first of March would be about right to get the seeds into containers, for outdoor planting near tax time.
Blue Gold Berries and Chocolate Cherries Cherry Tomatoes we have plenty of seeds available, with dozens of packets on hand for each…
Hillbilly and Sonoran Flair beefsteak tomatoes seeds are somewhat limited due to the recent three-day freeze slowing the ripening process. These are being grown outdoors, folks, and they are not some pansy hot house tomatoes.
That means a little flexibility on availability. They’re plenty healthy, just slow to ripen. Over the next weeks, both of these seeds will rapidly increase in number. At present, the Sonoran Flair only has three packets available and the Hillbilly is starting the season with only five packets available.
This is partly because of slowness to fully ripen in time for our schedule (nature has its own schedule), and partly because we have chosen to plant up a number of six-packs to have them ready for planting as soon as the frost drops off. Valentine’s Day is still the target to begin sales of live plants for those who are waiting for that.
The Desert Honeybell, our selection for Orange Bell Peppers, is in a similar place, with only six packets available presently, after getting some six-packs planted for Valentine’s Day sales. Anaheim Chilis have 11 packets ready to go after planting. Listada de Gandia striped eggplants are down to three packets with planting underway. These numbers will also be increasing rapidly as the month goes on. Temporary shortages are a real possibility, but shouldn’t be for more than a week at a time.
Patience, patience. Those big bi-color beefsteaks, colorful bells and beautiful eggplants are on the way, just have to wait another week or so before they really start coming ripe in numbers. Nobody is more anxious to get these seeds harvested than we are, after months spent nurturing them through heat, rain, ice and frost to get them to this point.
Sow seeds indoors into sterile seedling mix 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost. Plant, water lightly, and cover with plastic or a dome to keep the seeds from drying out. When the first set of true leaves has emerged, up-pot into 3-4 inch pots and place in an area with full light and cooler temperatures