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My Benicia Vegetable Garden – Day 18

It’s been about 2-1/2 weeks since I planted my tomatoes, peppers and other summer garden veggies and so far, with one or two exceptions, things are going well.

If you read the earlier posts about my garden, you know that between myself, Richard Bortolazzo and a few other friends in Benicia, we nurtured and gave away over 400 tomato, pepper and cucumber plants, all of which we started from seeds earlier this spring.

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We put our seeds in the starter kits on President’s Day back in February, transplanted them into individual peat pots in mid-March and started distributing them to friends and co-workers in late April.

I planted mine in Earthboxes on April 28 — 10 different varieties of tomatoes, five varieties of peppers, and a few straggly cucumber plants.  I also planted some nursery-bought seedlngs: Japanese eggplant, bunching onions, a tomatilla plant and a backup 6-pack of pickling cukes. Plus I refreshed my herb garden with new basil, cilantro, Italian parsley, sage, fennel epazote, and dill.IMAG0043

So it’s now 18 days since I planted and most everything is going well.  Nine of my 10 tomato plants are very robust and pushing skyward. The 10th one — a Costoluto Genovese — was one of the strongest looking plants when I transplanted it, but it’s turned into a real weakling.

One of my tomato plants — a Sungold (cherry tomato) already has its first flowers. Most of my tomato plants are now over a foot tall. My pepper plants, which were about 3″ tall when I planted them have about doubled in size. But I think they’re waiting for warmer weather before they really take off.

My straggly little Pineapple tomato, meanwhile, which looked like it was on life-support when I planted it and seemed destined to shrivel up and die within a few days, has taken off and is now stronger and larger than my Costoluto. I’m going to give my once-strong/now-feeble Costoluto a few more days and if it doesn’t perk up, I’ll yank it and replace it with a stronger plant.IMAG0037

So far, my lone casualty is my tomatilla plant. It was strong and healthy-looking when I planted it, but within 4-5 days, it just shriveled up. Not sure what went wrong with it, as it wa’s in the same Earthbox with a variety of herbs that are all doing well.

About 4-5 days ago, I gave the tomatilla its last rites and replaced it with my last remaining Costoluto Genovese, as a backup, just in case I have to play taps for the aforementioned feeble Costoluto in the other EarthBox.

All told, I think we probably supplied 3o or more Benicia households with tomato plants. Some even made their way to other parts of Northern California. So if you live in Benicia or know someone who does, don’t be surprised if one of us comes calling with free tomatoes in another month or so.

Keep checking back…and watch my Benicia garden grow!

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