Monthly Archives: April 2011

Worms don’t like carrots

Should be the title of a children’s book, but it is the reality of our worm bin. I don’t know if it’s because carrots are a bit dry or they aren’t easy to eat. Need to find something better for them to snack on this weekend. Maybe some broccoli or artichoke leaves. It looks like they are doing okay.

You would think there would be a smell associated with the bin, but it really just smells like dirt.

Spinach and lettuce

There’s been a good amount of growth here this week. I am doing some thinning as I go. Some of the leaves look like baby spinach leaves.

Tomorrow a post about the worm bin…with pictures!


The peppers sprouted on my second try and have grown a few true leaves.

Hoping that all 4 do well, but like with the tomato plants, I just need one really good strong plant.

Radiator Charlie seeds sprouted

It’s been about a week and we have some sprouts with the Mortgage lifter tomatoes.

I started these seeds well after the roma and cherry tomato seeds. My expectations of the garden yield is low, if I only get one tomato I will be happy.

After reading about this tomato, I had to try and grow it

[Developed by M.C. Byles in the 1930s and released to SESE in 1985. A legendary tomato always in demand in the Mid-Atlantic states. The following history is based on portions of our 1985 taped interview with M.C. Byles who developed this tomato in the early 1930’s while in Logan, WV. Mr. Byles is affectionately known as “Radiator Charlie”. He earned that nickname from the radiator repair business he opened at the foot of a steep hill on which trucks would often overheat. Radiator Charlie had no formal education or plant breeding experience, yet he created this legendary tomato by cross-breeding four of the largest-fruited tomatoes he could find: ‘German Johnson’, ‘Beefsteak’, an Italian variety, and an English variety. One of the four varieties was planted in the middle of a circle. Then, using a baby’s ear syringe, he cross-pollinated the center plant with pollen from the circle of tomatoes. Next year he selected the best seedlings: he planted the best seedlings in the center and the rest in a circle around it. The pollination and selection process was repeated six more years until he had a stable variety. After Charlie developed and named this large tasty tomato, he sold plants for $1.00 each (in the 1940’s) and paid off the $6000 mortgage on his house in 6 years. Each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to buy Charlie’s seedling tomatoes.] Fruits of ‘Mortgage Lifter’ can average 2-1/2lbs and may reach 4 lbs when well grown. Plants are very productive, disease resistant, and continue to bear until frost. These large, slightly flattened, pink-red tomatoes are meaty and flavorful with few seeds. Pkt. Photo Copyright Laura Sutherland courtesy of Bill Van Doren and Laura Sutherland.

True leaves

When all the little seedling pop up they all seems to look the same at first. I like that the true leaves are starting to grow. It gives me hope that these seedlings are going to turn into plants.




I feel very proud of the fact that, other than the pansy plants that we bought for Madigan and the onion set, everything has been started from seeds.

Another lovely picture

I love taking picture of the plants. This is one of the pepper plants that didn’t sprout originally and I dumped all the pots into a pan that Madigan can dig around it. Low and behold, I leave it alone for a day or two and the seeds started sprouting.

Hard rain and wind

We had a pretty decent storm blow thru the area Friday night and Saturday. I didn’t think to cover the plants, bring them in or worry about them too much. At one point the rain was pooling up in all the containers. Madigan’s Monsanto flowers appeared to be floating. The squash are no worse for the wear.

The spinach and lettuce got knocked down a bit. I am hopeful a sunny day today will help everything perk back up.

Thinning of the tomato herd

I got my work space together inside to start getting the best tomato plants into their own pots. I ened up with 8 roma and 8 cherry. I am hopeful that We will end up having at least 4 good strong fruit bearing plants.

The window is full. There is no more room to start anything else. Once it heats up a little more we can plant directly outside, but until then, we have to use our indoor space.