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Old March 1, 2010   #1
Cecilia_MD7a
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Default OMG, it's March already - let's plan MAGTAG 2010!

With all the snow we've had here in the Mid-Atlantic, I can't believe that it's alreay March. I haven't even had time to start any seeds yet, since my DH plugged our new treadmill into the outlet where I usually plug the timer for my lights in the basement. He bought another extension cord this weekend, so it won't be long now.

I think I'm going to concentrate on the Mid-Atlantic varieties again - as you may recall, Scarab and Delmar never properly germinated. I also joined SSE (just to support them; I don't have the physical space to isolate plants and save seed). I notice that two growers are offering Maryland Large Red (from the SSE collection), and there is also a Maryland Pink (orignially from Chuck Wyatt), and a currant tomato that I'd never heard of called Tess's Land Race, which the offer got from Baker Creek seeds and says "originated from Maryland's Southern Shore" - where would that be? I know we have an Eastern and Western shore.
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Old March 1, 2010   #2
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Cecilia,

I was wondering when the kick-off posting was comming! Good to see you are ready and planning. I haven't really figured what I would do this season but I have been purchasing materials.

I am hoping to find a green-when-ripe cherry among my experiments. The Morx seeds from last may produce just such a thing if I am lucky.

Also, I believe I found a way to compress the time it takes to turn seeds into seedlings so I may not start until March 15th, even so the rate that I can transplant into cups affects the time when they are ready! The faster they start the less time I have to spend moving things in and out of the house. The problem is that I start about 600 seedlings so I need a good system.

Greg
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Old March 3, 2010   #3
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Oooh Oooh,

Someone is sending me Berkley Tye Dye Pink seeds. Maybe I will have some this year! Maybe I'll cross'm with a cherry? :-)

Greg
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Old March 8, 2010   #4
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OK, Greg so are you going to share your time-compression system, or is it a trade secret?

I finally started some seeds on Saturday - I planted lots of Scarabs and DelMars, since they never germinated last year. I hope some sprout by next weekend so I can start more varieties (I only have one heat mat).

BTW, did anybody see the March issue of Martha Stewart Living? There's an article by Barbara Damrosch about a tomato tasting that she, Martha, Tim Stark (Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer), and two NY chefs attended, which was hosted by Amy Goldman (The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table). They used printed cards to rate the varieties, but then there were only a few folks invited, so that procedure worked fine. Just like at MAGTAG, "Black Cherry" was a hit. I went online to see if I could email a letter to the editor mentioning MAGTAG, but Marthastewart.com doesn't seem to have any way to do this. Maybe Martha just doesn't want to listen to anybody's comments.

I did think it was sweet that Damrosch humbly referred to herself as "a farmer from Maine." Ya gotta love that gal.
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Old March 11, 2010   #5
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Cecelia et al,

I just planted my peppers and eggplant this morning. I will plant tomatoes tonight. How exciting!

Speedy Seedlings:

The way I am planning on speeding things up is with soil. In past years I have used fine peat for seed starter. This year I am using miracle grow seed starting soil. Also, when I switch to 16 oz cups I am using my own soil concoction instead of miracle grow potting soil. Last year I noticed a big difference in the timing of plants grown these two different ways.

Martha Stewart:

Last year I was wandering around a trailer park minding my own business and someone with a mask pulls a gun on me and asks for my wallet. Now I am no neophyte to fashion and I could tell immediatley from the sublime combination of business like yet cutting edge fashion that this was none other than Martha Stewart. At first I wanted to ask for an autograph but I didn't want to scare her so I just said nothing.

Later on that week I began to feel differently, kind of like I had been used. Now when I watch her show its not the same. I am thinking about starting a self help group for others like me.

Greg
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Old March 11, 2010   #6
Cecilia_MD7a
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Aw, c'mon Greg - at least Martha paid her debt to society. (World's most famous female jailbird?) I know of several Garden Geeks who say they never would have caught the planting fever if it hadn't been for Martha's books.

A few of my Scarabs have that "look" about them like they may actually sprout - I think I see little hairy nubs of roots ... wish me luck, since NONE of them germinated last year!
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Old March 11, 2010   #7
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Chesapeake is coming back here this year for sure. Loved them!
I am trying again with Scarab (the one I kept for myself was hideously decapitated during a rush planting). I got orange Sunray & so am planting seed from it - loved the fruit (similar to Earl of Edgecomb) & tres healthy plant. Think I have some Greater Baltimore - remember a mannerly plant in the grow bag but not so much the fruit (was getting a bit overwhelmed by late August though). Saw Maryland Large Red offered - want to know how it does. Wasn't there a tomato associated with the B & O railroad line? Magnum beefsteak ( I think that was the name - it was a Chuck Wyatt find) sort of under performed & I'll try it again some year.
Would love to hear of other MD tomatoes you run across.
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Old March 11, 2010   #8
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Cecilia,

Everything is ok now. I called her up and she said I could drive the get-away car. :-)

The truth is we all know it was just a "Process" Crime.

Greg
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Old March 11, 2010   #9
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So glad to see this thread, Cecelia!

I'm not trying anything local this year. It's adventure enough just starting from seed after my tragic experience last year; cats and tent caterpillars got every one. Why a cat would get a kick out of pulling up seedlings I don't know, but he certainly did.

I had a great time choosing -- okay, obsessing over -- what to try -- Cherokee Purple, Cuostralee, Indian Stripe, Black from Tula, Cowlick's, Berkeley Tie-Dye Heart, Noire Charbonneuse and Geante de Hutt (last two courtesy of Carolyn). Also Snow White and Haley's Purple Comet Cherry.

Greg, are you still going to grow Morx? It was fabulous.

Christine
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Old March 12, 2010   #10
Cecilia_MD7a
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Christine, Chuck's website lists a Magnum Beefsteak, with the description "80 days - Indet., Reg. leaf, This outstanding beefsteak variety is the result of several years of selection of a volunteer that appeared in Chuck's garden. Its superbly flavored fruit can be expected to well exceed a pound and production is outstanding. Disease resistance is super." No mention of the B&O railroad, maybe that was a different tomato Chuck grew that Donna couldn't identify when he passed away. At any way, Chuck's Magnum Beefsteak might be a good choice, since it is, for all practical purposes, a Mid-Atlantic variety.
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Old March 12, 2010   #11
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Christine,

This year I am growing out my Morx Seeds from last year being that it was a hybrid of White Current and Cherokee Green. I don't know who easy it would be to reproduce the hybrid this year. I have seeds from bagged flowers from 2008 but there are no gaurentees. I will try!

Perhaps, also I could create some more seed this year. Most of the reason for the cross was an effort to make a green-when-ripe cherry I could get excited about. Dr. Carolyn was suggesting Green Doctor. I supposed that would be a nice one to try. Yet another mutation of Galina I believe. Galina has mutated into Dr. Carolyn (white) which became Dr. Carolyn Pink and Green Doctor at some point.

The grow-outs should be interesting though. Always fun to mix good stuff!

Also, I just started my first tomato seeds this morning with the help of Sophia (she is the small blond in Cecilia's MAGTAG poster).

Greg
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Old March 12, 2010   #12
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Everyone's enthusiasm is infectious. Now I'm excited!

The poster looks great too, at least in miniature. When do we get to see it full-size?

C.
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