Better Lettuce Seed Germination

Lettuce Bed

It’s getting close to the time when we should be thinking about starting our lettuce crops.  I started mine back in November in the greenhouse and am now just waiting for the soil to warm up and the growing to start.  Here’s a good article from the Mother Earth News to help you get started when the time is right.

When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors…..

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Snow is Falling

snow storm in AshevilleThe snow is falling in Asheville today. First big snow storm of the season. I’m looking out of a big picture window at delicate snowflakes falling down on our newly built greenhouse. The bird feeder is devoid of birds because they have all feasted and now sought shelter from the storm. Even the squirrels have disappeared after eating their share of the seeds.

These signs above, indicate to me that the storm is getting stronger. The weather radar tells me this too, but the animals sense this, without radar, and take shelter before it comes. Meantime, humans are still out on the roads, driving around, risking danger. I guess it’s what we humans do, maybe because we don’t know better, or maybe because we like the adventure of it. I think the animals are the wiser ones, hunkering down, so, that’s what we are doing, hunkering down, enjoying the storm from the shelter of our warm home.

As I am writing this, there are a couple of sparrows scratching in the snow below the feeder. They must have missed the initial feasting that took place before the storm got worse. I hope they can fill up and find a safe warm place to ride out the storm.

Blight Resistant Tomato Varieties – Yeah!

matts wild cherry
Matts Wild Cherry

In 2013 many of us lost much of our tomato plants to late season blight (Phytophthora infestans) because we had so much rain. Tomatoes don’t like too much water. They prefer consistent moisture. Now there are several good blight resistant tomato varieties available, some developed right here in North Carolina at North Carolina State U.

Here are three tested and proven varieties that we can plant this spring with an assurance that the blight won’t get them if it rains too much.

‘Jasper’ – a red cherry tomato
‘Mountain Magic’ – a good tasting regular sized tomato
‘Matt’s Wild Cherry – an heirloom variety that has proven itself over the years as blight resistant
‘Iron Lady’ – a small bushy fruit bearer, around 3″

If you can’t find the seed locally, they are available at &

Give these a try, and if you remember later in the season, come back to this page and let us know how your’s did this season.