... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Still not rotten after 5 or 6 months!
These were picked green probably in October. The quality has really gone down (squishy and pale) but I'm still amazed any have lasted this long. (In the basement at room temperature)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Even more impressive storage

As impressive as the tomatoes have been, the 'Seminole' pumpkins have them beat. I harvested these around October 2017! So, after a year and several months, it's just amazing to me that they're still okay. I will admit that they're not as sweet after such extended storage time, but otherwise they're certainly acceptable for cooking. I noticed as I cut them, that a wax was noticeable along the cuts. I scratched some up with my fingernail to see how easily it might be collected. I'll bet this wax is one of the main reasons why these pumpkins stay so fresh for so long.

Even with the sugars having been used up, they seem to have full coloration (beta carotene), and should still be good dietary source of potassium and fiber.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Still have 2018 harvested tomatoes ripening in the basement.

Still have some 2018 harvested 'Yellow Pear' tomatoes ripening in the basement. They're a little pale and squishy but still impressive for having been picked green over three months ago.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Tomatoes still

Haven't blogged anything in a while, but had to show off these Yellow Pear tomatoes ripening from being picked green waaaaaay back before frost killed the plants. It's so cool to have homegrown tomatoes in January (in Maryland) even if they aren't "vine-ripened". :)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Peppers still holding on

Got the peppers out for another aphid-blasting hose shower. The seven I started with has been reduced to six. The one on the far right looks like it might also not make it. But I'll still be happy to get the five remaining ones replanted for seed production this coming summer.

First flowers of Spring 2018

The temperature got above 80 F yesterday and didn't get below 50 F. Today was a contrasting high in the lower 40's. Crazy weather!
But yesterday I saw these flowers (crocus and winter flowering jasmine) announcing that Spring will soon be here for real.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Little helpers in the war on aphids

They're not exactly controlling the aphid outbreak in a very noticeable way but every little bit helps. Not sure of the exact identification but I'm pretty sure these little braconid wasps are why I keep finding aphid "mummies" - hollowed out brown shells of aphids that have been used [eaten from inside out] by the braconid wasp larva. Ghoulish but it's all part of the web of nature and they're helping me avoid an all-out aphid epidemic.
Little Aphidius sp. (???) wasp, maybe hunting for an aphid to lay an egg on...
An aphid "mummy" 
Closer view of an aphid "mummy"

I tried to get a picture of a fungus gnat so you could see how different they are but wouldn't you know, couldn't find one! Sometimes we have so many fungus gnats that I have to keep my mouth shut to keep from eating them. Evidently my watering schedule (letting things dry out more) and using perlite as a soil covering has reduced the fungus gnat population substantially.

learn more about Aphidius sp. - parasitizing aphids