15 April 2018

Tomatoes and Peppers Oh My

Lisa Merrell
Tomato Man's Daugher
Tomato and pepper plants are everywhere right now even though we have another below freezing night tonight. And, I bit the bait at Tomato Man's Daughter on West 91st Street in Tulsa yesterday. The trek was worth the trip because I found what I was looking for and more.

This link will take you to their Plant List for 2018.
Specifically I wanted
Tomato San Marzano
This tomato: San Marzano: "Superb flavor preferred by chefs and home gardeners all over the world. Slightly rectangular shape (3” x 1½”) holds up well on the vine and in storage. Solid meat is great for canning. This is the most famous plum tomato for making sauce." 

Tomato Black Cherry
And, I wanted one cherry type. Lisa recommended BLACK CHERRY "We fell in love with this one the first time we tasted it!!! I think you will too. The complex rich, sweet flavor is just absolutely luscious. Plants are loaded with perfectly round cherry tomatoes with the color and taste of the Cherokee Purple. Customer Penelope Carr shared “Oh my, the Black Cherry, that is a little bit of heaven on the vine! One note, though… it nearly took over Rogers County.” We call these jewels the baby Cherokee Purple."

Jimmy Nardello's 
Pepper plant varieties also abound at the nursery. I bought two of the obligatory  Sweet Banana "Elongated bullhorn. Light greenish/yellow that ripens to red. The old stand-by for frying, stuffing or salads. We eat these by the dozens in the summer."

And, for something different, Lisa recommended
Jimmy Nardello’s Italian Frying Pepper "An incredible pepper, one of the best sweet peppers you’ll ever taste. These are excellent for frying, or roasting. Green to red, long bullhorn type, up to 10” long and extremely productive, too. The Best! Jimmy Nardello of Naugatuck, CT shared his prized pepper seeds with the SSE before his death in 1983. Jimmy’s mother originally brought the seeds with her when she emigrated to the U.S. in 1887 with her husband, Giuseppe Nardello, from the small village of Ruoti in the Basilicata Region of Southern Italy." 

Today I'll prune all the lower leaves from the tomato plants and plant them in potting soil enough to cover all but their leaves on top. By planting time, all the leaf nodes will have produced root to make the plants more sturdy. Then, the peppers will go into larger pots to grow out while the soil warms enough to make them  think they are in Italy. Tomato fertilizers, soil prep and trellis construction is in our future. But the summer salads will be worth every minute of the effort.

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