Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Taking Clues from Nature – Throwing Out the Planting Guide January 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 10:47 pm
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This has been a warmish winter.  Before Christmas, I noticed a volunteer tomato plant had sprung up in one of my Earthboxes.  I don’t get a lot of tomato volunteers, so I thought for kicks, I’d keep this one warm and see how things went.  I’m not even sure what it is, perhaps a Large Red Cherry.  After hauling it in and out of the garage and covering it during our few freezes, it has grown into a hearty plant and has been flowering for a couple of weeks.

January Tomato Plant

When I was watering this plant today, I noticed that there were two other volunteers it the same Earthbox.  In the empty pot next to it, there were 4 or 5 more, and another in the raised bed on the driveway-the bed that housed the heaviest producers last Spring.  It occurred to me that if conditions were good enough that all of these plants were coming up on their own, perhaps, I’d just help them along.  So, with cold weather expected tonight, I dug several of them up, planted them in pots, and brought them indoors.

My little volunteer army

They were all growing in awkward spots, so I’m going to put them into the raised bed on Thursday, ahead of a couple weeks of warmer weather.  I also decided, since seeds are so cheap, to experiment and sow some seeds directly into the garden.  Perhaps all of our freezes are done, perhaps not,  I can always cover the plants.  Nothing to lose, really.

In a more traditional seed starting manner, I have 5 or 6 varieties of tomatoes in a seed starting tray in the kitchen, under a light.

Seed Starting Tray

I’m tempted to build a bed solely for experiments and just toss a handful of various seeds into it, and see if each variety waited to germinate when the weather was appropriate.  I may do this too.  But, I have to save room for the corn experiment to come.  You all know how I love to grow corn.

Happy Gardening!  I’ll report back.


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