Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Time Container Gardener

Crystal, one of Red Hill General Store's employees, is trying her hand at gardening. She decided to keep it simple with a container garden and just two varieties of plants.

"Start small, learn from your mistakes, then expand."

She is hoping that this mantra and the fact that she isn't going all out her first year gardening will keep her from getting in over her head. We think she'll be just fine.

For her container, Crystal used a 17 gallon Round Wash Tub.

Her two plants of choice: Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes & Sweet Chocolate Bell Peppers.

Mortgage Lifter Tomato Starter Plants

The Mortgage Lifter Tomato plants that she got at Red Hill General Store in Hillsville, VA are an improved version of 'Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter' tomatoes. These have added disease resistance, a more uniform fruit, they are more red than pink when ripe, and produce a smaller (yet more productive) fruit at 10-14 oz. The Mortgage Lifter Tomato bears fruit until frost. For an interesting history on 'Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter' tomato visit: Tomato Geek.

Sweet Chocolate Bell Pepper Starter Plants

The Sweet Chocolate Bell Pepper is Crystal's experimental plant, while she's always loved tomatoes and definitely enjoys her share of bell peppers, she has never seen or tasted a Sweet Chocolate Bell. This is one pepper that, to Crystal, sounds too delicious to pass up trying to grow on her own.

The Sweet Chocolate Bell Pepper has a sweet flavor, a hint of spiciness, produces a 2 oz., shiny brown, block shaped bell, with 3-or-4 lobes. These peppers can also be harvest in their green stage.

Crystal drilled holes in the bottom of the tub, and put about 1-inch of gravel in the bottom before filling with potting soil. She got the tomatoes and peppers planted just as a huge rainstorm started, so she lucked out on having to water them just yet. She's a little worried that her plants are too close together, but she is going to see what happens. Stakes will come into play as the plants get bigger. And we will keep track of how she is doing and keep you updated on this beginner's container garden. We hope she has a lot of tomatoes to share!

Need ideas for tomatoes? Read: Tomato Use Ideas

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