revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 05:11pm on 13/03/2011 under
The clocks go forward, and I'm reminded that if I want to use my $25 coupon in the latest Gurney's seed & nursery catalog, it's getting to be that time.

So, I'm stocking up on red raspberry canes that are supposed to be hardy at least as far south as zone 8, and planning to put the new Anne golden raspberry canes in a SHADY location this time, in hopes that the summer heat won't discourage them as much as it did the ones I planted side by side with my red raspberry canes the year I moved in here (of the 3 or 4 Anne canes which I planted, I think only one plant is still sending out new canes, the others having succumbed to one discouragement or another).

The $25 off coupon (on $50 or more worth of products, plus the $12 s&h fee) just barely manages to make the bare-root dormant raspberry canes from Gurney's more attractive than the potted plants from Hirts (since there's a hefty shipping fee on top of Hirts' very attractive low prices).

I did, however, order a few things from Hirts Gardens that I can't get from Gurney's, nor from the garden center at the nearby Home Depot (which doesn't carry any raspberries in stock, in this area): Formosa creeping raspberries (apparently a golden raspberry found creeping in fields in Taiwan) that I'm hoping may work as ground-cover in parts of my backyard, and four (count 'em, FOUR!) Sungold tomato plants for a very reasonable price.

I'd resolved to plant Sungold again this year, because last year the one Sungold I'd planted ended up producing first, best, and longest of any of the six varieties of tomato plants I tried. The yellow pear and red grape tomato plants were dead by mid-July, having produced very little. When the Cherokee purple finally produced fruit, I quickly discovered that I had to pick it all when it was green, because as soon as one of those tomatoes acquired some of that lovely purple blush, it would be half-eaten by ants and maybe the occasional rabbit and be fit for nothing but composting. The red cherry sweet 100 hung in there (mostly) to the bitter end (killing frost), but it had pretty much given up fruiting long before then.

In contrast, the Sungold plant was the first to have ripe fruit ready to pick, consistently had the most quantity of fruit to be picked, did NOT dry up and shrivel during the full heat of the summer, and still had at least a handful of fruits ripening every other day up to the point where we finally got a frost hard enough to kill it (and even then there were parts of it still green when I went to pull it out and put away the tomato towers for the winter, a week or two later).

If I happen to come across a decent-looking, cheap cherry tomato of some other variety at Home Depot later this Spring, I may plant some other variety, as well, but based on last year's experience, I'd expect that -- if I don't kill any of the Sungold plants outright -- four of those orange-yellow cherry plants should be enough to keep me in eating and even cooking tomatoes for most of the summer and fall.

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