Thursday, March 28, 2013
Tomatoes require 5 to 7 weeks to grow a transplant. Peppers and eggplants require slightly longer, perhaps 7 to 8 weeks. Remember to allow a week longer if growing on a windowsill or under low light conditions. In a greenhouse with good light and temperature control, a shorter growing time is needed. If planning to transplant out the last week of May in Denver, the first or second week of April is a good target date for seeding.
Other typical transplants, primarily vine crops, should be seeded later. Squash, cucumber and melons require only 2 or 3 weeks to produce the small-sized transplant needed. The root system on large vines does not transplant well on these crops.
Tomato Fest out of California is a good source of heirloom tomato seeds that is not well known in Colorado. This is my source for seed of 'Azoychka', a yellow tomato that is well adapted to our area as I've written in previous posts.
'Azoychka' (see photo) produces 3 inch tomatoes with good acid to sugar balance and nice citrusy flavor notes for those who like yellow tomatoes. It is a 70 day indeterminate type that comes from Russia. This variety rated in the top ten heirlooms sold by Tomato Fest and deserves a try in your Front Range garden.
Photo credit: Planting seed to grow transplants and 'Azoychka' tomato, both Carl Wilson