Salsa Lovers Seed Collection
Tomatoes are tender plants and are very susceptible to frost damage. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Sow 2-3 seeds in 1x1 inch cells and thin to 1 plant after germination. Cover seed with 1⁄4 inches soil and provide a constant soil temperature of 21-26 degrees C. Once plants are up, a growing light is necessary or seedlings will become tall and spindly. After plants develop 1-2 sets of true leaves, transplant into 3 inches jiffy pots. Use a water soluble fertilizer every two weeks starting at half strength and increasing to full strength over 6 weeks. Seedlings benefit from waterings with Epsom salts, use 1 Tbsp of Epsom salts per gallon. Transplant after all danger of frost has passed. When transplanting, space 24-36 inches apart with rows at least 36-48 inches apart.
Gradually adjust your plants to outside conditions over a period of a week or two. First place them outside on a warm, calm day in the shade for a few hours. Work up to more sun, wind, and cooler temperatures and finally leave out overnight. Permanently place or plant them outside after your last spring frost date. Check moisture levels everyday, and water when neccesary. Continue to fertilize throughout the season. Watch out for the usual insect pests: whiteflies, aphids, thrips, and spider mites.
Planting Peppers: Sow seeds thinly 1⁄2-1 inch deep, in rows spaced 8-12 inches apart. Soil temperature should be 18-24 degrees C for optimal germination. Thin seedlings1 inch apart for greens and 3 inches apart for summer use of roots. Plant every two weeks, starting as early as soil can be worked until late June. Growing: Choose a full sun location. Beets require a light, well-drained, cool soil with pH between 6.5 and 6.8. Compost or well-rotted manure along with pure wood ashes, as a supply of additional potassium, should be mixed well into the soil prior to planting. Applying Boron after 4-6 weeks of growth will prevent internal browning, particularly in dry seasons. Keep well-watered as drought will result in tough or woody roots.
Planting Oregano: Sow seeds 1⁄8 inch deep indoors in early spring. Keep at a temperature of 70 degrees F. Plant outside when seedlings are 3 inches tall, in clumps; do not overwater. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Growing: Harvest just before the plants are in full flower. Cut stems with flower heads attached and hang upside down in an airy, cool place.
Planting Cilantro: Sow seeds directly in the garden 1⁄2 inch deep and 5 - 8 inches apart after all danger of frost has passed. Does not transplant well. Growing: Weeding or mulching coriander is important early in the season. Don’t overfertilize; too much nitrogen in the soil produces a less flavourful plant. Harvest coriander as soon as the leaves and flowers turn brown and before the seeds begin to scatter. Cut the whole plant and hang to dry. Seeds should be dried and then stored in a sealed jar. When harvesting fresh leaves cut only the small immature leaves for best flavour. Dried leaves store poorly, but can be frozen.