It's a cool, rainy Sunday in Newport News. I hope it will be good for my transplants, and that it won't be too cold for them tonight.

tomato and peppers transplanted into garden bed

Most of the tomatoes and peppers are now in their permanent places in the garden. The peppers went in on Friday (along with some onion sets), and the tomatoes, an eggplant, and some basil were transplanted Saturday. I haven't secured the bottom of the trellis yet, but I'll get that done by the time the tomatoes are tall enough to start using it.

As luck would have it, I just looked out at the bed, where a couple of robins were canoodling while a third just sat there looking on. They couldn't have gotten busy in the bed without all my new transplants in it? My husband went out to shoo them away and assess the damage. Only one broken leaf on a pepper plant. That's not too bad.

Here's a look at the plants that are now officially part of the garden.

Detail of left side of the garden bed

My garden beds are 8' x 4' and divided into square foot sections by string. The picture above is focusing on the 4' x 4' area on the left side of the bed. I'm using inspiration from Square Foot Gardening, but not following every recommendation to the letter.

Growing in this side of the bed:

  1. New Girl tomato - Described in an earlier post - This was planted in the garden April 3. It had a Wall O Water around it that I removed on Friday. New Girl is advertised as better tasting than the well-known Early Girl, with more disease resistance.
  2. Caspian Pink tomato - An heirloom from Russia (near the Caspian Sea), it has won many taste tests. It's a cooler season tomato, so it may have some problems when the weather here gets hot, but I'm giving it a chance, anyway.
  3. Paul Robeson tomato - Another Russian heirloom, this one is a 'black' tomato, which means it ripens to a darker, dusky purple color.
  4. Pink Brandymaster tomato - Another pink-ripening tomato, this one a hybrid strain of the popular heirloom, Brandywine.
  5. Lemon Thyme - I haven't used this herb for cooking yet, but it has the most wonderful lemony smell. We visited a small, nearby nursery and produce store for the first time about a week ago, and I couldn't leave it behind.
  6. California Wonder pepper - I'm growing this variety mainly for green peppers, but will likely let some ripen completely to red. It's the pepper I remember my dad buying every year for his garden.
  7. Listada De Gandia eggplant - Very pretty purple and white eggplant, that looks to be a really good size for us. It's an heirloom from Spain, described around the internet has having good flavor. Looking forward to trying my favorite no-fry, roasted eggplant parmesan with this variety.
  8. Pepperoncini pepper - Usually seen pickled in Greek salads, I'm curious to see how they taste fresh (and I plan on pickling some), and when allowed to ripen until they're red.
  9. Flavorburst pepper - I'm really looking forward to trying this bell pepper. It starts as a light green and ripens to yellow. The taste is supposed to be sweet with a hint of citrus.
  10. Orange Blaze pepper - A sweet bell pepper in what looks to be a lovely, bright orange color.
  11. Lime Basil - An herb I've never tried, but I'm looking forward to using it. It certainly smells good.


Now, the other half of the garden bed:

Detail of right side of the garden bed

  1. Ananas Noire - A bi-color red and green heirloom variety from Belgium.
  2. Country Taste tomato - A red hybrid that's supposed to have an old-fashioned tomato taste.
  3. Old Virginia tomato - Couldn't resist growing this one because of the name. It's a red heirloom, from somewhere in Virginia; some sources say southern Virginia.
  4. Stupice - Also planted April 3, it was described in an earlier post, It's an early-season heirloom tomato from the former Czechoslavakia, It produced it's first bloom a couple of days ago. Hopefully the cool nights we'll be having during the early part of this week won't damage it. It's supposed to do well in cooler temperatures.
  5. Karma bell pepper - I'm growing this one to get ripe, sweet red peppers.
  6. Lilac bell pepper - Yes, this is a purple bell pepper. If left to fully ripen, it will go from purple to red, but I plan to harvest the peppers when they're purple.
  7. Golden California Wonder pepper - No surprises here, this pepper ripens to a golden yellow.
  8. Italian Parsley from last year's garden. It's blooming and going to seed right now. I'm thinking about replacing it with a younger parsley. Parsley is a biennial, which means it flowers every other year. I want a parsley that's busy making leaves. I'll either put a younger one in another bed, or this one goes.
  9. Sweet Basil - A typical basil, started from seed gifted to me by my best friend.
  10. Early Jalapeno - A jalapeno pepper variety that sets fruit a little earlier than others.


The open squares without plants either have been or will be sown with onions, carrots, marigolds, cosmos, and another herb or two. It's so nice to see another bed start looking like a garden!