... germination rate on heirloom tomato seeds saved from last year's garden. I have a nice collection including a few from Mr. H and Lynn S. I tend to plant more paste type tomatoes because of their great canning abilities in making ketchup and my all time favorite .. roasted roma and garlic tomatoes, and of course canned tomatoes in their own juice. Instead of canning salsa, I can Mexican style stewed tomatoes. These jars of goodness are more versatile as they can be used for making chile .. and my favorite 'semi-fresh' salsa. No more hour upon hour of chopping hot peppers and onions. This is a much easier way to enjoy salsa year round.
This year I have planted: yellow teardrop, orange smudge, orange beef steak, Amish paste, roma, Vincent Watts (a large beefsteak type), turkey grape, brandywine .. and mortgage lifter. How do you like those names? If you cook with paste tomatoes .. the Amish variety yields HUGE well flavored fruit. My romas tend to be of average size .. so I like to plant more of the Amish paste to get more bang for the buck in my square foot tomato plot. Last year we yielded well over 200 pounds of tomatoes in a space of about 4'x12' .. not bad. The plants grew on five foot high trellises. This gave plenty of points to tie up the big heavy branches of the plants.
In our North Idaho short growing season, we have to start our plants from seeds indoors well before the average outdoor planting date usually around Mother's Day for plants that don't tolerate frost. Even then, keeping a row cover handy is a must for those occasional late spring frosts.
Looking out my window toward the garden, I can just about see dirt .. in and about the last of the snow. Gardening on a mountain .. we have even fewer hours of sunlight .. and must wait for what seems FOREVER to get out and garden. What plans do you have for your 2013 garden?