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A human expedition by a dedicated team.

Seedling Follow-up 2020

Season 2020

It is with a little delay this year that I begin the traditional follow-up of seedlings... some regulars, moreover, began to be impatient! Let's hope that this new virus that the press has been talking about for a few weeks will spare us. I think that there is a lot to say about the way this information is treated but I will come back to this later. At the level of the association everything is going well, the sales of the online store have increased a lot which allowed us to invest in a new greenhouse and to acquire, among other things, a tent for the future exhibitions. The sowing started a few weeks later than last year but this was voluntary, there is no point in running... This year, back to grafting on tomatoes and eggplants thanks to the advices given by some tomatophile friends Cow Boy and Papo who allowed me to improve my skills. The pepper plants put in winter are doing very well, for Bolivian Rainbow, sown in 2017, it will be its 4th season, it has now all the characteristics of a bonsai! Tomato sowing is scheduled for February 29 for the dwarf varieties and March 18 and 26 for the other cultivars.
2020-10-03: end of the season early this year but the weather is not our ally, rain and coolness have settled and for a long time it seems... The last harvests were thin for tomatoes and peppers, peppers on their side were more generous. Already 2 greenhouses have been cleaned and the green manure sown!
2020-09-27: premature arrival of the winter without passing by the "autumn" box!... Indeed since 3 days temperature worthy of a month of December, it goes without saying that the end of season is for soon more especially as the forecasts for the days to come are hardly encouraging... Nevertheless, some nice fruits were picked including a Tuxhorn red and Yellow of more than 1,2 kilo! The cleaning of the greenhouses will begin in order to be able to sow the green manure before the cold season, thus preparing the new season to come...
2020-09-18: this summery and even scorching week has boosted the production a bit, with big fruits ripening almost at sight... Probably a last push before the end of the month which is expected to be rather cold.
2020-09-05: after a very cool week, the heat and the sun are back since 2 days... As for the tomatoes, the plants are distilling their fruits little by little. For the peppers, they are slow to turn color and we can already say that the season will be far from equaling last year's which was excellent. For the eggplants it is finished, the fruits remaining on the plants will be grained. We have to admit that only the grafted plants are looking good and still bear many fruits, for most of the others it's desolation and they are good to pull out! Another very strange season is coming to an end...
2020-08-29: the return of the freshness and of a gloomy weather sound the arrival of the autumn... The production is almost at the stop, only the grafted plants continue to produce normally, for the others, with the yellowed aspect, carry only some fruits on the upper clusters and are far from being mature. The peppers are finally starting to turn color but the harvest will be far from matching last year's excellent crop. The seed set is coming to an end, with the seeds becoming smaller as time goes by, whereas up to now they were rather larger than usual.
2020-08-22: strong decrease of the production since a few days, the intermediate clusters which burned are missing now. The first plants have been pulled out, the non-conforming ones, the determined ones at the end of their life and some that did not present any more fruit embryos or even flowers, all this in order to aerate the greenhouses and to let in as much light as possible to favour the maturation of the remaining fruits. As for the peppers, they are finally starting to color and the harvests, which were sporadic until now, will become more numerous and important.
2020-08/11: after 15/20 very intense days the production is down, phew! . It was daily about 50kg of fruits to treat per day so much to say that the graining occupied most of the days. Here are some pictures of the "big sizes", most of them obtained from grafted plants... It is already sure that next year all my plants will be grafted for a better production of course but also for a better resistance. For comparison I cultivated side by side plants in double, a grafted one another frank, and it is not necessary to be a great specialist to note the difference, healthier foliage and a much higher vigor.
2020-08/01: summery and hot week, the tomato plants suffer...on the other hand this heat wave makes the happiness of the eggplants which grow at sight! The production is at its maximum, the fruits are turning one after the other. On the other hand, the rest of the season is more problematic, mainly for tomatoes, many plants are not able to bear the heat, clusters and/or foliage are burned, despite the installation of additional shade sails.
2020-07-25: finally a summer week with night temperatures more in relation with the season. In spite of that the production is slow, the tomato plants releasing their fruits only sparingly... Some nice discoveries with old French varieties like Auch, Beaurepaire or Pierrette, if their dress is very ordinary their taste is excellent and their productivity remarkable.
2020-07-18: Cool and sunny week which does not accelerate the ripening of the fruits.... The harvest is still going slowly, with half of the cultivars still not having produced! The plants are so loaded that their growth is stopped and we are reduced to wait for the heat to come back to make things happen.
2020-07-12: barely 7°C this morning! At this rate we can expect the first frosts on August 15th ....
The thermal amplitude is important, thanks to a large sunshine the temperatures reach seasonal values during the day but the nights remain very fresh because of a persistent and sustained North wind. And that the tomatoes do not like!. They let us know it by taking a long time to ripen and still producing cat flowers. For the most part, the harvested fruits are not very beautiful and often have large corky traces on the apical part. For example Blanche Dourga on grafted plants of almost one meter not a single fruit, the flowers aborting one after the other. In addition to these disappointments, we have discovered non-conformities such as Stormin Norman, seeds coming from the breeder's site, bought at a high price, it is true that the latter is used to releasing varieties that are not definitively stabilized...
2020-07-04: the weather continues to play yo-yo, after a few days of warm weather, we are back to cooler conditions, 19°C yesterday at the best time of the day and this morning a little 7°C.... Summer is really struggling to settle down, it was better in April! Peppers and eggplants suffer the most from these thermal variations and many flowers fall, only Aubercèpe, a hardy eggplant variety, doesn't seem to suffer from these unfavorable conditions by already offering fruits, one of which weighs more than 400 grams. As for the tomatoes, the fruits take their time by turning slowly one after the other....
2020-05-15: in spite of the return of the gray and the freshness for almost a week, the plants are doing well and some fruits have already made their appearance. The hunt for the "cat flowers" is open, they are relatively numerous because of the particularly low night temperatures. The last plants have been put in the nursery which has been partially emptied of its occupants. The first tomatoes start to turn on the dwarf plants cultivated in the veranda, in a few days the tasting will be able to start...

2020-05-11: the plantations are finished and each cultivar has been connected to its string. The count gives us 265 tomato plants, 59 peppers/chillies and 26 eggplants to which we must add about 20 pot tomato plants and as many chillies, enough to keep us busy this summer... Last week's heat, excessive for the season, made the freshly planted plants suffer and in spite of maximum aeration some leaves were burned. Peppers and chillies are very early and many fruits are already present on the various plants.
2020-05-04: the installation of the plants, which began 15 days ago with the grafted plants, is practically finished. Only the nursery, still full of various plants, remains to be filled. The favorable weather, especially in terms of temperature, allowed this year a rather early planting compared to the previous seasons (almost 20 days earlier if we talk about last year). The remaining plants are waiting for the end of the confinement to be distributed to their recipients, who are getting impatient...
2020-04-19: summer weather for more than a decade! The plants take advantage of it and grow so fast that we had to put in the ground the grafts of the end of February, as they became invasive... Peppers and eggplants will also be planted progressively next week to free up space in the nursery. In anticipation of the Chavagnac-Lafayette castle's plant festival, the number of plants had been increased. Unfortunately, this event, like all the others, has been cancelled, so there will be more than 200 plants available, amateurs beware...
2020-03-31: the seedlings of the 18th had an excellent rate of emergence and nearly 600 plants have already been transplanted. The grafting has now a good success rate after a delicate beginning, the containment, the key of success, is now mastered...
2020-03-21: some news after a long silence. The current sanitary situation disturbs the daily life of everyone, the smallest things become sometimes complicated to realize but we must continue to advance with the hope that everything will return in order quickly. The first important sowings (tomatoes) were done this Wednesday and already the first sprouts could be observed. The learning of grafting continues, 3 batches of about fifty plants in total are in confinement and the first results are expected for the beginning of the week. Taking advantage of a summer sequence, the last greenhouse has been covered and grafted. The green manure was mowed in the other greenhouses and covered with a tarp to accelerate its decomposition. The first flowers (tomatoes) have appeared on the micro-dwarf plants, one of which is remarkable on the Andrina variety. Now things are going to accelerate and we will have to be imaginative to solve the problems that will arise, especially in terms of logistics, as any purchase has become impossible...
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