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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tomatoes in December and a Primrose Bonanza

Through thorough insulation and the use of a small propane heater on nights that go below 30 degrees, we have been successful in maintaining growth in our mint, parsley and tomato beds, as well as some of the strawberry plants. As I worked in the greenhouse this evening I harvested a handful of cherry tomatoes from the somewhat struggling vines. Today we went shopping for some nitrogen absorbers. In other words, our fish are outstripping our vegetation. I have become familiar with the cold hardiness of primroses, mostly as I enter and leave the Provo LDS Temple where the winter plants of choice are the hardy little plants that almost seem overcome by a sharp frost or deep layer of snow, but which bounce back as soon as warmth returns, providing a green ground cover in the winter and giving a lovely floral display in early spring. Although so far I have avoided floral plants in favor of fruits, vegetables and herbs, our trout are growing and as they grow, they eat more and provide more 'plant food'. Without an adequate amount of vegetation, they will end up with too much nitrogen in their water. Cook's nursery in Orem, west of the 1600 North interchange had mostly indoor plants and poinsettias for sale, however we found some flourishing primrose plants in a cool corner of a heated greenhouse. We placed them in the rain gutters that I used for float trays in the summer. I was pleasantly surprised to pay only a little over a dollar a plant for 18 plants.

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