Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! Hopefully...

Spring struck Wisconsin early this year and I've been taking advantage of the nice weather. That's part of why you guys haven't seen me in a while! I've been spending a lot of time gardening, mostly from seed. This has been somewhat tedious, but so far worthwhile. The tediousness came in with checking my seeds that were sandwiched between damp paper towels every day for weeks. The worthwhile part came in when the seeds actually grew!

I have a new book to help me with the vegetables I'm growing. As luck would have it, I found an old Barnes & Noble gift card from 2003. It fell out of this book when I opened it:

I've read through this book multiple times since 2003, but never noticed the old gift card. This may have been because the gift card was in an envelope. I was happy to find out that this ancient gift card was still good! I used it to pay for Growing Vegetables by Kim Rowney.

The gift card also paid for The Body Snatcher and Other Classic Ghost Stories.

I went into Barnes & Noble hoping to find another book of ghost stories! This book seemed an appropriate choice, given where I found the gift card. I haven't read any of these stories yet, but how could I resist that cover?

The veggie book is so detailed and I really recommend it to anyone with a garden of their own. This book would be helpful, whether you're working with one pot of plants, or a whole box garden.

I'm about to show you some of the vegetables I've been growing from seed. It turns out that I've been growing plants that belong to The Deadly Nightshade family! Sounds spooky, right? Get ready...

These little guys are the starts of my Yellow Pear Tomatoes. Yeah, that's right. Tomatoes belong to The Deadly Nightshade Family of plants! Who knew they were so Goth?

Here's the fuzzy stem of my Jung's Improved Wayahead Tomato.

This is the start of my red pepper plant, which is also in The Deadly Nightshade Family. I've grown many of these, as well as orange peppers, from the seeds of an actual pepper from the grocery store. It's amazing how many vegetables can be grown from the seeds of what we buy at the store!

If you're wondering why my little veggies are in newspaper pots, it's because I was testing how strong the seedlings were, after removing them from the damp paper towels. If you're interested in learning how to make these temporary pots, here's a really helpful tutorial:

It takes a little practice to get into the groove of newspaper pot making, but you'll find this super easy once you're used to it. By the way, you don't have to mold the newspaper around a jar. I used a juice glass and it worked fine.

One more source I want to share is:

The guy who makes these videos is so enthusiastic about plants and offers lots of great advice to gardeners!

Maybe if I pay extra close attention to his videos and really read my new book, I can grow veggies as big as these:

Not to mention the cartoon version!

Yeah, that song will be in my head for a while...


  1. Yay! Another haunter who gardens, I like to see diversity.

  2. Gone Feral ~ Oh, yes. I love being outdoors, and taking care of plants. I remember your wonderful tomatoes last year! Your Krim Tomatoes were spectacular. I just went to your blog, and I see that you're at it again. :) I can't wait to catch up with what you've been growing!

  3. Oh, "The Body Snatcher and Other Classic Ghost Stories" cover is awesome!

    Your veggie seedlings are coming along beautifully! I admire your green thumbs. As I've said in the past, I have no talent for gardening. :)

  4. Oooooo I didn't know there was a cartoon version of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!! I used to watch all these classic old horrors with my dad when I was little and I remember thinking Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was hilarious along with those other lame B movies like The Blob and Them! for example. I'm definitely going to have to watch that cartoon version!

    Our garden needs a whole new renovation which won't be until we have got some other rooms in the house sorted so there won't be any vegetable growing for me just yet but I would really love to grow some pumpkins!

    Those books look awesome - especially the cover to The Body Snatcher! I'm going to have to look that one up! I'm really drawn to skeletons at the moment and am REALLY wanting to get a life sized one to sit in the corner of my bedroom! They're bloody expensive though! I will find one within my price range some day! xxx

  5. I'm not much of a plant person, but that is an awesome cover on the ghost book! Might have to see if I can find it myself.

  6. I just looked into The Body Snatchers book and it looks awesome! It's not available to buy via or any other UK book website so I'm assuming it's just in America BUT I can get it from Barnes & Noble for around £13 including shipping! I think I'm going to order it tomorrow :D Eeek! Thanks for showing us the book Justine! xxx

  7. I have seen a trend with haunters. They usually garden and usually have cats.Hmmm... I hope your garden does well!

  8. nice!!! my nightshades are doing awful this year, but my brassicas are incredibly happy.

  9. I would love to start gardening. I have to wait until we buy another home, but until then maybe I can rig up a mobile garden. Isn't it sweet to find a hidden treasure like an old gift card which is still good? I hid a hundred dollar bill in my wallet one time and was thrilled when I found it months later.

  10. I may have to look into that veggie book. This is the first year I'm attempting a vegetable garden. I've got a few tomato plants, cucumbers, zucchini and strawberrys.
    What a great idea with the newspaper seed cups!

  11. Little Gothic Horrors ~ Yeah, I love that book cover! Part of the cover is slightly raised and glossy too. Even if I never open it, it will look cool sitting around. :)

    Thanks! Gardening has taken a lot of time and energy from me this year. I'm still enjoying the process, though. I'm sure you could grow some plants! I'm kind of curious about the kind of seeds available in Australia, because of our pumpkin discussion. You know what seeds shot out really fast for me this year? The Dwarf Zinnia seeds. So if you can find some of those, give them a shot. I bet you could have luck with them!

    Vain Glory Sinner ~ Watching that Killer Tomatoes cartoon intro, brought so many memories back. :) It was a really goofy show. Haha! Yeah, "The Blob" and "Them!" are along those same lines. :) I was thinking of "Them!" the other day, actually. I think what reminded me of the movie was seeing a HUGE bumble bee flying around.

    I can't decide if I want to grow pumpkins or not. I ended up with a lot of seeds laying around after the pumpkins rotted. I think some animal carried most of those off, but I might try what's left...

    Skeletons do seem really fashionable lately. Are you saying you want a life sized plastic one to sit in your room? Are you thinking of a skeleton from a store, or the kind that might be in a medical classroom? Or are you thinking of a real one? (Good luck getting that) I don't even know the price range for skeletons!

    That will be so cool if you end up getting "The Body Snatchers" book! I've always dreamed of having an internet book club. I'm afraid that my in-person book clubs have never worked out for one reason or another. We should discuss some of the stories as we both read along!

  12. Dex ~ As I just said to Sandy, we should all discuss these stories as we read along! That is, if you end up buying the book. I can't exactly recommend it beyond its cover, yet. :)

    You're not much of a plant person? As in, any plants? Or just vegetables?

    The Frog Queen ~ Yeah! I like (good) surprises too. :) I went through a spree of spending all my gift cards a few years ago. I just didn't want any of them to expire. Somehow, one was missed!

    wicKED ~ Thanks! :) So, I take it that you're into gardening as well? I already know where you stand on cats. :) The other day, I was thinking about how you can predict a person's interests, based on one thing they're interested in. For example, I find that people who have my Victorian clothing obsession on Pinterest, also tend to have my Sherlock Holmes obsession. Same thing with pirates and Halloween. There's probably some psychology there. :)

    Pensive ~ Look at you with your gardening lingo! What's going wrong with your nightshades? Glad to her your brassicas are doing well, anyway! I kept seeing the word "brassieres" as I read your comment. :) I must be more used to seeing that word than brassicas!

    Adsila ~ I think you'd find my new vegetable book helpful, because part of it focuses on gardening with limited space. The "Growing Your Greens" YouTube channel I listed offers a lot of suggestions as well.

    A $100 bill beats my $15 gift card! :) I bet you were excited to find that surprise.

    Lady Bethezda ~ It sounds like we might have a lot to talk about veggie-wise! I have a bush pickle plant going too. So I might be able to relate to your cucumber plant process. Sounds like you have a lot of space to work with! I say that because you're growing so many vine plants. Let me know what you think of the newspaper pots! Once I got going, I had a fun time making those.

  13. I'm going to have to find those horror books for review on my blog. :D

    Since tomatoes are part of the Deadly Nightshade family, I guess "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" wasn't so far off in the title, eh? LOL

  14. Michael ~ Cool! If you do find either of these ghost story books, let me know. You can join in on the discussion I plan to have with anyone else who has read these stories. I might get a book club going yet. :)

    I guess they were kind of on track with the whole Deadly Nightshade/Killer Tomatoes theme. I have a feeling that the creators of that movie didn't exactly study up on the scientific details of tomatoes, though...

  15. I need this book, if only for the cover. I read Stevenson's Body Snatchers story, but barely remember anything about it.

  16. Guillaume ~ That's exactly how I felt! If you end up finding a copy of this for yourself, let me know. After reading a few of my blog comments, I feel like the person who compiled these stories owes me a commission or something. :)

  17. Thanx for the link on paper pot making! Hope all your veggie plants do well. It's so much fun to see one's babies grow and flourish!
    Keep us posted on the tomatoes progress - especially if they show any signs of being rabid! :0)
    Surprises like the 'gift card find' are such a bonus! Halloween isn't all that far off......

  18. Jeanne ~ Hi there! Glad you found the paper pot tutorial helpful. Let me know if you end up trying that technique. It's funny what you said about babies, because I've been calling these "my little plant babies" since starting this process. :)

    Haha! Yeah, if my tomatoes get so big that they're rolling down the road, causing havoc, you'll be the first to know!

    It's not often that I find gift cards, especially in books I've been reading for years. :)

    Yes, Halloween will be here any day! Are you already preparing?

  19. I thought I'd let you know I did end up ordering the Body Snatchers book in the end! It hasn't arrived yet but it'll probably turn up at the end of next week so YAY! :D

    I also got two of the Barnes & Noble leatherbound classics because they were just beautiful! I got Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Grey. I already have a copy of Dracula but the cover to the B&N one was just too beautiful to pass over - I could totally imagine it sitting on an old dusty shelf in Dracula's castle! There are so many ridiculously beautiful leatherbound books.. it was SO hard to chose!

    The good thing is I discovered that the UK don't charge any tax or customs on books coming into this country so I'm definitely going to order a few more of them in the future.. my Christmas list will be jam packed with them! xxx

  20. Vain Glory Sinner ~ Cool! I'm glad you were able to get yourself a copy too! I look forward to discussing the ghost stories with you. :)

    I saw those leatherbound books at Barnes & Noble. I noticed how intricate the cover art was! There were some beautiful borders on those as I recall. I've read Dracula and really enjoyed it, but I've never read Dorian Grey. I know the basic premise of the story, though.

    Hey, that's cool that you didn't have to pay any taxes on the books! Are there any Barnes & Nobel stores around where you are? I don't think I've ever ordered from their web site, but I'm sure there's an even bigger selection on there than in the stores!

  21. After last year's pathetic crop of pumpkins, I've given them the prime spot in my garden this year. If I get a good crop, I'll post pics on my site.

    I also built some 6 ft. tomato towers this year. I get a little obsessed with my garden--too bad it only lasts 4 months. Oh well, that leaves 8 months to obsess about horror.

    May your garden flourish.

  22. Marvin ~ Thanks so much for your nice comment! I hope your garden flourishes as well. :)

    I'd love to see some pumpkin photos! I didn't grow any vine plants since they take up so much room. How many pumpkins did you plant?

    I plan to post some photos of my growing vegetables soon. I just harvested and ate some of the radishes and lettuce already!

    Good for you for building those tomato towers! Did you make them out of wood or metal? I'm completely obsessed too! I'm working with the same seasonal changes that you are. People here joke about how we make the most out of our summer weather, since we don't have much of it!

  23. Justine,

    I planted 3 pumpkins this year, one of which is supposed to be a giant variety. My first year here, I harvested 17 pumpkins from 4 plants. Last year I got 3 pumpkins from 3 plants. Ouch.

    The tomato towers are wooden. I found the instructions online and sort of followed them. I got a cheap can of mistint paint from the hardware store to give them a little added protection from the elements.

    As for the length of our summers, my favorite joke is: I hope Summer falls on a weekend this year.

  24. Marvin ~ Wow, 17 pumpkins from four plants was a great harvest! Hey, at least you got three last year. Those are still better results than a lot of people get!

    Oh, I'd like to see what kind of tomato towers you built. If you ever photograph them, please send me some pics. Oh, I love the mistint bargains! I've found some great little cans of paint for only 50 cents that way.

    Haha! Good one. Well, we get a little more than a weekend of Summer in Wisconsin, but we still don't get enough! :)