Dear Branford Community Gardeners:

My name is Malaine and I’ve been heading up the Seedling Project for the Branford Community Gardens. I wanted to let you know that due to the generosity of Branford’s Vaiuso Farms, we have a number of seedlings available for you to purchase for $1 per 6-cell pack (these usually retail for $2 or more per 6-cell pack). We have available:

  • Diamond Eggplant – (78 days). This is a slightly tapered, dark purple eggplant, which sets its fruit in clusters. (source:
  • Genovese Basil – This is a classic variety of basil used for making pesto. (source:
    Brocade Mix French Marigold – These are a mixture of ruffled, double flowers in rust, yellow, orange, red and bi-colors on a 10″ plant. (source:
  • Sparky Mix French Marigold – These are a mixture of double flowers in yellow, gold, orange, and red on 10″-12″ plants. The leaves are smoother than those of Brocade Mix. (source:
  • King of the North Pepper – This is a bell pepper that turns red when ripe and is supposed to be good for northern gardens, if it’s a little cool outside. (limited quantities) (source:
  • Early Jalapeno Hot Pepper – (75 days). This produces a hot, hot 3×1″ sausage-shaped blunt fruit. (source:
  • Windsor Broccoli – (75 days). This is one of the earlier broccoli varieties, which should produce a 6-7″ blue-green head and is supposed to be able to tolerate cold and heat (at least to some degree). (source:
  • Sungold Cherry Tomato – (57 days). This is an early, apricot-colored cherry tomato. I think it’s like eating tomato candy when I eat it. Yum! The fruits do crack though after a rain, so it’s good to pick the ripe ones before rain. But the plant just keeps on going all summer long… (source: (limited quantities, but to be honest, you probably only need 1-2 plants for a typical garden, so share a cell pack with one or two of your fellow community gardeners).
  • Cherokee Purple Tomato – (77 days). This is an heirloom that has a dusky brownish-purple skin and green shoulders. The taste is described as rich, sweet, delicious. (source:
  • Cuor di Bue Tomato -This is a pink skinned, dark red flesh ox heart shaped tomato. It is supposed to be of excellent taste for fresh eating or making a sauce. The seeds come from Italy. (source:
  • Costoluto Genovese Tomato – (75-80 days). This tomato is supposed to be vigorous and high producing with brilliant red fruit of excellent taste and texture. It has the “classic” tomato shape, kind of flattened with pronounced ribs. The seeds come from Italy. (source:
  • San Marzano “Redorta” Plum Tomato – This is a meaty, heavy-producing, large (9-10 oz) plum tomato. It prefers a soil high in phosphorous and moderate in nitrogen.

All the tomatoes listed are “indeterminate” varieties, which means that they keep producing fruit and the plant keeps growing. This is in contrast to “determinate” varieties which set all their fruit at once, then are done producing (this makes determinate good for potted tomatoes; the plants tend to remain smaller in size).

If you want to see a more detailed description of these vegetables, please check the web sources listed for each plant.
Vaiuso Farms, Inc. germinated the seeds for us, then several of us transplanted the seedlings into 6-cell packs. Vaiuso’s tended the seedlings and are now tending the transplants in their greenhouses. At their retail operation they have many other (and some of the same!) vegetable, herb and flower varieties. We at the Branford Community Garden project are very thankful to them for their generosity in tending the plants and in providing us the potting materials. I encourage you to visit their retail store on the way to Lake Saltonstall (75 Hosley Avenue–you can see the greenhouses from I-95) and to thank them for their generosity to the Community Garden Project.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the above listed plants, PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY WEDNESDAY MAY 13 so that we can set them aside for you. My email is or call 488-7946. Email is preferable, because then I have your written copy of what you want. I need your name, the variety of the vegetable/herb, and the number of cell packs you want (remember, each cell pack contains 6 plants, so if you don’t think you’ll use them all, plan on sharing with a community garden neighbor. The cost is $1 for each cell pack (6 plants).

Connie Drysdale will be sending details soon on where and when you can pick up your plants (probably in the middle of May). Although you may well see people out planting their tomatoes, eggplant and basil this glorious weekend to come, be mindful that those plants run the risk of cold damage if our weather cools down. Joe Vaiuso says to not plant the warm weather crops until after May 15 in our area (except for the broccoli, all of our offerings are considered warm weather crops), and since he’s been farming for a long time, we’ll follow his advice! Plants that are not purchased will go to a joint plant sale with Friends of Willoughby Wallace Library from 12-4 pm on May 16 and 17 as a fundraiser to benefit the Branford Community Garden project and Willoughby Wallace Library.

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions on the seedlings.

Yours in gardening,

Malaine Trecoske

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