Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snap That Sucker

This is the first part of the garlic crop - these flower buds are really "garlicky"
Time to take out the suckers on the tomatoes
Leaf node suckers are not the same as fruit porduction growth
Removing the suckers allows for a single stem to be encouraged

With the apple bagging done the garden again needs attention. The parsnips have all been thinned. At least two of the hills did not sprout well but because the seed is all gone I can not plant again. We have plenty of lettuce but the radish crop is done. I want to plant some of the daikon radish seed but will make hole similar to the parsnips because of the size these radishes can attain. One bed of garlic started to flower and I disbudded that crop so that the growth will go into the garlic cloves and not be squandered on seed production. The flowers are good to eat and we use them in cooking to get a jump on the garlic harvest. There are more potatoes to plant in the towers but the main job is to pinch off suckers and string up the tomato crop which has really jumped with the arrival of much warmer weather.

The tomato stakes need a top string to anchor the growing plants to. I loop the vertical strings to the bottom string that runs the length of the row and then prune off the leaf node suckers to make a single stem on the plant. The plants are then wound around the vertical string and that is tied to a top string that runs the length of the row too. I will continue to pinch off leaf node suckers as shown to encourage a single growing stem on the plant. The stem is wound around the vertical string. I find this method provides me with a good crop of tomatoes that get plenty of sun and fall clean-up of the crop is simple.This is much easier than working with caged plants.

All I am waiting for is a good rainfall and then I will mulch the tomato planting with straw and we will be on the way to a productive crop and an excellent way to manage the need for constant moisture that tomatoes require to avoid blossom end rot.

Happy Gardening

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