Monday, June 28, 2010

New Crop - Mosquitos

These first four pictures were show at the 2010 TGOA/MGCA Convention.
These sedums have great color.
Pink Pearl heritage apple is a pink fleshed fruit.
Cardoons are wonderful plants and the flowers are amazing at all stages.
The 'Earthbox' peppers are looking good.
With the cold frames gone the landing is home for the fig tree and 'Earthboxs'.
This is looking like a great use for the greenhouse in summer.
Nice mature fruits.
This is why I don't snap all the suckers till I am done wrapping the stems.

Suckers come from leaf nodes and fruiting structures are at a different point.

Wow, what lots of rain will do - make the grass grow, help the tomato crop, keep the apples growing better than last season, and produce a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Nasty little buggers attack as soon as you walk into the garden. They light and bite instantaneously. Too bad for me that even if I swat them the bite site starts to swell right away. So I go for the bottle of ammonia and put some on the spot - great fix - stops the swelling and itching right away.

There is a lovely first crop of lettuce to harvest even though there is some slug damage. The daikon radishes are loving this rain and are a good harvest. We peel them and then use the vegetable peeler to make long strips for salads. The peas are ready but maybe not the sweetest I have grown so the variety (Cascadia) may not get a second chance. The dandelions (Italiko Rossa) are great and grow different from regular dandelions. These seem to be more vertical and have not flowered yet but I like them in salads and steamed with whatever vegetable we are having. A bit of Balsamic vinegar makes them. The fig tree has figs developing and the cucumbers (Manny) in the greenhouse are producing. Next year I will have to stagger the plantings, one every month, and I think I could have greenhouse cucumbers and not have any in the garden. Then I could use my trellises totally for melons

The major work after mulching the whole garden was getting rid of tomato suckers. This is a weekly job. Because the plants are grown vertically I limit them to one main stalk; sometimes cage grown plants have two leaders. The suckers and the fruiting structures on tomatoes are are different plant parts. The suckers occur in the leaf junctions and the fruiting clusters are separate on the stem. Before I wrap the stem on the strings I pinch out the suckers. I snap them but one could cut them too. I usually do this in the evening as if I do the job early in the morning, I seem to accidentally break the main stem sometimes. As a precaution, I usually snap all the suckers but the last one closest to the terminal stake, then wrap the stake and then safely break out the last sucker. I have a picture of just this problem this week.

The Gardeners of America/Men's Garden Clubs of America picked a few of the pictures I entered in their annual convention photo contest to show at their convention. One of my photos from the 2009 contest was chooses to be in their May photo in the organization's national calendar. I will include a few ( the first four this post) in the next few postings along with a short video of "Sucker Snapping".
Happy Gardening


  1. Congrats on your photos being chosen for display by the Gardeners of America. Must be very satisfying for you.

    By the way, how are those beet transplants doing? I'm still amazed that works for you.

  2. Hi Richard,
    The beets are doing fine; I should include a picture of them for next post along with the carrots. The melons and cucumbers are the tough ones this season. They are still not too happy but I hope in a week they start to move along. The zucchini squash did not mind the transplanting - they took right off.
    Happy Gardening