Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tomato Tragedy

Copper foil as slug guards - 8 inches by 1/2 inch (about).

Put a cut in each end to keep the circle closed.
Placed around a plant this guard is supposed to repel slugs.

Bird damage on the pea vines - they get after the lettuce too!

One of the original grafted tomatoes planted out
Mulching the tomato rows with straw.
Parsley at the Paine Gardens making a great green statement.
This is really beautiful chard.
The old fashioned roses in their gardens were in full bloom.
Honeysuckle as part of the entry way into the rose garden.
Great use of time in the herb garden.

Birthday celebration and new computer on line makes for a late entry for this week. Plus the June work has really piled up.
The next set of grafted tomatoes are no more - I got home late from the Y and found the sun had cooked my small grafted plants. I had taken the darkening cloths off but did not get home in time to spray and recover them with a lighter sheet so we are on the the third set of seedlings that have just come out of the ground and we will try this grafting AGAIN. The plants in the garden are doing OK and today I tied them up as the grafts were looking good and strong.
We had a heavy rain last night so I finally got the whole garden mulched. I found straw at a construction site close to home and after calling the realtor and getting permission to take the straw, I brought home 8 bales. The straw had been sitting on a construction site all spring and with the recent rains the bales were very wet, but they worked fine for mulch around the potatoes and tomatoes.
Mulching tomatoes is key to keeping them happy and productive all summer long. No blossom end rot because of inconstant moisture. By the end of July, those tomatoes that have been water stressed will reward growers with ugly inedible fruits, but keep the same plants mulched and that problem will not happen.
Not only are slugs a problem but earwigs are too. They have wrecked the sesame seedlings and a few of the melons too. I hate using chemicals but without them I am going too loose this battle so I dusted all my young plant lightly with Sevin dust in the hopes of fending off the earwigs and giving my young plants a chance to grow and become strong enough to fend off these pests. Some apples have been damaged by birds and the peas plants are getting eaten by the birds too. I think it's English sparrows, especially young ones, on there own trying not to starve - but why my pea crop?
I have finished bagging the apples. That job took a long time this year for some reason. I don't think we have as many bags on the trees as last year but the size of the bagged fruits is better than last year and we have had good moisture at this crucial fruit forming time. A guess would be over three hundred bags, because the "Footies" box had 144 and they are all on the trees. I think I hung another 200-250 plastic bags on trees so that is an easy 300 or more. I have already found water in some bags from the rain and the drainage hole on the opposite side of the bag and a few earwigs are inside some bag. Just how those things get up the tree and into the bagged fruits is something seemingly out of fiction.
All the peppers are planted and I am experimenting with copper bands around some of the plants to see if I can keep the slugs off the plants.The pictures show the band in place now we will have to wait and see if it keep the slugs off the pepper plants. This copper was at a craft store and much cheaper than the ready made bands in the garden catalogs. I know the package cost less than $5 and the ready made bands cost more. So we will see how the home made ones work.
We went to Oshkosh, WI this past Sunday to the Paine Museum and Gardens. I have included some of the garden pictures but especially the gardens with the parsley as part of the plantings. This is such a great garden plant for edging or in this case masses of green in a very formal garden setting. This year I mixed both Italian flat leaf parsley and the curly type as the background of the flower planting by the front walk of our house. This will be a green edge for the summer annuals and a nice green edge into fall with whatever we plant after the annuals. Some of the plants will survive and be a green edge next spring. So think of parsley when you want a wide green edge.
Happy Gardening


  1. Too bad about the tomatoes. Maybe the third time will be a charm. Your roses look fantastic!

  2. Whoops. Those are Paine's roses. Look great anyway.

  3. Hi Richard,
    I only have one rose plant left in the yard - and old Queen Elizabeth plant that is happy in its location and gets little care but has lovely pink blossoms. Yes, the 3rd set of plants to graft are on their growing way so in a few weeks we can try again.
    Happy Gardening

  4. Queen Elizabeth, huh? I have about a dozen of those in my front yard. Been growing there for years. Only variety I've been able to keep alive where I am. Excellent plant.

    Happy Gardening to you, too.