Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Warmth at Last

I have had this miniature geranium for so long I can't remember and of course the name is gone too.
I make new plants every year to keep through the winter and grow on like this all summer.
The EarthBox peppers are planted, finally.
One set has sweet peppers and one set has hot.
My new little black fig is doing the figgy thing.
By sometime next week I will have to use the shade cloth on the green house to cut down, not so much on the light, but on the heat buildup.
This "tea cup" hosta is prefect for my maple bonasi and has been in this pot for 3 or 4 years.
Robin-proof white alpines.
The tomatoes will not do this by themselves like pole beans, you will have to help them.
Rub or snap out the suckers inside each leaf junction. June 28, 2010 has more pictures of snapping suckers and a video at the end of the post - take a look.
Carpet pads for the broccoli will keep the root maggots out of your plants without chemicals.
This is what's left of the old pole been variety that I am trying to save.

Hot. Nice and hot for the last few days - makes one feel that finally summer is here. The tomatoes are growing nicely and having them mulched makes them happy and me too. They were finally at a stage for snapping suckers and starting them up the strings - something that is now a weekly chore. I snap the suckers because I want only one main stem producting fruit not multiple stems making leaves and fruit as one gets with cages. Yes, you can train to two stems in a cage, but the few gardeners do that. And without care and some restricting, the tomatoes in cages go wild. Snapping suckers is easy and effective and you will not be removing fruiting spurs because, on tomatoes, suckers grow out of a leaf node and fruits are on the stem at another point. I notices that as my plants got bigger the larger suckers were occurring higher up on the plants. Little, easy to rub off, smaller suckers were lower on the stalk. I wont get any ripe fruit soon but I have flowers developing on many plants. I also tend to snap suckers late in the day as the plants are less rigid then instead of early in the morning when the cells are full of water. I do this because occasionally you might accidentally snap off the terminal stem winding the stalk around the twine and then you have to wait till another sucker starts to take over. Thus I wind and them snap, so that if I do break the top of the plant I still have suckers to take over. Unfortunately I did just that very thing with one of the grafted plants and set it back till a sucker could take over.
I have planted out the pole beans and have two more pole sets to plant; one is for my old bean variety that hopefully I can get my seed stock back with these plants. Once they get planted they will not be for harvest but I will keep all of them for seed stock. Another variety is a "Christmas Lima" bean that I want to try again. The peat potting method allows me to have the beans well along and place them at the base of the poles when the soil is warm which is what beans like.
Garlic scape's seem to be the new vegetable. Last week I talked about the harvest of them. Well this week I not only found my Master Gardener newsletter contained a recipe for a Scape Soup but Friday we went out for dinner and my Tenderloin came with a very lovely sauteed portion of garlic scape's. I sure hope you didn't throw them away. Google them for recipes and good eating.
The broccoli was put out late but it should make. I use old carpet squares to keep the root maggots out of the plants and this has been effective in the past. The carpet lasts for many season and expands as the broccoli plants grow and amazingly returns to its original shape even after the stem expands the carpet during growing.
The green house cucumber is well on its way and we should start a harvest soon. The biggest issue with this plant is keeping a water reservoir filled as the plant grows. Even with the 5 gal bucket soaked in every morning by noon the plant is thirsty. The quickest way to limit production is to put the plant under water stress - so I see that I need a bigger saucer for that plant.
The white alpine strawberries are fruiting nicely. Robins and strawberries don't mix. However my local robins have yet to figure out that my white alpines are strawberries. They know where the few red berry plants are but I have replaced most of those with whites, and I have over 36 seedling plants growing in the greenhouse for planting out as a runner-less edge in the front flower bed. Whether you get plants or grow them from seed, alpine strawberries will give you a handful of berries most of the summer and they are sure good.
Lastly, I want to wish a very 'HAPPY RETIREMENT' to Linda Blondine who retired from the Brown County UW Extension after over 36 years of helping people and answering every manner of question, especially bug ones. Everyone will miss you. We certainly wish you the very best in your new life adventure. Your answering machine rightly says - Gone Fishing!
Happy Gardening


  1. I'm really interested in the tomato tying! I'm over cages and stakes! How do you tie the bottom so as to not gird the main stem? I do believe I'll try this next year! I was thinking of training them onto a fence this year, but I like your idea much better!

  2. Hi Veggie PAK,
    There is a line at the base of the poles just like the one at the top and the support string is looped around that and then wound around the small tomato plant and tied in another loop at the top. I never tie them in a knot so that I can adjust them during the season. There are pictures of the whole procedure back in 2010 or 2009 I will check.
    Happy Gardening

  3. Hi Veggie PAK again,
    back in blog posts for June 13th of 2010 there are good pictures of this string method and even some videos of the procedure just click back to that year for more info.
    Happy Gardening