Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tomatoes Finally

Sunflowers brighten the garden at last.
The first of the 2011 tomato crop.
Evil purslane that would cover my entire garden if I did not fight it.
This is a small plant - some stems on other plants are twice as big.
Cucumbers on the trellis and the lettuce below benefits from their shade.
Lettuce is hot summer is hard to grow that is why its under the cucumbers.
The garlic crop look ready for harvest next week.
The kayaks are ready for a float trip.

I harvested the first tomatoes for breakfast eggs today - Tomatoberry came in with a half dozen ripe salad sized fruits. I have plenty of mature green fruits that should turn soon. The weather has been tomato hot and we have had enough rain to mostly avoid watering. Remember that to avoid blossom end rot you need to make sure your plants do not go into moisture stress. That is why it is vital that you mulch your crop. Mulched plants have cool roots and you can better regulate the moisture they get. That goes for potted plants too - keep those roots cool and don't let them dry out - wilting in potted plants is a "bad thing."
The purslane is still a problem and I pulled plants again today. All those weeds go into the compost because they have trapped my garden nutrients and I want that good stuff back! The compost bin will get a new addition today, some more dirt on top of the layer of weeds and a good watering to hurry the decay along.
The cucumber crop this year has started and we are getting 3 - 6 cukes a day. (And my wife says YES we are eating them all ourselves.) I think the thinning process is working. I have been taking off the side shoots just like with the tomatoes so as to devote the growth to one main producing stem. Some of the plants are at the top of the trellis and I am getting good fruit set. I think I will try this with the watermelon and cut out the side shoots and just leave two main producing stems growing up the trellis. I have seen female flowers on the watermelon but nothing on the melon plant in the greenhouse. Whatever I choose this year for growing in that space has been bad - Telegraph Improved cucumber was terrible and this melon Savor Charentais hybrid is equally as poor - no melon set just tons of male flowers. Oh, well that's was experimentation is all about...
Also this week I finally got my kayak trailer fixed and the boats on it. A great big THANKS to my fishing buddy who has welding skills. Now maybe I can get a little fishing in along with my gardening.
Happy Gardening


  1. Your garden looks healthy. Love those cucumbers on your trellis. Nice sunflower too. And hope your garlic produces big bulbs. I got a lot of tiny bulbs this year from my garlic and can't figure out what happened. Do you give your garlic any special fertilizer regimen?

  2. Hi Richard,
    You must plant the largest toes from this years crop and cut off the flowers so that the plant sends the energy into the bulb and not flowers. No, I did not fertilize my plants so we will see what we dig next week. I will judge fair this week in Sturgeon Bay WI and there is a guy there who grows the biggest garlic I have ever seen. The county extension agent says he started with some from a European ancestor. So remember you eat the little stuff and plant the biggest ones - even if it hurts - so that next year you can have a better crop.
    Happy Gardening

  3. Hi David...
    I harvested my garlic last week and was very pleased with the crop. I planted two varieties; one produced heads just about the size of a hard ball and larger! No Kidding! We'll see what they look like after they dry. The other variety was a good average size so I would say my crop this year was successful. I'll have to weigh them when I clean them up to see what I have. I'm trying something different this year for drying. I purchased plastic chicken wire;( it has hexagons about an inch diameter). I strung a bamboo pole through the top and bottom of a three foot length and suspended it in the garage. I slipped each stem through a hole and voila' they are separated and drying upside down. If need be it is easy to cut a wedge between two holes for the thicker stems. I should have harvested the smaller variety about a week earlier though as about 1/2 of them only have 1 or 2 paper skins so they will have to be used first. Those leaves browned up faster than I thought they would.
    Veggies are coming fast and furious now and the canner is in 'go' mode!
    The crazy cat lady

  4. Hi CCL,
    Wow, sounds great and you have a good idea for drying. How does your varieties keep? Remember to plant those big ones to keep that size coming.
    Happy Gardening

  5. Did you know... that you can eat purslane? The tart flavor is truly wonderful when paired in a dish with a sweet veggie- like turnips or rutabagas, for instance. And... they have a higher concentration of omega-3's than any other leafy green! I've been dehydrating a few bunches for winter-use, the last few years.