Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jerry Baker's Great Green Book of Garden SecretsJerry Baker's Great Green Book of Garden Secrets by Jerry Baker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There were a few helpful tips and ideas in this book (although I'm not sure if coke on my plants did a whole lot...), but much of it was redundant. This book could have been fit into about 100 pages and contained just as much information, had there simply been a useful index added in the back. Instead, recipes and suggestions were repeated ad nauseam. My copy will probably be making the trek to Goodwill.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tomatoes: a Problem and Rewards

Part of one day's picking
So, I mentioned in my previous post that we have experienced an abundance of cherry tomatoes. This has been a wonderful problem to have, but part of what has caused it to come about has been the rampant growth of the tomato plants themselves.

This might not be a terribly big issue if they were simply a few plants in a raise bed in my back yard, but since they are in my front lawn, hugging the sidewalk...well, sprawling plants eating the walkway isn't a very nice way to greet the mailman everyday, or any other guests who may come by.

This left me with a problem. Because, you see, I had no real fencing apparatus besides the cages the tomatoes had already outgrown. So I had to get creative.
I stared at my garage, wondering "what in the world could I use?"
Then the connections started to happen. A curtain rod. T-Post fencing connecters. Wires from the political sign of a failed presidential candidate. Spare trapping wire. What did I have? The makings of a trellis.

It's working pretty well. We'll see if it holds up in a windstorm. I placed the curtain rod directly against one of the tomato cages and fastened it there with the T-Post wires. Then through the top of the curtain rod I ran the sign wire, which was hanging higher than the cages, so I took the trapping wire (14 gauge, I'd guess), and wired it down to the cages in three different spots. This will give the tomatoes another 2-3 feet to climb...I'm guessing by the time they're up that high production will drop off.

Amazing where a little creativity and ingenuity can get you.

And hey, best of all, Andie (my wife) has been making lot of delicious dishes with our little cherry buddies, including the tomato/olive pasta I'm enjoying here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

An Abundance of Cherries

Well, cherry tomatoes, that is.

I'll try to get pictures up sometime in the near future of a days picking. I planted 60 some tomatoes seeds at the begging of the year, February or so. Germination was darn near 100%. Well, this was far too early, and my seedlings became somewhat lanky. Shortly after our late-April move to our new home, I placed everything outside to get some natural light. What I didn't know was that we were supposed to receive a thunderstorm that night.

After 2+ inches of rain, most of my itty-bitty potted 'matoes were toast. I did manage to salvage six of them, though. In hindsight, I might be just slightly glad that I don't have 60 tomato plants, because I have no idea what we would do with that many tomatoes. I had originally planted a half and half mixture of cherries and Amish Paste. None of the Amish Paste survive, so I was left with a half dozen cherry tomato plants. The abundance has been rather delightful. Usually twice a week or so I pull off one or two quarts of the pleasurably sweet little suckers.

Maybe next year we should put in sixty, and go into business? We'll see.