It rained yesterday. Around 4:30 pm or so we even got tiny hail briefly. Today it was sunny most of the day but very windy. Still, it was a good day to work outside.
First I set up my 35 gallon rain barrel. I bought this rain barrel some years ago before I knew better. It was terribly expensive but it has held up well. My dog ate the hose on it several times and even began chewing on the spout. I bought a second rain barrel last year but it broke due to my negligence. By the way, Lexie ate the hose on that one too. A couple of months ago I bought a 50 gallon rain barrel at Sam’s. It was reasonably priced at about $80 American dollars. We have a rain barrel maker here in the city. I keep thinking I am going to buy a rain barrel from him but it hasn’t happened yet. I still have a spot for a third barrel so maybe later this season I will buy one from him.
After getting the barrel set up, I prepared a new area for plants in my yard. I planted 10 tomato plants and put a home-made sub-irrigated container for some peppers. I planted Ancho Magnifico, Jalapeno M, Sunbright, and Mini Bell. I planted 6 plants total in the container. I normally would not have planted more than 4 in a container this size but the instruction booklet that came with my upside down pepper planter claims that if you crowd pepper plants, they produce more peppers. I don’t believe that but I will try it here. By the way, all the plants in the Upsy Turvey pepper planter were killed by the high winds.
My Amateur’s Dream tomato plant in the cage has blooms already. It’s not even May and this plant is ready to go. We are expecting a few nights in the low 40’s Fahrenheit (approx. 5 C) so even if the flowers are pollinated the plant may not set fruit. Again, this plant is proving to be my earliest performer.
BLACK BERRY…no not the phone; the plant.
While mowing, I found that the Black Berry plant has began spreading. In the blurry photo below, you are looking at a shoot from the plant about 4 feet away. I accidentally mowed another shoot that was growing about 6 feet away. My 4 year old son stepped on yet another shoot growing about 3 feet away. My neighbor’s yard is only about 10 feet away from this plant. I can see I will have to manage this!
I’ve read in a couple of other blogs about their Piles. The Pile is basically a place where all manner of dead vegetation goes. I dug a hole and promptly filled it with dead plant matter. I have a composter but I am managing that differently and more carefully than the pile. We’ll see what comes of this.
My potatoes in bags and such are growing fast. I unfolded the bags completely and filled dirt again. I will pour dirt into them one more time in a few days and then I will wait for the harvest. My early potatoes may be ready to go by the end of May. My Kennebec potatoes will take longer.
I began attempting to grow Brandywine tomatoes after reading the book The 64 Dollar Tomato by William Alexander. I successfully grew them last season. Although they are a bit too sweet for me I liked them well enough to grow them again. You can find black, red, and pink varieties of Brandywine tomatoes. I am growing red ones here. The plant is Indeterminate and will grow to over 6 feet tall. It is a potato-leaf tomato and its flowers are the type that will allow for cross breeding so if you want to save seeds from this plant you may want to isolate it to make sure you get the same tomato next season. The tomatoes are large and the plant produces well.