Wind-blown Sunday

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.

Expensive 35 gallon barrel at the ready

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, Jalapeno 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.

Growing room

AMATEUR’S DREAM

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.

Amateur's Dream ready to go!

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!

World Conquest and Domination!

THE PILE

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.

The Pile. Where dead plants go to....mmmm...die?

POTATOES

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.

Potatoes in the bag

TOMATO PROFILE

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.

Brandywine before it reaches for the sky

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7 Responses to “Wind-blown Sunday”

  1. Gardener on Sherlock Street Says:

    You got your rain barrels set up!! Hope for more rain and less wind. Piles can be interesting. We’ll see how yours goes. Have a great gardening week!

  2. Princessdiva Says:

    I have been toying with the idea of a rain barrel for a while, just haven’t gotten the nerve to mention it to the ole hubby until he walked by the ‘puter a minute ago. Maybe I’ll get to that this summer. I hear the Brandywine is a good variety too. We did some greenhouse gardening this winter for the first time–we grew 6 different varieties in there–it was fun to try something different than the same old stuff. If you make salsa, you must try Big Mama paste tomatoes–FABULOUS!! I would have to check my seed packet to remember where I ordered it, but I started some again this year–they are the biggest, meatiest tomatoes I have ever seen! Looks like spring nights are definitely on the way later this week! Hope you get lots done!

  3. yaquigrande Says:

    Gardener,
    Thank you. I need to set the second barrel soon so I can get them filled. I hope May starts more calmly than April.

    Princess,
    I love trying new varieties. I will Google that variety to see where I can order some seeds.

  4. Benjamin Says:

    Love your chicken wire everywhere. This fall we got early snow–maybe you did too–so the rabbits had only shrubs and trees to forage. My new shrubs and trees. I frantically spent $100s of dollars and put wire around a dozen shrubs, saving most of them. Last week I went and put wire around the bottom of post of the wood and chain link fencing around my yard hoping for a wider barrier. I know. I’m naive.

  5. Paul Says:

    Hi Everyone. My experience with growing has been an onion in the refrigerator and “growing old”, so I need some help here. Landlord talked me into growing some tomatoes. Bought 6 little guys for $1.99 and figured I’d screw up, but could handle the financial loss. Well, to my surprise, they are actually growing. Biggest about a foot tall at this point and looking very good. Unfortunately, we had a hell of a wind storm within the last week and when I came out the next day, 3 of the much smaller plants were at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Dug up hoping I would not cut into roots. If I did, it was minimal. Dug new holes and got them upright with stakes. Now I see that a few of the branches on these 3 plants are limp and seemingly lifeless although still sporting green leaves (at least today). My question – Will these branches recover or should I prune them off? The plants would still have what looks like healthy branches.

    Thanks for any responses.

    Paul
    pafaye@yahoo.com

    • yaquigrande Says:

      Paul, you should just prune those branches. Tomatoes are incredibly resilient, they often come back.

      • pafaye Says:

        Certainly appreciate your response. Afraid that the 2 plants I referred to shrivelled down to nothing. Cut off the short limp branches and replated the stems after cutting off the bottoms. lol. Talk about being optimistic. Would prefer to focus on the few plants that seem to be doing well. One actually has sprouted 2 flowers, although the plant is probably less than 2 feet tall which confuses me. This one and another are the largest and probably need some pruning. They talk about piching off suckers, but afraid that I’ll pinch off something that would eventually flower. You can see what a novice I truly am. Live on Long Island. Don’t suppose you could stop by? lol


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