May 2nd

My Siberian tomatoes are coming along. I am very impressed with the Amateur’s Dream plant. If the tomatoes from this plant are any good, it will surely become one of my standards. This plant is at least twice as big as the biggest of the rest:

It has blooms already. All I need now is for some pollinators to do their thing.

The potatoes in the bags are doing ok. If you grow potatoes in a bag, make sure you give the bag some structure, like chicken wire, otherwise, the bag is hard to work with. Also, wherever you put the bag at first, that’s where it stays because if you try to move it once the potatoes have rooted, you risk disturbing the plants. The potato plants in the bag that I did move, are smaller than the others. Here is my best bag of the three:

I am also growing potatoes in tubs. Here’s what one of the tubs looks like now:

My pepper plants are not growing much but they are not dying either. In this tub, California Wonder, Red Bell Pepper, Pasilla, and Padron:

My purple onions from sets and my garlic are doing great. I bought both at a hardware store (Sutherland’s). The bags they came in did not say what variety they were:

Tin Tin lettuce. I failed to thin when they were young and now it has been a mess trying to get them to a single head. I will be planting a new set tomorrow morning and this time I will do a better job. I may make a home-made seed strip using flour and water as a binder and newspaper strips. I think my local newspaper is printed with soy ink, at least the black and white sections.

I planted corn, squash, giant kale, and more peas (Mr. Big).

I got some coffee grounds from Starbucks on Thursday and so I am ready to plant the new blueberry bush but I did not have time today due to my wife’s friend coming to town and the subsequent visiting and merry-making. I hope I get to put the bush in the ground tomorrow.

Robust tomato plants

So far, this Market Miracle tomato plant has lived despite my neglect. I decided to put the plant outside because I believed we were in for a week’s worth of above-freezing temperatures but I was wrong. This plant, along with a Brandywine tomato plant, has lived through at least 3 nights of sub-freezing and windy conditions. I expected them to be dead when I came home from work today but they were still alive so I brought them into the house for a well deserved break.

They’re off!

I finally put my Market Miracle tomato plant in one of the home-made self-watering containers (SWC) I made out of 4 gallon plastic buckets.
Although I mounted an intensive campaign with restaurants around town, I could never get any 5 gallon buckets. 4 gallon buckets however, were plentiful. Since I grew a Brandywine tomato plant in a smaller container last year, I figured a 4 gallon bucket would suffice for my Market Miracle.
This is not the only tomato plant I have but it is the first one that germinated.
One nice thing about the 4 gallon bucket is that even when full of wet dirt and water, it is light enough to move. My plan is to put it outside when the temperature gets over 40 and bring it inside when it drops below that, at least until the plant has hardened, and then I will only bring it inside at night when the temperatures drop below freezing.
I put one of my Brandywine tomato plants in another SWC just like the one on the picture yesterday as well. In fact, I have enough 4 gallon buckets for 3 more plants for a total of 5. I have two 5 gallon buckets that I bought last year on sale and they will hold another one of my Russian tomatos. I have a number of 18 gallon totes that will become SWC for my peppers, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, etc.
I am really looking forward to this growing season. Last year was terrible with hail storm after hail storm. Spring in Kansas can be really unpredictable so I am hoping that the movable containers will help.