Happy Mother’s Day!

All the mothers in my life woke up to, what else…rain. Sigh!

And if you bought your mom one of these upside-down tomato planters (hey, you never know, some moms may want one 🙂 ) here’s something they don’t tell you on the commercial: The tomato plant will want to grow UP.
This is a problem because, as the plant gets bigger and produces fruit, the weight of the tomatoes may break the plant. This was actually reported by some acquaintances of mine who tried this planter a couple of years ago. I don’t know if this happens to all varieties of tomatoes. It is happening to the Jet Star growing in my upside-down planter. I think putting a bamboo stake and training the plant when it is young may solve the problem.

The tomatoes in my containers are finally getting taller. I thought they may not grow anymore since I started them so early and left them in their small pots for so long but they are showing vertical growth at last. Some of them are bearing fruit now.

Because of all the rain we’ve gotten lately, I am growing small mushroom forests on some of my containers:
Mushroom Forest
The Tom Thumb and Tin Tin lettuce are doing ok in the square-foot-gardening beds


And look at the pretty squash flower! This plant won’t survive unfortunately as it has been attacked by some borer. I would show you the beast but I sliced it when I extracted it from the stem of the plant and it just looked like goo afterward. I may have killed the plant as well, although the leaves are not droopy anymore.

Flower six packs were on sale so I picked a few.

The largest of my potato plants is budding. I can’t imagine that there are potatoes in there already so I am going to let it sit for a while longer.

Here is my 3 year old at breakfast. Later, he will go and dig in the yard for the sheer pleasure of it and I will dig alongside him (for the sheer pleasure of it).
My 5 year old was unavailable for a photo shoot.
Also, the sweet corn is as high as a cricket’s eye, the giant sunflowers are all up, the giant kale has sprouted, black bean seedlings are making their appearance as are the sweet peas. I planted green beans and more radishes. I harvested and ate all my radishes except for a few that just did not grow.

Progress in the garden, such as it is

In my ongoing quest to water the plants efficiently and easily, I found these terracotta spikes. They are no Ollas but the principle is similar. These spikes come with a plastic adapter where you screw a two litter plastic bottle. We’ll see how they do.

I finally built a simple sieve to get the river pebbles out of the flower bed upfront. It is nothing fancy but it will do the job.

Also, I planted 10 Irish Eyes sunflowers in a spot on the front that was bare. When I dug in to amend the soil, I found that the original owner of the house had put bricks down to form a small terrace. I can imagine she put potted flowers on there.

So far, the only blooming flowers in my yard are the wild flowers. This one blankets the lawns with magenta and has been blooming now for about three weeks. I wish I knew the name of it. I also have tiny blue flowers with four petals and tiny yellow flowers from small clumps of clover.

Here’s a picture of the upside-down tomato. There are a lot of posts out in the blogosphere about the home-made upside-down planters made with two litter bottles. I personally think that those don’t hold enough dirt for a tomato plant. In fact, the store-bought upside-down planters are just take-offs on the old upside-down planters people made with 5 gallon buckets. If I decide to make my own upside-down planters, I will use 5 gallon buckets.

I sowed my cucumbers in a self-watering container and I sowed the Hollyhock seeds I got from one of my Facebook friends on a nice sunny spot in my yard.
Also, I made a 3×3 bed for my strawberries and put the strawberries on the ground. This time I covered it with chicken wire to stymie the birds.
I am about half-way done with the first phase of my garden.