State of the Garden

Here are some of  the things happening in my garden today:

**NOTE** Picture intensive.

TOMATOES

I don’t get tired of looking at the Amateur’s Dream plant. Incidentally, this is the only one I have. I thought I had another but I have not found it yet. These beauties just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Yumminess ensues

The Maskotka tomato plants are producing as well. I see pictures of this plant growing abundantly over the edges of containers but mine look spindly. Some people nip the first blooms in tomato plants to direct the plant’s energy to producing deeper roots and more foliage but I don’t. I figure the plant knows what it is doing. I hope they fill in later in the season though.

Spindly but fruiting

Despite having the earliest fruiting date of all my tomatoes, Stupice was not the first plant to produce fruit. It came in fourth place after the Amateur’s Dream, the Galina, and the Maskotka.

From Hungary with love

Here’s the plant I am watching with drooling anticipation. My Black Russian finally has fruit! I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this baby.

Come to papa!

THE OTHER VEGETABLES

I dug out a carrot to check on their development. Also, I began to harvest peas. Both were garden-fresh delicious!

Essentials

Behold my carrot and potato jungle!

First time my potato plants got this big

Tomatillos!!! This is my first tomatillo ever. Inside this Chinese Lantern grows a tomato-like fruit with delicious tartness for my salsa and my sandwiches.

Giant green tomatillo

Bush beans make a debut this season in the garden

Beans, beans, good for the heart even though they make you fart

FRUIT

Nectarines, peaches, blackberries, strawberries…

Nectarines await

Peach, sunny side up

Blackberries...if the birds let me have some

Strawberries. Sweet!

FLOWERS

The Geum bloomed! I REALLY like this flower. It is the first perennial I planted myself so it has a special place in my heart. Now, where are all those butterflies?

Geum is here!

The Butterfly bush just keeps on blooming!

This sure is a pretty flower

The Sage continues to bloom as well

Too fly for a wild plant!

MISCELLANEOUS

I managed to kill most of my gourd plants but the Small Apple Gourd is alive and producing

Apple gourd.

The Avocado tree in a pot lives in spite of my gruesome neglect

Avocado leaf...guacamole in the making!

Finally, my garden-help needs to learn to put his shoes on correctly

Left foot, right foot

Over and out.

More and more…

It seems like the more I get done the more there is to do. The potatoes are ready for more soil but I did not get it done.  It’s on the list. The carrots need thinning but I did not get to it. Tomorrow for sure. I’m trying to get at least one variety of each tomato and pepper out and planted. I am almost done. Next I will start planting  indiscriminately until all my plants are outside. Why don’t I have it done already you ask?

Crying over spilled soil... me not her.

You are looking at the reason why so much has not been done yet. Everything takes twice as long when I am worrying about what Lexie is doing while my back is turned. Ripping this bag of soil is her version of fun.

COIR
I have switched from peat to coir. I need to settle on a routine for making my potting soil. This is the first year I try coir. It comes in bricks. You add water and presto! Next we need to add compost and vermiculite.

Dry coir bricks

Add water and they plump

All ready for use in about 10 minutes!

If you don’t know, coir is processed coconut fiber. People are switching to coir from peat because peat is not really a renewable resource. Once you harvest peat, it takes a long time to form again. The only thing I don’t like about coir is the price. I can get peat cheaper than I can coir. I am hoping with more people using coir, its price will drop. I paid about $2.50 dlls. per packet of two bricks.

TOMATO RUMINATIONS
I am trying a novelty tomato this year. Tiny Tim is supposed to grow only to 7-10 inches in a pot and give approximately a dozen cherry size tomatoes. I hear the flavor is average. I’ve seen pictures of this tomato variety growing in coffee cups. I sowed about 10 seeds but only one germinated. I think I sowed the seeds too deep. The plant is Determinant so once I get my 12 tomatoes, the plant is done.

Tiny Tim; for conversation only

I continue to rave about the Amateur’s Dream tomato. Again this year, it is the strongest, fastest-growing tomato plant in the lot! It shook the damage from the most recent hail storm like it was nothing. I remember the tomatoes tasted ok from last season. I intend to do a better taste test this year. The plants produces well. It is an Indeterminate type and it’s of Russian provenance.

Amateur's Dream; outgrowing them all

On the opposite end of the strength spectrum lie the Box Car Willie tomato and the Abe Lincoln tomato. Both of these plants seem to die at the slightest provocation. First, temperatures below 40F -but not freezing, killed both these plants. Then, the hail storm killed them both. It’s a good thing I had backup plants inside. I am on the third planting and the Abe Lincoln plant is looking a little sad (sorry, no pictures. I did not have time).

I planted more peppers today. Tomorrow I will sow my cucumbers if it is the only thing I do in the garden!