Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Garden

So you want to see how my garden is doing too? I spent quite a bit of time out there last night checking every part of my drip system and repairing parts that needed it. By the time I was done, a big full moon was rising over the hills, and I was so dirty that I had to get a shower before I could touch any furniture.

When you check the drip system, it has to be on, and that means you get watered along with the plants. I have drippers on each of my 30 tomato plants. I have soaker hoses on some beds, and other beds do better with little circular sprayers. They not only wet the whole bed, they reach the the paths around the bed. I wish that didn't happen, because it waters any weeds that want to grow in the path, but I put up with it because it works best in my garden. You see, my garden is on the south side of our shop, where it is hot and dry. The tomatoes thrive here, and other things do quite well, as long as they have enough water.


I've made cages for my tomatoes out of field fence. I put the narrow openings on the ground and the big openings up high, so when the tomatoes are ready I can easily reach them. We have high winds at our house quite often. As you can see we are on a ridge, out in the open where the wind blows free. I have too carefully anchor the tomato cages or they blow over. This has been a learning process over time. I used to use the flimsy little cages you can buy at the garden store, but my tomatoes grow so large here, that the store cages were soon dwarfed. Also the store cages break quickly. I stager my tomatoes in kind of a rick rack pattern, if you know what I mean. Then when I put the cages over them, they are also in a zig zag pattern. I then take plastic covered metal poles, that you can find in garden stores and weave them between the a joining cages and push them into the ground as far as they will go. The bamboo poles aren't usually stoat enough. This triangular pattern makes the joined cages very sturdy. I used to put them in a rectangular pattern and when the wind blew the whole bed full of cages would blow over. It was not a good thing , nor was it easy to rescue the poor tomato plants. Last year they didn't blow over one time.

I'm excited because I' ve got some Sweet 100 Cherry tomatoes already blooming. You can see them in the photo above. I get so excited when I think of eating ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden.

Later on this summer I show you how big the tomato plants get here. And no, we don't live in Texas.


The potatoes and cabbage are doing well. This year we have purple cabbage at Forest's request. I don't know how it will do, because I've avoided too many plants from the cabbage family, because we have some many cabbage butterflies. But I'm willing to try. I have some more natural stuff from Garden's Alive to try and spray on them, in hopes we can keep the caterpillars at bay. We've got a few volunteer red potatoes in this bed. I have some seed potatoes that I want to put in cages similar to my tomaotes, but the cages will be filled with soil. You are supposed to get a huge crop of potatoes. On Sunday I am going to try to get them set up.
My broccoli is doing well. It should be ready to pick soon. I have some eggplant in this bed, and some cayenne chili peppers. There is also the end of the lettuce in this bed. It is getting too hot for lettuce.

In the garden I've also got basil, okra, more varieties of peppers, cucumbers, purslane, New Zealand Spinach, strawberries, kale and leeks. And up in some bare spots in my flower garden I have some squash, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew planted. That is also a new experiement. There just isn't enough room in my garden boxes for large vining plants.

5 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

carrie said...

Even with the hard freeze here this year, I had tomatoes reseed themselves from last year! I can't wait.

Pamela said...

my veggie garden is a pipsqueak!!!

Debbie said...

Hi-
I thought I'd share with you what we do to anchor our tomato cages, as we get lots of windy days here too! We use the same type of fencing for our tomatoes that you do and also gave up the pre-made cages sold at the garden stores.

We have found that the heavy duty plastic tent stakes work very well for holding our cages in place. Each cage gets at least three stakes. Here is a website where you can take a look at the kind of stakes that I'm talking about.
http://www.outfitterssupply.com/prodinfo.asp?number=WT%20O218

Maybe I can take a picture of how we did it so you can see what I talking about. I tried looking at your photos, more closely to see how you did yours, but the picture doesn't enlarge enough so that I can see.

Anyway, it's just a thought, if you ever decide you'd like to try something different.

Happy Sabbath!

keri said...

Beautiful garden!
I have neglected mine!

Barb said...

I use natural soaps for my garden and they take care of any "pests" we have around.

Can you send me some okra when it is ready? Love it but can't seem to get it to grow well here....lots of plant but not many okra develop.

I can see where you will be spending your summer. Have sketched out there yet?

Barb
Harmony Art Mom