Production is starting.

I picked the first couple of tomatoes last weekend and made tomato toast for Katy, Kevin, and myself on Saturday. Evan and I picked an overflowing colander of peas later in the day. I should have picked them a few days earlier, but even though there were full sized peas in the pods, they were still crunchy and tender. This variety is a keeper.

We used cherry tomatoes from the garden and dill, and oregano on Grouper that Natalie made last night. I picked my first small zucchini tonight for my dinner. There will be many more in a couple of days.

I’ll water tonight. The peppers look terrible, I will fertilize them tonight as well. I have some small green peppers growing and some Shishitos, but the plants are spindly and not vigorous.

First Fireflies!

I’ve been watching for fireflies every night but nothing until tonight. I think the past two days of hot weather brought them out. I saw them only in the yard across the street in the area behind our mailbox. There should be more as the weather is staying hot. I saw the first ones on June 7 last year, so they are about a week later this year. Not surprising because of the cool weather we had

Memorial Day Planting

I planted the lemon thyme and lemon basil, which I thought was Thai Basil. Another Goebbert’s labeling issue. Then I planted basil in one of the container garden pots and radishes in the other. I planted and staked 15 Roma Tomatoes in the far bed, then two rows of Celery Root and then a hill of Tronco Zapata Squash and a hill of mashed potato squash. I also planted a hill of Cocozelle Zucchini next to the hill I planted earlier with plants.

Then I watered most of the garden. While I was watering one of the tomato plants, a little green hummingbird flew in and was trying to drink from the stream coming out of the garden hose.

Finishing up!

Today was sort of a bonus day. Rain had been predicted, but the day stayed dry and I spent the whole day in the garden, finishing up at about 5:30, and then sitting on the deck until about 9:00.

I planted, staked, and put bottomless pots on the sweet peppers, 3 large Lady Bell, 6 small Lady Bell, 3 Melrose, 3 banana peppers, and 3 Gypsy peppers. I installed the same type of rabbit protection to the Shishito peppers. Then I planted and staked the hot peppers, 3 large Poblano peppers, 3 Hot Hungarian Peppers, and 8 Jalapeno peppers in the fenced area where I grew Roma tomatoes for the past couple of years.

Sweet peppers with anti-rabbit pots.

I planted four eggplants, two Black Bell II and two Black shine in the first bed, and used tomato cages around them which I then wrapped with wire fencing. The rabbits love eggplant and will take them down to the ground.

Eggplant with extra-heavy rabbit protection.

I planted the Bergamot Mint in the mint garden behind the pots and planted two MexicanTarragon plants nest to the Sweet Mint.

I planted the Malabar Spinach seeds in the first bed along with Pak Choi. I planted parsley seeds in the herb garden off the deck. I added compost to the herb garden near the container garden and planted the two Basil Perpetua plants there. I also thinned the radishes and planted a second crop in front of the peas in the east half of that garden.

That finishes up the major planting. I need to plan the far bed which will have the Roma Tomatoes, celery root, the Zappallo de Tronco Squash, and possibly the mashed potato squash.

It was a good day and I got a lot done. I am completely exhausted after two days of intensive gardening. The rain starts tonight and will continue through tomorrow. The next week will be only in the 60s with several days of rain.

Tomatoes Planted

Tomato Garden

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day today. I finally got the tomatoes in. That was my project before dinner after having been in the garden all day. The two Early Girl II plants already have tomatoes on them. I wanted to get the larger plants for the Champions, but they didn’t have any. The cages are installed also. I added additional compost to the westernmost row of tomatoes since those always seem not to do well.

Champion VFNT – Early (Countryside) Great for sandwiches. Best early type. DRMortgage Lifter – Mid (Countryside) Pink variety with meaty fuit and great taste.German Johnson – Late (Countryside) Low acid, potato-leaf foliage.Arkansas Traveler (Countryside) Tolerates hot weather. HY  
Champion VFNT – Early (Countryside) Great for sandwiches. Best early type. DRMortgage Lifter – Mid (Countryside) Pink variety with meaty fruit and great taste.Oxheart – Late (Countryside) Meaty, Few seedsCelebrity – Early (Countryside) Flavorful, firm fruit on strong vines. AAS
Early Girl II – Very Early (Countryside) Tasty fruit, first to ripenMr. Stripey – Late (Countryside) Yellow with red-streaked flesh.Cherokee Carbon – Mid (Countryside) Big pink fruit with Outstanding flavorCelebrity – Early (Countryside) Flavorful, firm fruit on strong vines. AAS
Early Girl II – Very Early (Countryside) Tasty fruit, first to ripenLemon Boy – Mid (Countryside) Tasty, sweet, juicy, low acid. HY  Cherokee Carbon – Mid (Countryside) Big pink fruit with Outstanding flavorBlack From Tula – Late (Countryside) Rich, salty, smoky flavor.
Tomato Planting for 2022

Peppers and Flowers

It was a beautiful morning today and I had to hit the gardening hard as it rained yesterday and it is again in the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday, then the temps will drop back into the 60s. Lee is here today working on the barn so I need to plant in between helping him. The first thing, I finished up planting the pots in the front. Then I mixed topsoil and mushroom compost and topped off the pots that were missing soil, topdressed the green onions and chives, I also added a layer of compost to the parsley bed off the deck where I will plant parsley from seed.

Shishito Peppers

I seeded the remaining pot off the deck with cilantro. then I planted 12 shishito pepper plants and tree lady bell plants in the last bed next to the horseradish. I weeded that bed, also. Planting the peppers was a chore as the soil was still extremely wet.

Cucumbers and Garden Prep

Lee is here working on the barn this morning, so I’ll be helping him as needed and gardening the rest of the time. I weeded the peas and radishes and got ready to plant more radishes. Then I cleaned up the cucumber bed and planted the cukes – 4 summer dance and 3 Japanese cukes, both from Countryside.Then from seed, True Lemon cucumbers, and Crystal Apple Cucumbers, both from Terroir. I then weeded the half of the bed where the Zucchini will go and made two hills and planted the 3 Zucchini plants in the first one and will later plant seeds in the second for a later crop.

Despite the predictions for a “mostly sunny” day, it turned cloudy and cold and there were some sprinkles. I decided to do a little outside work anyway, and rototilled the bed next to the firepit and then the heirloom tomato patch. You would think that I would have learned by now that rototillers and chain-link fences don’t mix, but I didn’t and got the tiller entangled with the fence and it took me about a half-hour to get them unraveled.

Plant Shopping Day

Today is Natalie’s and my 51st Wedding Anniversary, she’s working so I’ll celebrate it by shopping for garden plants! (We went out for a nice Mexican dinner last night.)

Quick calculation here. We were in our own house on our first anniversary, so it is likely that this is my 50th year of vegetable gardening. Does that make me a Master Gardener? No, it probably just makes me old.

I spent most of the afternoon getting the rest of my gardening needs. I went to Jewel first and got thirty more geraniums. I almost cleaned them out. I got about six white ones and the rest red.

I dropped those off and grabbed an apple and went to Costco for gas and then on to Home Depot. They had no Shishito peppers and no other plants of interest. I got three bags of mushroom compost and a bag of topsoil. I also got a couple of cans of wasp spray and garden fertilizer.

I came home and emptied out the car and was off to Goebberts. I got thyme and some fennel. The peppers were really picked over. I bought three large Lady Bell sweet peppers and six small ones. Also some Melrose and some Gypsy peppers. There was no Zucchini or hot peppers.

I did better at Countryside. They didn’t have the really large Champion Tomatoes, but had everything else in the 4 inch pots, although I had to dig for some of them. Here’s what I got:

2 – Champion

1 – Lemon Boy

2 – Mortgage Lifter

1 – Mr. Stripey

2 – Cherokee Carbon

1 – Black from Tula

1 – Oxheart

2 – Celebrity

1 – Arkansas Traveler

1 – German Johnson

I bought three large Poblano peppers and three-packs of hot Hungarian, sweet Hungarian, and three three-packs of jalapenos. I also got three large Aristocrat Zucchini plants and 4 Summer dance cukes and two of the long Japanese variety.

Finally – Planting!

We finally had a somewhat decent week to get the gardening going. The weather went instantly from rain and temperature in the 50s to Sun and temperatures hovering around 90. I’ve been trying to get out early and then do another round of gardening after dinner. Even after five days of hot weather and no rain, the ground is still very wet.

Container Garden 2022

I got most of the herbs in, I’ll need to buy thyme as my plants didn’t survive the winter. New this year is Prostrate Rosemary from Countryside, it grows as a creeping groundcover. Also new is an upright tarragon, called Four Seasons. It has yellow flowers and smells and looks like Mexican tarragon, except that it is upright. I also found a Bergamot mint which is called Lemon Mint. It smells like Bergamot and has a creeping habit, unlike lemon balm.

The container garden is mostly done.