Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Home Garden

In addition to my 2 garden plots at the community garden, I also do some small gardening at home.  I thought I would do a blog about what is growing at my house.  I have 17 tomato plants, 8 are in the ground and the rest are in buckets.  I never grew tomatoes in buckets before, so I thought I would give it a try.  I have seen on the Internet that many people have had success growing tomatoes in containers, so far so good.  I also have potatoes growing in large plastic tubs.  I did this the last two years with my potatoes and they grow fairly well.  I also have a raspberry bush, 2 blueberry bushes, wine berries, Jujube and a Brown Turkey Fig. I also just bought a potted Limequat tree from Walmart.  It is a cross between a Lime and a Kumquat.  It is starting to produce little fruit, but they are too small for a picture.

 Wine berry
 Brown Turkey Fig

 Raspberry Bush


Sunday, June 23, 2013

What's Growing in the Garden

I thought I would give an update on what is currently growing in the garden.  With all the rain we had last week in our area my plants are growing nicely.  The heat a couple weeks ago ended my broccoli and spinach crops.  My peppers and eggplant are off to a slow start, but they will hopefully pick up the pace.  My pole beans, malabar spinach and popcorn are coming up nicely, I planted them on June 9th.  This is my first year growing popcorn and malabar spinach and I can't wait to try them.  I am using straw this year as a mulch in some of my growing beds.  So far it is keeping down the weeds and it is also keeping the ground moist.  I noticed my peas are going to be coming to an end soon, but I did have a good crop this year.  I harvested 2 heads of cabbage, cauliflower and romaine lettuce the other night.  I ended up harvesting my cauliflower early because they were starting to look like they were going to flower soon, so they are on the small side.  Quite a few of my tomato plants are producing tomatoes which makes me a happy girl.  I will be even happier when they are ripe!    Here are some pictures of my current crops.

Pepper Plants
Flamingo, Purple Beauty, Sweet Banana, Horizon Orange, Anaheim Chili, Red Roaster,
Cubanelle, Lydia Paprika and Aji Dulce (Dill & Garlic in the background)

Violetta, Listada, Rosa Bianca and Lavender Touch

Cauliflower, Parris Island Romaine & Red Iceberg

Golden Sweet Snow Peas & Carouby De Maussane Snow peas

Red Iceberg

Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage

Asparagus Peas

Onion sets are forming bulbs. I planted yellow, white and red onion sets.
Harvest from Friday night.  Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage,
Snow Crown Cauliflower, Parris Island Romaine & Snow Peas
Beets & Turnips
(Golden Beets, Chioggia, Detroit Red Beets & Golden Turnips)
Cherry Tomatoes
(Chocolate Cherry, Green Grape & Red Pear)
Tomato Bed #1
(Jaune Flamme, Basinga, Moonglow, Mr. Stripey, Box Car Willie, Dr. Wyche's Yellow,
Coure di Bue, Purple Passion, Spudakee, Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, Beauty King & Cuostralee)

Tomato Bed #2
(Lemon Boy, Marianna's Conflict, Indigo Rose, Bloody Butcher, Emerald Evergreen, German Pink, Russian Rose, Black Zebra, Wapsipinicon Peach, Grandfather Ashlock, Black Trifele, Black Emperor, German Pepper, Amish Paste, White Beauty, Homer Fike's Oxheart, Black Prince, Kellogg's Breakfast)

Gigante Tomatillo
Purple Artichoke
Winter Squash & Pumpkins
(Sweet Dumpling, Golden Nugget, Kakai Hulless, Peanut, Speckled Pup)
(Armenian, Suhyo, Salt & Pepper, Garden Sweet, Boston Pickling & Crystal Apple)
Bitter Melon
Summer Squash
(Butta, Green Tiger, Sunburst Patty Pan, Green Patty Pan & Zephyr)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lettuce, Lettuce & More Lettuce

It always seems this time of year I am up to my neck in lettuce.  Since we have been having all this rain, the lettuce is growing fast.  Every time I go to my garden there is lettuce to harvest.  I wish the tomatoes and cucumbers were ready in my garden as well, then I could make a salad!  This year I am growing Red Iceberg, Four Seasons Bibb Lettuce, Parris Island Romaine and Leaf Lettuce Blend.  This is my first time growing leaf lettuce.  I am growing it in a whiskey barrel planter.  I am enjoying harvesting the leaves and then watching it grow back!  Here are pictures of my lettuce.  What kind of lettuce are you growing in your garden? Happy Gardening!

Leaf Lettuce Blend

Parris Island Romaine

Red Iceberg

Four Seasons Bibb

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Florida Weave Trellis

This year I decided to expand my tomato growing, because I am obssessed with heirloom tomatoes.  I realized by expanding the amount of tomato plants I am growing this year, I would also have to increase the amount of tomato cages I have.  I usually use foldable triangle tomato cages and traditional round cages, but I didn't want to have to buy more for this year so I started researching online other ways to support my tomato plants.  I learned about a method called "Florida Weave" and was hooked immediately.  This method is used by a lot of farmers and also by home gardeners as I found out.  When using the Florida Weave method you use support stakes with twine to create the trellis.  I first placed my end posts using metal "T" posts that I bought at Home Depot for around $4.00 a piece.  To put them in the ground I used a post pounder that my Dad got me for my birthday this past year.  It was a lot easier then using a hammer.  I then placed more "T" posts in between every third tomato plant.  The next step is adding the twine once your plants are about 6 inches high.  I am using a nylon twine, but you can use any type of twine.  I started by tying the twine to one of the end posts and then started weaving it in between the tomatoes and support post until I got to the other end.  I then wrapped the twine around the end post and made my way back to the starting post weaving in and out of the tomato plants and support posts creating a figure eight pattern.  I will be repeating this weaving pattern as the tomato plants continue to grow, about every 6 inches I will add another weave.  The other important step is to make sure you remove the suckers from your plants as they grow, this will keep them from getting out of control.  I have done the weaving twice on my tomatoes and will probably have to do a third by the end of this week.  So far it is supporting the tomato plants very well and it is pretty easy to do.  Plus I didn't have to go out and buy more cages!   Here are some pictures of the Florida Weave method in my garden and also a diagram I found online.  There are also many good videos on You Tube demonstrating this technique.  Happy Gardening!