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Archive for the ‘Garden 2009’ Category

I got a catalog from tomato growers supply. It is sure fun to look at even though I have already finalized what tomatoes I want for the spring. Maybe I’ll get a different pepper, though. Chocolate habaneros, anyone?

I also got a gardening-themed birthday card from my mom. How sweet!

My mom made this card just for me. Isn't it special!

 

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My garlic sprouted! So cute, too. I mulched it with some leaves. In fact, I mulched all the beds with leaves that I got from the neighbor’s pile. I think I took like 20 trips, but it was worth it. Then coming home from Thanksgiving we scored 2 straw bales plus some more pumpkins.

My side yard is hopeless! I look at it and just want to cry because it’s so terrible. But they’re just weeds. I need to show them who’s boss, right? So they’ll die overwinter, I can mulch over them thickly with straw and not let any new ones grow. Maintaining weed-free is always easier than getting weed-free. Just look at how quickly the daylily bed became weed-free and it only took a thick layer of mulch. I get maybe a handful of weeds and can pull them up easily. I guess we’ll need more straw bales.

I’m excited to grow squash next year, after reading Amy Goldman’s book. And Mom’s going to start composting! So I’ll get all her coffee grounds, banana peels, onion skins, etc. It’ll be a small but great help fer sure!

 

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Since I wrote the last entry, I mowed the lawn twice; tilled up a small section of the side garden and planted garlic; removed all the 2-liters and pulled all the stakes and plants. I also trimmed back the rhubarb and added it to the compost. And put away one hose for winter. Gathered the seed stalks from the garden (but not yet separated out the seeds and put away), and pulled the last of the plants.

Still to do: pick up the 2 liters from the yard as they are just sitting there. Put away other hose and wash birdbath for last time. Gather leaves and pile them on top of all my garden beds.

Doesn’t sound too terrible. Just have to actually do it before they suck up the leaves. Ugh! Gotta do it!

 

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I managed to pull almost all the existing green tomatoes into the house and in bags to ripen. I’ve since made 2 batches of tomato sauce with them. Peeling and dicing takes a long time, but it’s worth it. I think I’ll put the rest of what I have in the freezer to use for chilis, etc.

These bags are full of green tomatoes. As they ripen I"ll make sauce or salsa with them or freeze.

Mom and I gardened yesterday! I helped divide her daylily plants. So she has 8 plants instead of just 4. I don’t know how long it took, but seemed like a long time. Maybe an hour or longer. Her “soil” is absolutely horrible. Since it’s new construction, there is no topsoil except what they added. So there is thick real ohio clay topped with tons of sand (or none at all) topped with a scant inch of topsoil and mulch. We had to amend each planting hole with compost. We really ripped and tore the roots of the plants so I hope they survive. I’m confident they’ll bounce back quickly.

I still haven’t put the garden to bed yet. I need to:

1. gather seeds from lettuce, cilantro, etc if still existing

2. take out all stakes and supports, as well as all 2-liters

3. take out all peppers, tomatoes, and other plants (weeds)

4. I should add some compost and turn under but I’ll wait til spring

5. do something with the side yard: remove weeds, trim back strawberries and rhubarb, and top with lots of leaves for winter mulch.

Ugh! I’m tired just thinking of doing those things, plus I have to mow again. Ugh! No energy this year at all! On the bright side, I turned the compost yesterday. It was rather clumpy.

 

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I’ve got dead mildewed plants and haven’t ripped them out yet. I’ve got tons of weeds growing in the side garden that made seeds. My compost hasn’t been turned in months—just stuff added to the top. I have tomato plants that don’t have any more tomatoes on them and I haven’t taken them out yet. All my sweet peppers are ruined by slugs and I can’t even pick them off and kill them. Even the really big ones. My lettuce made seed and I didn’t harvest it so it may have dropped or gotten ruined from the rain.

I have three full tubs of tomatoes waiting to be turned into salsa and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I think I’m just down in the dumps…

 

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I think it’s time to reevaluate how my tomato plants are growing:

  • Lime green salad: dwarf plant, small tomatoes are ripening very slowly and are still hard. Seems to be resistant to the air-borne blight fungus. Not much fruit set despite number of blossoms.
  • Pruden’s purple: pretty good plant, hasn’t grown much in a month. Does get the blight, but manageable so far. Tomatoes are soft, pink, and some are ruffled slightly.
  • Black cherry: blight resistant. One plant is a monster, the other is just okay. Fruit is slow to ripen and you only get a few at once. Very good fruit set despite temps.
  • Green giant: gets the blight, seems more frail than other plants. Slow to ripen fruit. Same as others in that it hasn’t grown much in a month.
  • Siletz: gets the blight but not as bad. Very small plants. Fruit is smaller than I expected. Many fruits despite plant size.
  • Marianna’s Peace: is a potato-leaved, pink-fruited variety. Why grow it when you can have Pruden’s? Fruit gets catfacing and cracking. Gets the blight, not as bad as green giant, about the same as pruden’s in that respect.
  • Carbon: tiny, short plants. Two have just one fruit each. Prone to fused blossoms, some cracking and catfacing. No blight.
  • Grushovka: small plants would benefit from the traditional tomato cages. Dark green foliage gets the blight but not too terrible. Slow to ripen fruit. Lots of fruit per plant. Good fruit set despite temps.

 

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Got more tomatoes today. I peeled and diced enough Siletz to make a salsa! Wheeeeee! And I’m close to having enough Carbons for a batch too. The only fair way of determining the best tomato for salsa is to make just one recipe. So I just made Glenn’s but only put in 3 habaneros instead of 5. That way Scott and I can both enjoy it. It was fun, my first of the year. I only had a minor mishap with the habaneros cause I chopped them with my bare hands and then stupidly touched my eye. Ow, the burning! Smelled so good cooking, though. Can’t wait to try it!

P.S. It is h-o-t! Good thing I didn’t put in more peppers, with just 3 it’s still too hot for me to eat! Scott said “it’s getting there” meaning closer to Glenn’s original. I think it’s almost unbearably fruity tasting and I just realized its from the habaneros. They’re hot and fruity! Who would’ve thought, right?

 

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