Saturday, June 11, 2011

Going vertical

My plants are starting to get big enough that they need some support. This picture shows my cucumbers starting to grow up the trellis. I "train" them at the beginning of the season using plant twist ties and then their own vining tendrils take over and they'll end up covering the trellis.

I always struggle to find the best way to stake my tomato plants. I'm never quite satisfied with the methods I've chosen. This year I'm borrowing an idea I got from my friend Vicki at work. I'm using the triangular cages (opened up) like I did with my tomatoes in 2008. But I am combining them with stakes added for support. The cages in 2008 turned out to be too flimsy and fell over under the weight of the tomatoes by August. Then in 2009 and 2010 I used stakes but I didn't like how they don't allow the plant to spread out. Maybe combining the two will be the best of both worlds. So this morning I went out and got my cages and stakes out of the mini barn and set them up with my tomatoes. Here is a picture of my two Cherokee Purple plants with a basil plant in the middle The cage is tied to the stakes and then the tomatoes are tied to the cage.

And just for fun (not vertical) my zucchinis have blossoms! I know they are still a little ways off from producing zucchinis, but they are getting there! I love this time of year!

Today's weather:
High temp: 82 F
Low temp: 67 F
Humid, cloudy, chance of scattered showers

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So far, so good

This is one of my Cherokee Purple tomato plants. I planted it in the garden about three weeks ago. Obviously it is loving its new home! Lots of rain and now hot temps are making them flourish! The other tomato plants look almost as good.

In this photo you can see my sweet bell peppers in the foreground and my cucumbers in the background under the trellis. I have two Big Bertha bell pepper plants (they make great stuffed peppers!). I also have two Chocolate Beauty bells. This is a new variety for me this year. Apparently the peppers turn a chocolate color when they are ripe and they are very sweet. I have two varieties of cucumbers planted. I lost a couple of plants early on when the weather was still cool and stormy. But those that survived have gotten much stronger and are really growing. They will be growing up the trellis in no time!

I planted Fordhook Lima Bush Beans today. I still need to plant the pole beans, but I am going to wait until next weekend for that. I realize that means I'll have a late harvest this year, but it just can't be helped.

Here's a photo of my garden today. I'm pretty happy with how it is coming along, especially considering how I've neglected it more than usual this year.

And here is a photo of my backyard, looking at it from the patio. Plans are in the works to make a perennial flower bed just to the left of the patio, encircling the birdbath and the corner of the patio. We are making the vegetable garden the priority right now, but once it is in we will focus on the perennial bed more.

Today's weather:
High temp: 84 F
Low temp: 67 F
Cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms