Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tomatoes

Even gardeners who hate tomatoes love to grow them.  It's a fact.
 
I started my seeds on time.  In early May, they were mashed up against the top of the dome covering the tray.  It was time to repot and move them out to the greenhouse.
 
The night before repotting, I got all the big pots ready to go, figuring to repot the babies in the morning so they could have a full day in the greenhouse to acclimate.  I had been removing the dome during the day for air circulation, but made it a point to remember to put it back on at night due to mice.  Them little critters loooooove seedlings of all types but especially tomatoes.
 
I went to bed, anticipating how wonderful it would be in the morning to see the newly single, potted beauties standing tall in the greenhouse the next morning.
 
Only the next morning, I found out that I had forgotten to put the dome back on, I was so excited.  I now had 6 six pack trays of.....bare dirt.  Oh, and one lonely, 1/2" tall spike in the 'Persimmon' tray.  I said a whole lot of bad words.
 
Luckily, the next weekend was the Benton County Master Gardener plant sale.  My plant buddy Jan and I usually try to hit it early for best selection.  We succeeded nicely, and both came away with a generous bounty of plants for not a whole lotta scratch.
 
I picked up 'Wapsipinicon Peach', 'Stupice', Tigerella' (a striped heirloom), 'San Marzzano','Indigo Rose', 'Chocolate Cherry' and a yellow one, 'Gold Medal', along with 5 pepper plants and some other miscellaneous plants.  We hit 3 counties on our plant hunt that day, picking up lush, gorgeous plants at various sales for .50 cents to a few bucks each.  Oh yeah, and I bought another huge rhodie that cost a bit more than a few bucks and had Dale sighing at the prospect of another tractor job to plant the big monster.
 
This year, I renovated one of the beds for the tomatoes and peppers, trying out a new watering system.  Seems to be working fabulously so far, but we've only had 2 days in the 90's thus far.  No rain, tho, and none in sight.
 
Now, in early July, the plants have cleared the top string and are pretty well endowed with fruit.  Directly after planting, we had a string of nights into the 30's, so the mini greenhouse came out of the barn the day everything was planted.  Since then, we've had some very low 40's that didn't do the pepper plants any good, but hopefully, they'll do okay.
 
Hope you all like salsa!
 
Digging in the French drain, turned into a deep water distribution pipe
 
 Baby Rosie supervises the completion.  Open end at left, for hosepipe to be inserted to fill
 Newly planted tomatoes.  Peppers not yet in
 Mini greenhouse in place
 The old fashioned trellising system was easy to install.  The tomatoes have already reached the top.  I've also closed my eyes and pulled some suckers from the lower part of the plants.  It's hard for me to do that!
 The marigolds aren't just for looks.  They repel some pests and attract good bugs
'Indigo Rose' and 'Chocolate Cherry' in the black pot

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