fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Second Spring is Coming

  Yes folks that's right second spring will soon be upon us .No it's not a cousin to silent spring or a pagan holiday (that I know of ,I' m not a pagan).It doesn't even have it's own fat and fuzzy mascot to tell if it will be early or late . It's a term I read from Eloit Coleman referring to August first as his second spring because it's a whole new planting season. Most folks are just beginning to reap the benefits of all of their hard work in putting down all of that compost and carefully nurturing those seedlings and seeds .Anticipating  each day how far the plants have come (is that a bud on my peppers?) Battling both the weeds and vermin (we gotta eat more weeds) .
  Second spring is when we start planting the crops that we'll harvest late into the fall and even into and through the winter . That's right through the winter. Eliot and others have put out some great  books on how to grow food year round (even without a heated greenhouse). I gotta tell you it was pretty cool last year when I asked Tyler our 7 year old grandson if he wanted to help me pick some veggies for Christmas dinner. He looked at me like I had 4 heads and exclaimed Grandpa it's winter there's no veggies to pick . The look on his face when we went out to one of the low tunnels and chipped away some of the frozen ground and voila! ! Tyler was picking carrots at the end of December .They were awesome !!. The cold temps bring out the antifreeze in the plants (no not prestone but sugar) that sweetens them up almost like a carrot candy. That's one way to get a kid to eat his veggies. So get ready for the second spring !

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time keeps slipping away

    OK so I was supposed to do the post about tomatoes or leaves 3 weeks ago .I guess I need about 3 more hours in the day to get most of the things done I want to. Jackie keeps telling ,me that I bite off more than I can chew. I just want to do some things and they seem to take more time than I have available. Kind of like juggling plates with greasy hands sometimes you drop some but it's really cool when you pull it off.
     Anyways here goes .SO are you growing tomatoes or leaves on your tomato plants? This may seem like an obvious answer but most people grow leaves and are lucky enough to get some tomatoes. This was really quite a revelation for me when it was explained . Most everyone already knows about suckering your tomatoes (if not it's removing the branches that start to form at most leave nodes) but how about removing the leaves when the tomatoes are done with them .HUH? The plant needs the leaves!!!!! You can't cut off perfectly good looking leaves it will hurt the plant!!!!!! WRONG!!!!!. As your tomato plant grows it will develop flower buds on the internode (space between two leaves (nodes) the leave nodes above and below are the source of energy /food for the tomato flowers between them . Once the tomatoes have formed and reached full size the leaves above and below it are now no more than suckers themselves and they gotta go . By doing this you are removing the oldest most tired leaves and sending more nutrients to the top of the plant which will grow more and produce more flowers (more fruit). It looks a little different but works really well . (I wouldn't suggest it if I hadn't had the results myself)