What is this blog and/or any mention of The Ever-Growing List? Explanation.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fruits of Labor/Wolf Peach Addiction

What is this blog and/or any mention of The Ever-Growing List? Explanation.

Where do your gardens grow?

I basically have two gardens where my vegetables are growing--a dedicated vegetable garden and a flower-slash-vegetable garden which became host to my extra baby tomato sprouts. The dedicated-vegetable garden has produced an abundant and generous helping of tomatoes and provided many toasted tomato sandwiches... which were so amazing that I couldn't stop eating them. I think I ate nothing but tomato sandwiches for a week and a half straight, three sandwiches a day. Three tomatoes a day, people, that's what I'm saying!

I know there are some folks who don't like tomatoes. I don't like tomatoes unless they are literally grown out of my garden, vine-ripened. Jersey tomatoes are world famous, made that way by the texture and climate of the growing season. They are spectacular; I can't explain it. They truly taste like a fruit when they're ripe, and you find yourself addicted to them. It's a sad day when your tomato supply has been raided (by yourself and your family) and facing you is the realization that, at least for awhile, you may have to buy someone Else's tomatoes. The horror!

A little salt, a little pepper, a little yummy.

This was a particularly good little tomato.

How do your gardens grow?

How, indeed. Let it be noted that I twice emptied out a pool full of water around my garden, and that resulted in some tomatoes splitting open--too much water, not such a great thing. I was hoping the hot weather would somehow even out the amount of water that my vegetable plants endured. Alas, they were still delicious.

The peppers have finally started growing.

And my proud little tomato sprouts in my flower-slash-vegetable garden have blossomed--albeit a little late, but that's a good thing, because a new batch is coming.

I look forward to the fruits!

Tomatoes, cucumber, basil in the flower-slash-vegetable garden.

Some of my little sprouts became these big scrawny guys.

I didn't get as many pictures as I should have of all of the actual tomatoes on the vine, but here is one!

So, basically, A+ on Item 105, self. A+.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grow, babies, grow!

What is this? Explanation.

Item 105! Successfully Sowing and Harvesting My Own Veggies!

The easiest way to sow seeds for vegetables like tomatoes or peppers (or anything!) is to get Peat Moss Pellets. They usually come in a starter plastic greenhouse. Walmart offers a good deal at a $6 for a 72-Pellet greenhouse. To check out information on Peat Pellets, take a spin around Google or have a quick look for a basic idea of what they are.

My family particularly enjoys tomatoes and peppers in our summer garden, so instead of buying the plants around May, my dad usually starts with Peat Moss Pellets. You need to start tomatoes and peppers indoors, around March, to eliminate danger of frost damage. We're in Planting Zone 6b, so our last frost of the year is advised around the end of April. Then we usually transport our plants to the garden in the beginning of May.

Last year I neglected my own Peat Pellets, so this year I branched out and made the effort to keep up with watering. It has only been a week or two, but so far, so good. In my first greenhouse, I'm growing Tomatoes, Peppers, Chives, Summer Savory, Sweet Basil, and Spinach.

The Spinach is an experiment. It comes up really fast, so it's nice to have in the greenhouse. It gives me a boost of confidence to see sprouts two days after planting.

1. This is about how small the pellets come. You're supposed to add warm water water, usually about two tablespoons (1/8th of a cup) per pellet. I started with a spoon, then a dropper, but my patience was thinning, so I started to toss four in the correct amount of water and let them expand slightly.

2. After the pellet is expanded, you should make room for your seeds. Then you'll want to cover it back up and firm the soil/peat blend.

  • Never just put one seed in each pellet. You should use 2-3 seeds, sometimes 4. If all sprout, you'll eventually trim back the others to make room for one stronger, larger stalk.
  • Always look at how far down (or Google) how deep your seed should be. You don't want to bury a tomato seed an inch deep. A half an inch is plenty deep.

Pellets and expanded pellets.Eventually, your whole tray will be finished, if you so choose to use it all at once. You'll want to keep the top on until your sprouts start. You need to prop the top/cover of your greenhouse once your first sprouts are about 1/4 inches high. When all of your seeds sprout, you can take it off completely.

Spinach after 2 days. It's good to plant something that harvests quickly, even if it won't produce a large crop. It'll keep you paying attention to your greenhouse.

The tomatoes after about a week and a half. Eventually you'll want to transfer each pellet into a larger pot with soil. I just use plastic cups until they're ready for planting.

Here you can see the Chives, Summer Savory, and Basil. They sprouted around the time the tomatoes did, if not a day after.

Update on Item 102: It's going very well. All leaves are up, hedges trimmed, gardens in full form, new dirt, etc., etc..


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