Thursday, May 06, 2010

not enough time

just a quickie to document garden progress.

as of last night we planted thirty nine tomato plants, three rows.

this will be new soil to tomatoes. this area is where i sowed winter wheat. each row got two and a half wheel barrow loads of compost tilled into it. each plant hole was dug extra deep to the subsoil and back filled with straight compost.

this compost still has a small amount of oak leaves not completely disintegrated. in this state they should help make my soil slightly more acidic during the next few months.

i hope our tomatoes like this treatment. we also added about a tablespoon and a half to each hole of calphos, a fertrell product.

i have more compost this year than ever. it has slow cooked all winter so there are some hay seeds that have survived the composting process. i figure that i had six yards of completed compost as of this spring. there is another yard or so of compost that is almost ready. our new method of putting the cow in the stable each night and forking the manure each day is making quite a bit of raw materials. i might accelerate my queued amount for the fall garden and use it as compost tea. we have been putting compost tea on our berry patch and it seems to really make a difference.

i also have almost a yard of chicken manure compost. this will make fantastic compost tea too. i need to turn that into another bin and clean out the coop. i love having animals that we feed naturally. it is a comforting source of manure for our composting needs.

the tomato lineup is as follows: the first row, closest to the garden shed, is german stripe. the next row is jersey giant. the last row we planted was a mixed bag containing four cherokee purple on the south end. this will be the "salsa row" tomatoes of every persuasion. it is going to be a fun year. already we worry about the blight, bugs and hail.

we still have to plant the row and a half of marzano tomatoes. a cooking tomato that is renowned for it's full flavor, meaty flesh, smooth skin and few seeds. some of the italian cooking shows on pbs carry on about it's perfection. we are planting fewer tomato plants this year with wider spacing in hopes of better ventilation, more access to nutrients and easier access through the garden.

our intentions are to make more reduced tomato sauce during canning. that is what we really use the most. having a jar of reduced tomatoes means a quick meal.

wish us luck...


Ed said...

I wish you lots of tomatoes, no hail, few bugs and little blight. That way I can live vicariously through you and not feel bad about my eight tomato plants and two tiny rows of garlic which fills my garden up completely.

*Michelle* said...

I wish you lots & lots of good weather & overall good luck! Wish I had room to plant that many toms-- our soil is so, so rocky that any gardening must be done in raised beds. Kind of limits the garden area a bit. Nonetheless, I should be able to grow 20 or so toms this year.

Stephanie said...

Good luck and good weather! Tomorrow is going to hopefully be my planting day!! I got the soap the other day. So wonderful I blogged on it :D My husband wants me to beg the recipe.

Ron said...

Good luck!

Hopefully this year will be good to us gardeners. I have not seen one trace of blight yet on my tomatoes or the ones at the stores around here...


karl said...

Ed, thank you. we hope to be able to have something worth being vicarious with. good luck to you also.

Michelle, yes i understand the rocky trouble. we are incorporating raised beds into our extended garden, herbs and such.

Stephanie, glad you like the soap. we were gifted the recipe from our good friend that sells soap for a living. she developed it for her business. i'll check with the powers that be. it might be just fine to share. i can tell you one trick though. use good ingredients. the olive oil we use is the same stuff we eat with. like in food it really does make a difference.

ron, i wish you fruitful gardening and a healthy harvest. it seems to be something different each year that causes immeasurable strife. i wonder what it will be this year? nothing, i hope..

Beau said...

My goodness! Love your tomato row and supports. And thirty-nine... that's awesome. I hope it's a good year too.

Teri said...

Do you have a natural method of vanquishing squash bugs? Trying to keep all synthetic pesticides out of the garden moving forward - having a little guy with kidney disease has boosted our awareness of what we're asking our organs to filter.
Any ideas welcome.
The garden looks fabulous! Teri

karl said...

beau, thanks i hope it is a good year too.

teri, as best as i have been able to discover. there is no panacea for ridding a garden of squash bugs. even evil chemicals have limited results. we fight them manually by killing them as we see them. we close down the garden properly for winter. finally, we try to grow our plants healthy so they have a fighting chance against them.

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