Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer Fast Fading Away

The summer is fast sliding in Fall.  The nights are beginning to dip back in the 60s with regularity.  One night was even in the 50s.  That's not to say that 90s could raise an ugly head a time or two before being defeated for the year.  This year has had more 90 degree days than any summer I can remember.  
The tiny little tomato plants that were planted in the tomato towers have grown considerably.  Since this picture was taken the closest two tomatoes have grown up above the tower by at least a foot and are still climbing.  All I've done for these tomatoes is water them with the natural spring water in June.  There's been no special fertilizer and no chemicals for bugs or blight or fungus.  They are awesome.  I've been harvesting a five gallon bucket full of tomatoes every couple days for the last two weeks.  There's way more than I can use and I don't preserve garden vegetables.  I just like to grow them.  I set up a pallet in front of the garden with a free sign on it.  I put all the tomatoes on the pallet and the next day they have all disappeared.  It's my way of giving to the neighborhood.  I have some small pumpkins and watermelons that I'll be doing the same thing with soon. 

The big thing now that the harvesting is in full swing is weed eradication.  The weeds have become monstrous because of the rains that have been falling on the gardens.  I had a light bulb moment this summer and came to the conclusion that not only do I not really like to preserve the harvest and give it all away but I really wasn't into growing the vegetables this year.  Well, what is it then that draws me to the garden.
Yeah, garden design and structure has been my interest this year.  The tomato towers, the sweet corn fortress, the minit water tower, and now the poor man's brick entrance to the garden.   Oh, contrar, this is not the end of the red brick road.  The formal 30 X 30 foot garden area will have all brick pathways.  Maybe not this year and maybe not even next year but some day it will have all six pathways bricked.  The time needed is too much for one year's project.  

Yes, the sweet corn fortress was worth every minute of construction and finally I got to eat sweet corn until I was sick of it.  It was the best sweet corn ever.  Now I know what it takes to keep the raccoons out of the corn.  I was so glad that no raccoons were harmed or killed in the growing of the sweet corn.  I really do need to see if that old freezer in the garage is still operational.  It worked 10 years ago but seriously, it's 30 some years old so I'm not really expecting that it will.  

How has your summer been?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The tomatoes are ripening

Way back in February the tomato crop was started by building tomato towers.  Pallets are disassembled and used to build four tomato towers.  They stood tall and mighty.  Neighbors smiled at the antics of an old crazy gardener's version of over engineering a simple tomato support.
Being undaunted the towers were transported to Terra Nova Gardens to be planted in the raised bed used for 2016 tomatoes.
 After four years of watching a very unorthodox gardener, this neighborhood watched as the towers were planted in the garden bed and wondered what in the world would these shelves be used for. 
Then came the day of planting.  Yes, the little tomato with a high tower to climb.  With determination and will power, the little tomato began to grow and grow and grow.  Never mind that neighbors drove slowly by marveling at the massive structure for such a tiny plant.
Ok, who's laughing now.  This growth has been without any additional fertilizer.  Only the natural spring water that's on the property was used during June to keep the plants watered.  It's now August and the tomatoes are starting to ripen.  There are lots of green tomatoes so let the harvesting begin. 

How's your tomato crop doing this year?