Garden Journal – 4th Week of May

Garden Journal – 4th Week of May

Let’s Put Those Fruit Crops in the Ground

After nurturing eggplant and pepper seedlings for 9 weeks and tomato
seedlings for 7 weeks it was a great relief to finally plant them
into the garden. With my wife’s help, we transplanted 40 tomato
plants, 4 eggplants, 7 sweet peppers and 12 hot peppers. Another
60 tomato plants were given to friends.

Our Transplanting Procedure

Transplanting so many tomatoes, eggplants and peppers to the garden is a tedious job, but feels great when your done. I have developed a procedure that my wife and I follow the works well for us.

1. We dig a hole slightly wider and a bit deeper than the pot that contains
the seedling.
2. We place 3 tablespoons (approximately a handfull) of ESPOMA TOMATO TONE in the hole prior to planting the seedling and mix it into the dirt.
3. We prune off the bottom foliage to ensure that none of it touches the
ground once the seedling is in place.
4. We infill with soil and firm it to ensure that the plant is properly
anchored in the ground.
5. A cutworm collar is placed around each transplant and firmly set into
the soil.
6. The individual plant identification marker is set into the ground next
to the plant.
7. The seedling is then watered with a transplant solution. I like to use
NEPTUNE’S HARVEST 2-3-1 fertilizer, 1 tablespoon to the gallon. I take
the precaution of watering each transplant twice This procedure works well for tomatoes and eggplants.

For peppers, I do the same procedure but add a hand full of crushed eggshells
to the hole before planting. Peppers prefer a sweeter soil. The eggshells
contain calcium which compensates for the natural acidity of our New England
soil.

 

THIS IS HOW WE ROLL WHEN TRANSPLANTING TOMATOES

THIS IS HOW WE ROLL WHEN TRANSPLANTING TOMATOES

TRANSPLANTING VINE CROPS

This past week was also consumed with transplanting our hot
 weather loving vine crops. I started seeds in 2" soil blocks around the first  of May. These included zucchini, cucumbers, melons, Kaboka winter squash, Butternut  squash and pumpkins. My procedure for these crops is to build a small hill by
 digging a hole and adding 2 or 3 shovels full of composted cow manure. I add  a hand full of ESPOMA TOMATO TONE and cover that all up with soil. I then  plant my seedling and double water. This year, we have a total of 12 plants.

Planting Beans

I planted one row of Haricot Vert, our favorite green bean.  They
are also known as “French Filet Beans”.  Known for being  tender and flavorful fresh, Haricot Vert  don’t freeze well.  In fact, they suck frozen.

To plant my beans, I make a 2″ furrow with one edge of my hoe, place the
seeds in the bottom of the furrow approximately 2″ apart, sprinkle with
innoculent which helps fix nitrogen in the soil, cover and water. Simple as that.

Please stay tuned for my next post which will include information and
photos about various tomato supports that I use and why I use them.
Until then, keep after it. All the work now will pay off before you
know it.
All the best,
Greg Garnache

 

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN – AUGUST 28, 2014

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN – AUGUST 28, 2014

We have enjoyed great weather this Summer.  There have been many sunny days with just enough
rain to keep plants healthy.  As a result, it has been a great year for vine crops, especially melons.
There is an old French saying “You can judge a man’s garden by his melons”.  Needless to say, I
have felt quite inadequate in the past.  I’m walking tall this year.  Melon production has been the

Emerald Gem Melon

best ever.  In addition to the common cantaloupe, I planted EMERALD GEM and AMY melons.

Amy melon on the vine

Tomato season is in full swing.  Yesterday, Catherine and I processed over twenty
pounds of plum tomatoes.  Most of the crop was converted to puree and frozen. This year, I
grew two varieties:  a determinate called MILANO and an old favorite, SAN MARZANO.

A basket of plum tomatoes ready for processing

All of the onions are finally harvested and curing.  In their place I am planting WINTER RYE
as a fall crop.  In addition to being good for the soil, the winter rye is essential to the health
of the compost bins.  A layer of winter rye straw helps to allow oxygen into the mix to ensure
that the decomposition process moves forward.

We have survived another busy year of tomato tastings and dinners celebrating the harvest.
This is my favorite time of year, tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes.  People seem to
enjoy learning about and sampling the many different varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I
grow.  We used to cut up the tomatoes ahead of time and serve them on platters.  I now
cut them one by one, explaining where the tomato comes from and why we grow it.  This
format is lots of fun and allows each tomato to shine on it’s own.  I get lots of questions
from our guests and the pace of the event allows everyone to relax and saver the moment.
If you grow tomatoes you may want to give it a try.

The scene is set for a tomato tasting

My focus is turning to the fall garden.  I have been nurturing seeds of lettuce and cabbage
for fall production.  I have started pulling some vines that are no longer producing; zucchini
cucumber, and cantaloupe.