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





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




One of the most enjoyable gardening projects that my wife Catherine and I collaborated on this
year was a winter squash mass planting in our new sundial garden.  The inspiration for this garden
came from last year’s visit to the COMMON GROUND FAIR in Unity Maine.  One of  the most
enlightening installations at the fair was the winter squash garden and display courtesy of Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  It was impressive to
see so much variety of size, shape and color in one place.  We made a decision right there and
then to  join in fun.

Squash garden as seen from vegetable garden – June 2014

The sun dial garden borders the vegetable garden and creates a transition between that space
and the patio.  It is approximately 11′ x 11 ‘.  We filled the bed with compost and planted two
each of the following:

Charisma pumpkin
Winter Sweet Kabocha winter squash
Carnval Hybrid Acorn squash
Sunshine Kabocha squash
Bush Delicata


Squash garden in July, 2014

In addition, we planted one hill “Metro” butternut squash in a different location.  The mass planting in the sundial garden
was a huge visual success,  Planting so  many varieties
in such a modest space created a beautiful display of contrasting foliage similar to that in a
hosta garden.  We got 45 fruit out of the sundial garden mass planting with an additional 14
fruit from our lone butternut squash hill.  The foliage became so thick that it was  nearly
impossible to keep pruned.  As a result, some of the plants were overwhelmed by their neighbors.
despite this we had a reasonably good harvest.  I look forward to eating the harvest.

Harvested squash curing in the sun

All the best,
Greg Garnache

I would love to hear from you.