Pruning Tomatoes

By far, the most important task this past week was pruning the tomato plants for the first time.  With this pruning  I can dictate the growth habit that the plant will take for the entire season.   The first pruning involves eliminating any branches that are close to the ground or that project forward or backward.   My goal is to create a more two dimensional growth habit. I will train the plants to the main leader and one sucker on each side of the plant that will grow into major branches.  This creates balance.  After this initial pruning, I will prune out all future suckers that develop at the point where the branches meet the main leader.

PRUNING TOMATOES

TOMATO PLANT BEFORE FIRST PRUNING

TOMATO PRUNING

TOMATO PLANT AFTER FIRST PRUNING. NOTE THE SUCKERS ON EITHER SIDE.

Spraying Tomato Plants to Prevent Early Blight

Once all the tomato plants were pruned, I sprayed them with Copper fungicide.  I treated the entire plant and the ground surrounding the plant.  I will alternate Copper fungicide one week with “Oxidate”  fungicide the  following week throughout the growing season.  I learned this technique from speaking with the attendant in the Johnny’s Selected Seeds demonstration greenhouse at the “Common Ground Fair” in Unity, Maine,  If it’s good enough for Johnny’s it’s good enough for Greg’s Garden Party.

Harvest Time at Greg’s Garden Party

This past week was truly cause for celebration.  We enjoyed our first pea  harvest of the season.  Nothing beats fresh peas from the garden.  I shell the peas, boil them for three minutes, drain them, add butter, salt and pepper and enjoy one of vegetable gardening’s greatest pleasures.

GARDEN FRESH PEAS

THE SEASON’S FIRST PEA HARVEST

 

In addition to the peas we harvested garlic scapes , Purple Peacock broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, frisee, bulb fennel and rhubarb.  To celebrate, we hosted a dinner party featuring all of these ingredients.  We were blessed with a pleasant late Spring evening which allowed us to dine on the patio.  Fresh food from the garden, great company, a  lovely evening; what could be more perfect?  Here is the menu:

Appetizer:  Sliced baggette spread with Kerry Gold butter  and topped with French Breakfast radishes

FRENCH BREAKFAST RADISHES

FRENCH BREAD WITH BUTTER AND FRENCH BREAKFAST RADISHES

Truffle salt made these appetizers rock.

Salad:  Frisee and bulb fennel with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon dressing topped with radish slivers, toasted chopped almonds and gold raisins.

A GREAT SPRING SALAD

FRISEE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH RADISHES, TOASTED ALMONDS AND GOLDEN RAISINS

We added shaved Parmesan cheese at the table.

Main Course:  Pasta with broccoli, peas, garlic scapes, asparagus, shaved Parmesan  cheese and Panchetta

PASTA WITH SPRING VEGETABLES

PASTA WITH SPRING VEGETABLES

Dessert:  Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

RHUBARB UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

RHUBARB UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

All the best,

Greg Garnache