Gardening Update

Today I’ve started a new experiment in tomato support — and the Tire is ready to go.

I like Roma tomatoes for their compact size and lower liquid content. But Romas are indeterminate, which means they sprawl all over the place unless you stake or cage or trellis them. Last year, I tried staking them with 3/4-inch thick maple saplings I’d cut down in the roadside ditch. The saplings proved to be too thin and bendy.

This year I’m going to try a trellis. For the supports, I lashed together four 3/4 inch saplings. On one long side of the garden, I stuck one support in each corner and one in the middle. I’m guessing that even though these supports are thicker, they’ll still fall over with the weight of the tomato plants. So I’m going to ask the husband to drill small holes in the wooden sides of the garden so I can tie the supports to the garden itself. Then I’ll run several rows of twine between the supports.

As for the Tire, I’ve filled it with sand and I’ve sown the carrot seeds. I hope this works. I LOVE home-grown carrots, and the last two years they’ve been so disappointingly tiny. (The tomatoes were small last two years, too — more like grape tomatoes than plum tomatoes.)

Meanwhile… the cucumbers, lettuce, and new spinach are coming up, last year’s over-wintered spinach is producing nicely, and I see some bean sprouts starting. A frost killed the tomatoes and bell peppers last week (stupid us for planting them too early), but I got new ones yesterday. I’m going to wait perhaps another week before planting them this time. Oh, and at the Farmers Market last weekend one of the vendors gave me some mixed lettuce plants for a tip. Four red-leaf varieties, one that looks like a romaine, and one green-leaf. This will be a nice addition to the curly green-leaf already in the garden.

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