Garden Pivot Point

Last Tomato Patch

Last Tomato Patch

This year’s garden work reached its summer pivot point neatly on the solstice. Main crops of tomatoes, peppers, beans, kale, carrots and cucumbers have been planted. There are some kitchen herbs, garlic, celery and a bumper crop of apples and pears. More planting will be done soon, as a couple of plots have space for a second crop. Of course July 25 is by tradition planting day for second crop turnips.

Good news is my car was parked inside the garage last night after being outside for two months. It is a sign summer is really here. I am halfway through my ritual read of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, arguably the best novel of summer. Before I get too deep in iced tea, new summer projects, and leisure, let me record some tomato experiences.

I planted tomato seeds the third week in March and it was too early for the garden. It would be better to time them as I expect to plant them, with one batch ready to go into the ground mid-May, and a second mid-June.

I also planted too many tomatoes indoors. I could reduce the quantity by two thirds. After consulting with a local farmer, I restricted myself to one plant per cage. Too, I double cropped with the early peas, so the seedlings got very big in too small a container before planting the last ones yesterday. For future reference, if I plant 1.5 times the number of seeds I expect to plant as seedlings, that should be more than enough for the season.

The Brandywine tomatoes have a distinctive leaf shape and texture, so I am looking forward to seeing how those turn out. Now comes the growing and I am off to the warehouse for a shift.

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