Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Garden Pictures - Growing Challenge

As promised, here are a few more garden pictures from last week. We basically had ONE week of spring - it went from three inches of snow and freezing temps overnight to the 40s and 70s, then to the 50s and 90s - in about ten days time! So, we took the opportunity to put out most of the garden. What a job! But, most of it is in now, so all that's left is mulching, watering and weeding for a while.

Here is one of our gorgeous huge home grown tomato transplants. That's a two gallon grow bag it is growing in, btw, and the plant itself is over a foot tall by about 16 inches wide. I'm sold on grow bags - at least until I can find a more sustainable alternative. They can be reused several times, and fold flat for storage when not in use. They grow nicer plants than the hard plastic pots and they use less plastic. This is a variety called "Fourth of July" and is a hybrid we've grown for several years now because it is so early (49 days.) We grow other tomatoes, but so far haven't found one to beat this one for sheer earliness and overall productivity - although we'll be trialing several early heirlooms over the next couple of years to see if we can find one that comes close but is open pollinated.

Here is a picture of where our early tomatoes are planted. We decided to do the landscape fabric mulch thing this year because we let the weeds go last year. This will keep our weeding down a lot - especially once we cover it over with several inches of mulch. It will also cut down on the amount of water needed for these very thirsty plants. The side of the garden shed is white and faces south, which should also allow us to capture more energy for early growth and flowering. We planted six Fourth of July tomatoes here and two of the heirlooms we started.

That's our approximately thigh-high rhubarb down at the end of the row, towards the back of the picture. It's spreading over some of the perennial green salad onions, so I'm about to go yank a few stalks and see what early spring rhubarbish treat I want to make with them.

Here is a picture of one of the transplants in the ground. That is one of the large kind of tomato cages - the extra sturdy five foot kind. So you can see how large the plant is already. We were hoping that by pampering them, they would suffer little setback and would keep on growing as quickly as possible. So far so good.

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