Thursday, June 23, 2011


This year I cheated. I bought some tomato starts from Carpinito's nursery. Lucky me, this Oregon Spring tomato is now fruiting! I did attempt to grow these from seed but the first set died from damping off in the seeding tray, and those 3-inch pots at the nursery were very tempting. I up-potted the starts into gallon containers when I got them home and slowly hardened them off until the frigid snap ended.
I begin my experiment in irrigation. We are trying out drip hoses, snaked throughout the garden. Soon, I plan to set up a timer to get the garden watered early in the morning. I hope this new approach to watering will free up more time to relax and play with the kids in the yard. Those white tents you see are frost blankets shielding the cucumber, pepper and tomato plants from the cool winds we have been having.
The peas were looking so beautiful yesterday in full blossom. I expect we will soon have more peas than we can handle. The first set on the left are Wando shelling peas, the second group are snow peas and the third, shorter group on the right (sown about a month after the first two), are snap peas. I am using two fold able, square tomato cages to hold up each group. Yes, they are bush peas, but they are so much neater when they have a bit of structure to hold on to.

The first sign that the Wando shelling peas will soon be ready to eat!
Here, we have two Oregon Spring plants and one Honey Bunch Grape tomato plant settled neatly by the house behind a row of Seascape strawberries. I love this southern spot under the eaves for growing tomatoes. There is even a big bush on the west side that blocks the wind. At night, I have still been covering the tomatoes with a frost blanket just to keep them a bit warmer. I use clothes pins to attach the blanket to the cages,and landscape pins anchor it to the ground. In the morning I just tuck the blanket under the strawberries.

I would like to report that we have had a few large bowls of salad, one topped with a few snow peas. The kids and I have kept the strawberry rows freshly harvested. It's hard to get a truly ripe strawberry as my little helpers don't mind the slightly tart ones and eat them up before they get that super sweet taste that I love.

We have also planted the following:

green zucchini
yellow zucchini
rainbow swiss chard
bulls blood beets
lemon cucumber
green slicing cucumber
sweet peppers-Hungarian Wax, Italian Sweet
Genovese basil
summer savory
green onions
bush beans-tri-color-mix
scarlet runner beans
Cascade Delight raspberry plants