Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Heirloom Tomato Mystery

From Gardening

Ahh, well, last time I posted I ranted without photos. I had hopes that the heirlooms I grew from seed wouldn't suffer the same fate as my transplants, but this was what I discovered when I looked more closely at the Amish paste tomatoes. I guess the other tomatoes I grew from seed from the same company were organic but not heirloom, and are doing so well that I made tomato salad for dinner. Next year - no heirlooms. I'm kind of in mourning about it. After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I had it in my head that eventually I would grow only heirloom plants in my garden, so we could have unique varieties of plants that we couldn't just buy at store. Good for genetic variety, good for feeling like the time and cost is justified.

Admittedly, the heirloom greens grew without problem. Maybe it is just tomatoes that aren't meant to be. I find ripping the plants out by their roots incredibly therapeutic, and I'll quit pouting soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ripping out the heirloom tomatoes

From Gardening

This happened last year and this year isn't any better - my heirloom tomatoes look good until they ripen and they turn black and/or mushy, or look beautiful but when you touch them you realize there is no firmness, just pitiful mushy tomatoes, no good for eating.

I'm ripping them out! I follow the Clemson Extension Upstate Horticulture in Facebook, and they announced that fall planting (greens, cabbages, broccoli) should happen this week or next week, and I can use all that space for those plants. I don't see the point in watering or caring for plants that refuse to grow properly.

I'm excited to have greens again, and I have a bunch of heirloom varieties from the Asheville company, Sow True, the place we got our original Appalachian greens seeds from that have out produced anything else in the garden. Is there anything I should keep under consideration when planting in such hot weather? I'm hoping it dips below 90 this week; I'd feel better about that.

I'll let the hybrid cherry and sweet 100 tomatoes live, as well as everything I grew from seed. Now I really don't understand why, but the heirlooms I grew from seed aren't having the same problems as the ones I bought as seedlings and transplanted. Any ideas? We've been getting great yellow pear tomatoes from one.

I didn't take any pictures today, but last weekend I planted pumpkin seeds, some in the raised bed and some in a random pile of dirt near the raspberries. The random dirt seeds have sprouted, and we may have pumpkins this fall!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garden Update July 15 2010

Here is a video Jenny shot on Thursday to update how our garden grows.

To see where the blueberries ended up, you can go to her baking blog.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baaaaaaby Vegetables

From Gardening

It has been a few weeks since I posted, but the garden has still been growing. We are seeing signs of good things to come - including corn that is taller than our fence, cascading squash and melons, and miniature versions of things like squash and melons.

From Gardening

Earlier in the week or maybe last weekend, I pulled the peas and planted new radishes and cucumbers, since we loved and ate all the radishes and the cucumbers in the second bed are starting to be outgrown by the sweet potatoes, strawberries, and marigolds. The radishes haven't popped up yet but it might be too hot.

From Gardening

Over in the herb forest, the smallest box with the most fast-growing plants, some herbs were starting to take over. I had planted Vietnamese coriander without a plan for it, and it would have filled the entire yard if I'd let it. I actually pulled it up completely. The lemon grass I cut down at the base, washed it and it is currently drying on the kitchen table. I know a lot of people cook with it, but I'm planning to put it in a tea blend, because it is so refreshing over ice!

From Gardening

Some of the tomato plants have been growing into giants, particularly the yellow pear that I grew from seed. I've been out every day trying to add extra support and taking off the fruit that the birds have chomped out of. One plant produced puzzling mushy fruit but hopefully it was just a result of several days of thunderstorms. We have been eating small handfuls of the hybid cherry and the sweet 100s, but still waiting for the heirloom plants to ripen.

I need to plant pumpkins soon, and have been contemplating planting them on the hillside outside of our fence. Technically it is still our land, and I'd love to see vines crawling around that hillside! They would get plenty of sun, so it might be a good plan. I've been weeding around the watermelon plants today, and they really reach out and grab the plants growing around the vines. At least on the hill there would be less to contend with.