Friday, June 01, 2007

The garden takes shape

I have 35 tomato plants in the ground. Yikes! And there are a few still in the wings. The current count is:

Principe Borghese – 1 Boxcar Willie -7 Viva Italia – 2

Little Moma – 1 Radiator Charlie -1 Supersteak -3

Steak Sandwich – 1 Early Girl – 4 Better Boy – 7

Italian Sweet – 3 Sweet 100’s – 4 Costoluto Genovese – 1

As I spouted my litany to my gardener friend, Annie, I could see her brow get more and more furrowed. It wasn’t until I got to Early Girl and Better Boy that she relaxed and said, “So you’ll actually have some to eat this year.”

When I “went wild” and bought TEN of those Gardener’s Supply tomato ladders, I felt so extravagant. Now with 35 in the ground I’m wondering how to best support the rest. You can bet it will have SOMETHING to do with bamboo since I have an unlimited supply in a neighbor’s yard.

Meanwhile, I have had my first garlic scape sighting. As happened last year they are showing up on the Pskem. Pskem is a marbled Purple Stripe from Uzbekistan. I have figured out why it is so early. Most garlics have 10 outer leaves before the scape shows up. Pskem only has 9 leaves. Mystery solved. If I had to take a guess as to which variety I might enter in the Fair, I would have to go with the Montana Giant. It’s strong and healthy with a lot of girth. Have you noticed I look at garlic the way most people look at cattle?

The peas have found the trellises, I’m pleased to say. And the inula royleana may just give me a bloom this year. If anyone out there has ever grown this successfully, I’d love to hear from you. As you know, I am NOT a flower gardener … not a successful flower gardener. And this pesky little specimen has only further contributed to that reputation.

the peas have found the trellis

inula royaleana


Anonymous said...

After viewing the latest photos I can hear Jan Tschoche saying, "Now that is a SERIOUS garden!" Granddaughter Chloe (4 in Sept) arrives on Wednesday and I plan to teach her the garden song and let her plant a section of her own. Flowers, no doubt. The variety that have bloomed so far would make you dizzy in the listing. I may become a convert, however, as I am currently reading ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE! (Kingsolver's latest). Miss your face! Brenda

El said...

That is a LOT of tomatoes! Wow. You have a great variety going, though, Leslie. I am always a bit confounded about how to trellis them so I use 2x2x8' stakes. Not exactly lovely to look at, but they're sturdy. But yes indeed we all have our weaknesses. I planted just about as many broccoli plants (and 5 different varieties, natch) and what is completely crazy is this is just for the early summer harvest. I pot more up at the end of the month.

(oh and do get the Kingsolver book; it is great.)

Gentle Palm's gardener, Portia said...

I hope you like to can..... I went back to almost all hybrids this year myself, after getting 3 Brandywine's ALL SUMMER from 8 plants!

Anthony said...

Now that is an impressive assortment of tomatoes! I'm going with bamboo stakes for support this year. I'm going to try and prune weekly and keep my usual tomato jungle nice and neat this year.

I'm very interested in hearing what you think about those tomato ladders. Be sure to post a review at some point.

Anonymous said...

Check out for heirloom seeds. Great site. (Seed Savers Exchange: Passing On Our Vegetable Heritage) Ran across it while checking out farm parks for Chloe's visit. Brenda