Monday, July 16, 2007

I love mid- July

I love mid-July ! The cukes and zucchini are not coming in at a frightening pace yet, and the beans and peas are still a manageable treat. Moreover, the tomato hornworms haven't shown up (at least so you can see 'em.)

Let’s begin with tomatoes. Something magic is going on out there this year. Very little blossom drop, very little leaf curl just big luscious tomato plants. Can this really be tomato gardening as I know it? Might I finally have a summer with too many tomatoes? It could be.

I attribute this welcome turn of events to three factors. First the quality of the compost I built last summer from local lamb manure. Second the calcium I used in the soil this year that was given to me by Jim at Walatoola. And last, and maybe most important, a June and early July with low humidity. No, make that four factors: I am pruning much less this year. Stay tuned.

In the meantime it was nice to finally bring out the tomato knife even if it was to slice into a cherry tomato.

Then there is the garlic harvest. I confess to a mistake this year. My garlic beds are outside the garden. I did not water them this spring at all. And that was OK as long as Mother Nature was doing her part which she stopped doing around June 10. By early July they had browned out. In hindsight I should have watered regularly until all the scapes had been removed. I thought their roots would be able to find water, but they could not.

The result is that my bulbs are much smaller than they might have been. The two varieties that might be contenders at the Fair are Montana Giant and a variety I have nicknamed Place Monge after the Parisian organic market I bought it in last summer.

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