May 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm 2 comments

We did it. We bought a LOT of tomato varieties we wanted, then planted out as many as we could. The bed can really hold 6, maybe 7, but we must have planted at least 12. It’s a sickness. But, everyone gets the same sickness at this time of year:  that urge to grow ones own.  There’s nothing really that can compare to home grown tomatoes. Carrots come a close second for eating straight out of the ground, maybe a radish, but you need to wipe off the soil a bit first. Gotta eat a bushel o’ muck before you die, hey Grandad? Maybe a mossy or two?

We planted basil (started from seed) all around the edges of the tomato bed, because what else are you going to do? It’s supposed to help with keeping insects away, but that’s probably just because you’re over there every other day checking the tomato plants, pinching out a stem here and there and nibbling at the first few ripe ones. The insects are too scared of that giant face! Not mine…yours!

Basil plants near teh tomatoes MIGHT ward off insects...

Basil plants near the tomatoes MIGHT ward off insects...

The Landmark Tomato Structure is complete...

So, as you can see from the photo, I don’t hold any stock in those tomato cages you see for sale over here. I make a structure; two wigwams, a centre support, and cross pieces. As the tomatoes grow, ( they are “vines” after all) you wind their stems around a piece of string you’ve attached at the bottom and flung over the top and tied in. This can be loosened as the plants grow to allow flexibility. It saves all that broken stem nonsense.

AND, Caroline, the indeterminate ones must be cut off at the tips so that you get a few really good toms and not a ton of tiny green ones.

I’ve found, as you know, that germination this year has been sporadic to say the least. So I found all my old lettuce, arugula( rocket) seed and even a few carrots, raked out the end of that particular bed and broadcast all the old seed to see if anything comes up. I figured it was just going to waste, wasn’t worth lining out a row, and what else was I going to do with it? So I dumped it into the bed. If I only get 2 lettuce it was worth it.

Planted my new fig tree “Brown Turkey”. Thought my last one had died in the cold this winter, only to find sparks of life at the base. The dead stems did have borer holes in, though. Like little bits of long cigarette ash poking out. I cut those off and have got to keep an eye on the 2 plants to make sure they are o.k. I don’t want to treat with a systemic as it will get into the fruit but how do you deal with borers on a fruit tree?

I’m sure there’s something else to blog about but I can’t think right now.



Entry filed under: Charlottesville, England, gardening, tomatoes, Uncategorized.

Sunday, achey Sunday The World As We Know It

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jimmy  |  May 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Squirrels (raccoons, rats, chupacabra…) got me toms just as they were ripening here in sunny FLA. It is really the end of the season here–wait now till October and I’ll try again. I hope you have great success–I was trying “Brandywine” heirloom variety–s’posed to be the tastiest, I guess I’ll ask the rat!

  • 2. Deborah  |  June 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Dear EG,

    Love the look of your garden. Your tomato idea is interesting,–reminds me of our old string bean poles– but sounds like a lot of work. I’ll look into it next year. For now, it’s the cage look in our back yard. So attractive. 🙂

    Have fun in the rain,



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