Friday, March 13, 2009

Tomato and Eggplant Worm Pile Experiment

I've been trying to build this worm bed with a base of horse manure, leaves, and kitchen scraps. So I think I killed the worms by piling too much on and not keeping it moist enough. I don't see any in there.

Still, there is all that great compost material, so I didn't want it to go to waste. I trimmed back some suckers and half dead branches (left over from the winter freeze) from the Park's Whopper tomato plant. I love these huge beefsteaks, but this plant seriously did not do well, and what tomatoes it got were getting eaten by something.

Just as an experiment, I stuck four of the suckers into the compost/worm pile to root. I had thrown an overripe ichiban eggplant in there, so I tore it open to see if some of those seeds will sprout. Since they are related (tomatoes and eggplant), they should grow well together. We'll see.

I moved the pot o' potatoes under the oak tree, because potatoes actually don't do too well here in the summer. Maybe by keeping them under there, I can keep them alive. Hope so, anyway. I'll be planting the sweet potatoes in the larger pot next lots of plans for this weekend, so no more gardening.

That's all for today. Most of my gardening lately has been my edibles, but I'm going to try to put something in the gardening blog soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tomato Report

I separated and repotted almost all the tomato seedlings today.

I had 10 Cherokee Purple seedlings, and I only need four at best, so I put the rest into styrofoam cups to share with neighbors.

I put both Husky Cherry Reds into 3 gallon pots. Never have grown these before, but they look like patio tomatoes, so I'm sure they'll be fine in the pots.

I cut some suckers of of the Park's Whopper, and put those into a 1 gallon pot to root. This is my favorite tomato variety, so I want lots of them.

I ran out of soil, or I would have separated and potted up the Black Pear tomatoes as well. I have 5 of those, so I'm going to keep two and give the rest away.

I need to go get more soil, and also I need to get more styrofoam cups. I didn't plan on working outside today, but the tomatoes needed desperately to be transplanted, so I did it. I can't walk outside without doing something! There is just so much to get done.

Tomorrow I'm going to dig up and move the Ice Cream bananas and replace them with Yellow Bell Pepper plants.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Old Garden Spot

My first real garden was in the back of my yard, in front of the hedgerow. It got almost full sun, and was only shaded in the hottest part of the afternoon. It got overgrown after many years of non-use, and today, I started to clean it out, thinking it would be nice to use it again.

Problem is, the oak trees grew a lot in the last 8 years. Guess they would, since I had all those plants under them that I had to fertilize. Now the old garden spot is shaded from about noon on, so no good for really growing most veggies. There is one place there on the side of the yard that gets full afternoon sun, but is shaded in the morning. I think that's where I'm going to put my tomatoes in the fall.

This time around, they'll be in pots, because I really don't have time to dig up a place big enough for all those tomato plants.

Today I tried something I've always wanted to try. I stuck eggplant cuttings. Now, I don't know if eggplants will grow from cuttings, but if they will, I'm going to have three more Ichiban's. I have some Ichiban seeds, but that takes so long, and I want some more plants now. The first time I ever grew an Ichiban, it got three feet tall, and lived for 3 years. Anybody ever rooted eggplant cuttings? Just wondering.

I'm thinking of planting some peanuts. I don't know why, just to make me feel more at home, I guess. I remember eating peanuts right out of the field when I was little and spending time at my paternal grandmother's house. She leased her land to a farmer, and he grew corn and peanuts. As children, we weren't much interested in the corn, but the peanuts were like field candy.

I'm doing a lot of strange stuff this year, just experimenting. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Veggie Report

The veggies are coming along. The tomatoes took a hard hit during the freezing weather, but I cut them back, and they're coming back out. The problem is, they have blossom end rot, so I'll have to add some calcium to the soil. I may actually not even mess with those, because it seems my rat is back, and every time one gets ripe, he eats a hole out of it. I may just leave those two for him, and plant some others somewhere else in the yard. That way, he'll have plenty, and won't try eating the others.

I have to get rid of the rat, though, because I planted some other veggies in the same bed. My yellow crookneck squash and okra is coming up, and more beans. The rat doesn't seem to like the eggplant, so it's doing well. Believe it or not, the beans that got hit by frost are coming back out and now have blooms.

I have a lot of tomatoes to plant out. All 10 of the Cherokee Purple seedlings made it. I also have two Husky Cherry Reds, which look like they will be patio size, and can be grown in pots; and 5 of the Black Plum, which I've never tasted, so I'm looking forward to that.

I'll be growing the yellow bell peppers, which are big enough to transplant, in pots, I think. My neighbor gave me a lot of mixed pepper seeds, so I'll plant them and have some nice surprise plants. She said there were red bells, orange bells, cubanelles, and jalapenos all mixed together.

The pineapples have started to grow, and I'm watering them with horse manure tea. They like natural fertilizer best. After I've leached all the tea out of it, I'll add it to the compost pile

My Valencia orange still has a couple dozen oranges on it. The grapefruit next door is still loaded with fruit as well, so I've had a bounty this year. Plus, there is a vacant house down the road that has Honey Mandarin oranges, red grapefruit, and tangelos. The neighbor says the man died, and his family isn't down much, so take all I want. I've been loading up every couple of days. The Honey Mandarins aren't going to be edible much longer, so I've been stuffing myself.

I've hauled a lot of horse manure lately, and have started a lasagna bed in the back. I'll layer horse manure, oak leaves, and kitchen waste in there and plant in the fall, if I'm still here.

I'm still fighting for my house. A long story, but I have still not gotten my insurance money for my kitchen fire, because the mortgage company won't let me have it unless I use some of it to catch up on the payments. I've called legal aid, and will probably be filing bankruptcy to save the house. I'm waiting to hear from them for an appointment.

So I still have no stove. I'm going to call a repairman and see if this one is o.k. to use. It may be that I've been doing without a stove for nothing, but I really didn't have the money to deal with it.

Life goes on, such as it is. I'll probably end up leaving here, although I hate to. I kick myself for not selling and leaving two years ago, when I could have made a bundle on this house. Now it's not worth what I owe on it, and I'm stuck here.