This morning I stumbled to the door bleary eyed and still searching for my lost cup of coffee, to find a gift on my doorstep! My gardening guru and dear friend Stephanie Henderson had left for me, 6 tomato seedlings and a container of her tried and true secret weapon. Butter? No, that was merely the vessel by which the magic traveled.
You dear reader, chose the right day to read my blog. I’m about to share with you the secret for planting your tomatoes early and helping them develop a strong root system (even when the weather is still hovering dangerously close to freezing at night.) Tomatoes Alive! From the website http://www.gardensalive.com is the stuff. According to their web site: “For more than 20 years, gardeners across the country have raved about Tomatoes Alive! Our all-natural fertilizer is a backyard celebrity, famous for producing vigorous plants, big crops and luscious flavor. For Tomatoes Alive! Plus, we’ve added theimportant minerals calcium and magnesium. Tomatoes Alive! Plus is recommended not just for tomatoes but also for peppers and eggplants, which require similar nutrients. Its blend of fast- and slow-release ingredients provides the nourishment your plants need for steady, healthy growth and bountiful crops. With just two feedings a season, your plants will produce more blossoms and set more and larger fruit.”
Stephanie suggests sprinkling Tomatoes Alive in the bottom of the hole before you place the plant. I’ve always just used a little bone meal in the past, so I’m excited to see the difference. If my friend’s Tomatoes are any indication of the success this magic dust can bring to the garden then I’M A BELIEVER!!!!
GOOD LUCK, Gardeners!!
Ugh! Its been a long couple days here at the Hotel Amoroso. The Olive trees have been in overdrive, producing all of that sweet gold (pollen) that makes the circle of life continue and me want to end my own (life). Okay maybe I’m not THAT dramatic, but when the choice is between gardening with my eyes swelled shut or living the life of a shut in… only seeing my plants from the window, it feels like I could be.
My Birthday on Sunday was awesome. We partied, bbq’d, drank and enjoyed life in the backyard.
As promised… here is an update on all things veggie!
TOMATOES: They’re growing fast and most plants have small tomatoes on them. Even the Roma, which was broken in half by the hound dog the week it was planted. As you can tell from the photo below, the cherry tomatoes are taller than the great Gadzuki (and he’s only 2 years old).
Peppers, Zucchini & Cucumbers: A lot has changed in just 17 days since I planted. The Zucchini are already really big, the Cucumbers are climbing up and out of the planter and the Yellow Bell even has a small bell pepper!!
Eggplant, Onion & Garlic: Not a lot has changed… I’m almost wondering if the area might be too shady?
Carrots: They’re getting bigger everyday, but still not large enough to even get a baby carrot.
Radishes: The foliage is getting very large on these… unfortunately almost half our crop was wiped out by the birds. I can’t wait to harvest these and plant another round before it gets too hot. This time I think I’ll try a bird net over the top.
Next: I’m excited to show you how good the compost looks after just a month and a half!
Here’s an update on all of the veggies. I’m also happy to report that with my last show (for a while) over and out of the way, I’ll be gardening and blogging a lot more. With temperatures on the rise & sales at the nursery on the horizon I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about too!!
The Radishes: The good news is that they adjusted to the “thinning” just fine and even the rows I planted in the trenches recovered well and are growing just fine. The bad news is the birds ran out of olives after we raked last weekend and took out the first row of seedlings. I think we’re about 10 days away from our first harvest!!
The Carrots: As it turns out, the carrots seeds I thought I killed with my watering by osmosis experiment, came up! Just as the package would have suggested too, If you know me its not a surprise… patience is not something I excel at. We still have a while to go, I haven’t even thinned them yet… But I was pleasantly surprised to see that this method of watering worked even with seeds.
NEW!! Eggplant & Onions: Just this weekend my sweet nice husband surprised me with $60 to do what I wanted with in the garden! I took (his) hard earned money to STAR Nursery this time, to see if the prices were any cheaper (they were). I picked up a bunch of veggies… ‘Black Beauty’ Eggplant and some Green Onions are what I planted here.
Tomatoes, Lettuce & NEW!! Corn: Well you can see that planting the tomatoes the 2nd weekend in March didn’t do them any harm… even though we did get a little freeze after they were in the ground. All varieties are thriving, the only one that seems to be struggling is the Roma (my hound dog got at it), but even it’s still doing well.
Also, I added some ‘Yellow Pear’ Tomatoes this weekend and ‘White’ Corn stalks against the wall… more for Gadzuki’s amusement than anything.
NEW!! Squash, Zucchini & Peppers: Last weekend we removed a HUGE planter from the patio and moved it over by the tomatoes. This weekend I cleaned it out and planted. Thats why the majority of my budget at STAR Nursery went to mulch & soil. But I did manage to pick up some ‘Yellow’ Squash, ‘Italian’ Zucchini, ‘Japanese’ Cucumbers, and ‘Armenian’ Cucumbers for the bottom level. My idea is that they can climb over the edge and down to the ground. And on top we have ‘Yellow’ Bells, ‘Anaheim’ Chiles, ‘Green’ Bells and Jalapenos.
Some exciting news!! One of my gardens is going to be photographed for a local magazine this week AND one of the students from Mrs Henderson’s Science class got so excited about my compost that she’s started her very own!!
Next: We’ll check in on the seedlings I started in the garage and later in the week we’ll get an official temperature on the compost!
Today I got schooled… and loved every minute of it.
We hit the ground running, picking up Lopez and heading out to Broad Acres swap meet. Where I scored a sweet pitch fork ($4.00)… and heard a fantastic story about an urban youth holding another fellow up by the neck with the afore mentioned implement of death. Plus, a lovely gift for Gilby. Lopez picked up a Muno shirt, SCORE!
I was pleased when we were heading back to the Hotel Amoroso with enough time to spare for me to finally catch one of the weekly workshops that Plant World offers on gardening. Todays theme: Leslie Doyle – The Tomato Lady. The hour I spent listening was awfully educational and embarrassingly humbling. The experience was free and I’ll go over all of the notes I took in tomorrows blog. Until then, you can visit her website the Sweet Tomato Test Garden.
After a quick trip to the dollar store where I picked up some fertilizer, flower seeds & peat cups for seedlings cheap ($4.00)! Oh, and Tamales I bought out of a ladies trunk in the parking lot for tonight’s dinner, we reconvened a the house.
With the usual suspects just happening by, we had an impromptu Mexican Fiesta and everybody stuck around until I announced I was finally putting on the documentary DIRT!
I’ve been talking so much about. Please watch this movie. Even if you’re not a gardener, even if you’re not an environmentalist and most of all it you’ve lived your whole life in a city.
Its a simple reminder that if we’re all doing the best we can, we can accomplish a lot.
Thats it for tonight. Its the weekend, and I love my family too much to stare at this screen much longer. Hope you’ve planted well this weekend. I ironically do LESS gardening on the weekend than I do during the normal week.
Tomorrow: we’ll go over some of the tricks that Leslie Doyle has up her sleeve when it comes to planting in Las Vegas.