Peaceful gardening day

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and fl...

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and flowers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did manage to get outside and plant a few things today.  I planted the tomato and pepper plants I bought Friday.  So far, I’ve only planted a Patio Tomato and a Rutgers tomato plant, then 1 Cubanelle pepper plant.  I’ve planted the Cubanelles the past few years and had really good luck with them, very productive plants.  So we’ll see how this year goes.

I did pull some nice looking radishes today.  And I’m looking forward to having some lettuce in another couple of weeks.  Salad outside my back door!!  Yes!

I still need to buy either a grape or cherry tomato plant (funny how they named them, isn’t it?).  I usually grow one or two grape tomato plants and they  produce right up until that first heavy frost.  Have you noticed that tomatoes and corn taste best when you grow them yourself?  Or at least when you manage to eat them right after someone has harvested them.  I don’t really have the room to grow my own corn so I buy mine from a local farmer at the farmer’s market…still pretty darn good.

On another note, (but still food related) I’m starting this 5-day Live Below The Line challenge tomorrow.  It’s a project to bring awareness about extreme poverty…we have to spend less than $1.50 a day for food and drink, which is what a lot of people have to do day in and day out.  Wow!  And to think I bought a $1.49 bottle of tea the other day.  I’ve got my meals planned out, but it definitely won’t be easy.  I’ll keep you posted about how it goes…

My little garden in mid July

As with most gardens, there are some hits and some misses.  Some things in my garden are performing wonderfully.  I’ve got plenty of cucumbers…

Only one pepper plant has actually produced any peppers so far, although the jalapeno plant is now blooming, my fault, I transplanted it late.

The zucchini plant has taken over…

See how huge the plant is relative to the terra-cotta bird bath?  This thing is gigantic. I have plenty of zucchini even with picking them small.

The sunflowers are still blooming although the little gold finches are eating all the seeds.

Now the black-eyed Susans are blooming…

Unfortunately, the tomatoes have been hit with blight again this year…darn it, darn it, darn it! I’m hoping the ones that have come up on their own will manage to avoid it, they did fine last year even though the others all succumbed to the dreaded blight.   In the mean time, thank goodness for the farmers market.

Volunteer plants in the garden

I always enjoy seeing what plants just manage to come up on their own.  Every year I have a few that somehow manage to self sow and most of them turn out to be stronger and more prolific than the plants I spend my hard-earned money on.  The other day I noticed several had popped up.

It never surprises me to see the sunflowers come up on their own.  Those crazy little birds scatter more seed than they eat, I do believe.

The cilantro has already flowered and gone to seed.  I always make sure to save the seeds for future plantings (anyone need some cilantro seeds?).

Ahh….but this is what I’m most excited about.  I noticed a couple of decent sized tomato plants coming up…I just hope one of them is a grape tomato plant.  I had one come up on its own last year and it ended up growing to over six feet in height and was simply loaded with tons of sweet little tomatoes…yum!!

One of the fun things about the volunteer tomato plants is that you don’t really know what you have until closer to harvest time, but I like surprises…most of the time…don’t you?

The storm I didn’t hear

Young tomato plant.

Image via Wikipedia

Well, we had another storm last night.  At least all the evidence this morning indicated that we did.  I must have slept through it and that’s fine with me.  I don’t care what the weather is like as long as it doesn’t blow the house down and I can get some much-needed sleep.  After getting ready for work today, I decided to go out back and look at my tomatoes and peppers.  Wow..what a shock.  My biggest, prettiest tomato plant was bent over…the cage had come out of the ground.  At first I was afraid that my plant was destroyed.  But after looking it over, I realized the stem hadn’t broken or splintered, so I was able to get the cage set back up and prop the plant up again.  One of my pepper plants had also suffered a little damage, but nothing too bad.  A lot of my flowers were really windblown, looking pretty scraggly.  But I think they’ll come back out of it in a few days (of course, now I’m hearing thunder again, might have more storms blowing in…yippee).  As I was walking out the front door, I noticed a lot of tree branches down.  Then I saw the big flag pole in front of the office.  It was bent at probably a 45 degree angle, the weak spot in the pole being about two feet off the ground.  I had no idea that we’d had that much wind come through overnight.  Mother nature can sure pack a punch…I’m pretty much ready for her to calm down for a while.

Now this is some gardening weather

After all the rain we’ve had, it’s so nice to have a few days of sunshine.  The ground is really still too wet to do much..had I only prepared my new bed in the fall, I could probably be out there planting right now.  Alas, I simply couldn’t talk myself into doing the work in the fall, so now I’m paying the consequences.  I may end up doing more container gardening than I’d hoped to do.  But…in some ways container gardening is easier…fewer weeds and pests…but a lot more watering.  During the absolute hottest part of the Indiana summer, I end up watering twice a day for some of the containers.  I’ll worry about that when the time comes though.  Right now, I’m watching my spring veggies grow.

radishes and a lettuce mix

another container of leaf lettuce

Amish paste tomato that I still need to transplant

some of the prettiest pansies I’ve ever grown

yellow and purple pansies interplanted…so nice together

I still have several tomato and pepper seedlings that I need to transplant.  I’m hoping to be able to get some of that done Wednesday.  I’d also like to get some cucumbers planted outside…we’re just about at our last frost date.  My fear now is that it’s going to immediately turn into summer.  It’s supposed to be 88 degrees tomorrow and Wednesday…whew…lower 60s yesterday, almost 90 Wednesday.  Gardening is never boring!

Eggs over easy and the creeks are rising

Tomatoes

Image via Wikipedia

Whew!!  What a rainy, dismal day here in Indiana.  Standing water everywhere…I’m guessing last summer’s drought is now officially over!  And did I hear a weather forecaster call for snow tomorrow?  WHAT??  I am so ready for spring weather.  To be honest, we’ve had some pretty nice weather lately (well, except today).  Spring is definitely right around the corner. 

Spring always has me thinking about gardening…I’ve enjoyed gardening for many years.  Now my garden consists of pots on my back patio.  It’s really surprising how much I can grow in a few (okay, maybe more than a few) pots.  And there’s nothing to compare to the taste of a juicy ripe tomato that you picked less than two minutes ago.

Eggs, you might ask…how did we go from gardening to eggs?  Did Patti lose track of what she was writing about?  (Not that that hasn’t happened)  Oh no, the eggs definitely have something to do with gardening…not to mention tonight’s dinner.

Sometimes I just like to have breakfast for dinner and tonight was one of those times.

Now…how do eggs have anything at all to do with gardening?  Well, I read another blog the other day (and I’m so sorry that I can’t remember which one) that mentioned putting crushed eggshells in the pot (or hole) where you’re going to grow tomatoes to provide additional calcium to the plants.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve struggled with my tomatoes the past couple years…blossom end rot…and supposedly, the addition of calcium can help counter that!!  So, if you come to my house for the next few weeks, this is what you’ll see…

Eggshells, rinsed and drying.  And, hopefully, by the middle of the summer, you can come over and see my tomato plants healthy and loaded with gorgeous red globes, tiny grape tomatoes, heavy Romas and sunny yellow tomatoes…well worth a few eggshells scattered around my kitchen!