Sunday, June 20, 2010

Red Tomato...

My wife found the first red tomato in the garden this year... It was of the Nyagous variety and we didn't take a picture of it. We ate the tomato, and now nobody believes that we had one to begin with ha!

There's another about to ripen up in the next couple days. I'll be sure to get a picture of it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Another Quick Update on pictures...

 Everything is growing great. Still have not personally watered the garden but we've had some good thunderstorms in the evening that have brought a lot of water to the tomatoes so I can't complain.
Still shocks me at how fast everything grows.

Some of the older cages are short... like 3 1/2 ft tall. Too short, it seems, to hold back the power of the tomatoes. I put all the short cages at the back of the garden as that is usually where the tomatoes don't grow very tall. That doesn't seem to be the case this year so I'm going to have to invest in a couple tall steel stakes and run some twine in a weave pattern between them to hopefully support the tomato plants as they come out of the tops of the cages. There are many examples of different types on the internet so I'll show you what I come up with next week. Whatever I do, it needs to be quick as they are at the top and ready to come out.

Here are some pictures. First I'll repost the two pictures of just the garden so you can get an idea of how fast everything is growing.

                                                                              May 21

                                                                               May 31

                                                                              June 6th

Here is a picture of what I guess is a MegaBloom on my Tasty Evergreen. It looks like one stem that has 3 blooms that are all squished together... hopefully going to turn into a MegaTomato ha...

The beans I planted on the 21st of May seem to have come up well. The 6 or 7 tobacco/nicotina plants are as well as are the watermelon, squash and zucchini. I just planted some more basil and some cucumber and incorporated the piece of chainlink gate I have for my cucumbers to grow on.
Hope all is well with all of you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

So, I need to update!

My Tomatoes are doing great! The ground is still moist from the rain we recently received and the weeds that I thought wouldn't come up are starting to come up. I've been busy doing other things though, which hasn't left me a lot of time to Tomato Out!
I'm about to grab the camera now and go out to take some pictures. I've got some pictures from one week ago so we'll be able to compare and see how fast everything is going in the garden.

On a total side note, since I uploaded some pictures from my phone, I figured I'd talk about what we did at work this week ha! We built a house 3 or 4 years ago down on the beach here in Maryland. The house turned out lovely and is seriously only one of only areas in our part of the state that actually has a real beach. It's a lot on the Potomac River.

Anyhow, we went back this past week to do a little fun construction. The couple that own the house have a pier but you have to walk quite a distance through sand to get to it. They wanted a walkway from the house to the pier with a deck built in between to entertain guests. The walkway from the house and deck itself are covered in that new fiberon material and hooked to the framing using the clips so there is no nailing or screws that show once it's done.

So I guess the long and the short of this story is that we actually drove pilings into the sand all the way from the house to the pier, and attached our framework to those pilings. We drove four 12 ft pilings down near the deck. Originally the homeowners wanted a little roof made on top, somewhere where they could keep their BBQ Grill. My mind started working as we went thinking "what good is a grass thatched roof if you don't have a bar under it? :)" The homeowners agreed and we decided to turn the 'grillin' spot' into a bar. As we decided on how it was going to be we all talked about how cool it would be (albeit crazy) to use the stern of a real boat for the actual bar! The next thing I know the homeowner shows up with the back of a boat on the trailer. Apparently one of the marinas close by was about to burn the whole boat for their 4th of July celebration.

A little grass on the roof, some small walls of treated lumber and rolled bamboo, the stern of a boat... looks like a great place to hang out on a lazy day, huh?

The boat isn't totally connected to the bar frame yet as the homeowner wants to refinish the back of the boat. Everything is still in the stern, rodholders, exhaust holes, gas cap, cleats... it's awesome! Hopefully I'll get invited back for the opening party!

So, here we go with some pictures of the garden. First a couple pictures from last week. Friday to be exact. It's been 9 days in between the pictures. Hard to believe...

Now, this week

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tiller Time!

Well, it's about that time to break out the ol' EconoHorse Tiller I inherited from Grafton. The thing just keeps on truckin'. I tilled the leaves under last Saturday and the garden didn't look as nice as I'd hoped it would but that's just because there's so many leaves in some spots and less leaves in others. Today I tilled the garden again and it looks a bit better this time. I'm thinking it's going to need 3 or 4 more tills before it's ready for my plants.

I also planted some more stuff last Sunday. I planted some more tomatoes. Black Krim, Yellow Brandywine, Boxcar Willie, some more Paul Robeson that I saved myself from last year, some Green Zebra, and Orange Oxheart were started and I see they're just now peaking through the soil. That makes my list look like this:

Paul Robeson (true seed)
Tasty Evergreen
Red Zebra
Gold Medal
Yellow Mortgage Lifter
Japanese Trifele
Black Krim
Yellow Brandywine
Orange Oxheart
Boxcar Willie
Paul Robeson (Chris's mix)
Green Zebra

I also planted some Peppers... a Giant Yellow Monster bell pepper, and another sweet pepper called Macaroni.
I found some seed I saved from a huge watermelon I planted a couple years ago called Carolina Cross, and added to that with a couple plantings of Kolbs Gem and Moon and Stars. I don't have very good luck for some reason planting the Watermelon seed inside as I think it needs higher soil temperatures to get going but we'll see what happens.

So anyway, I tried to make a quick video that highlights the ol' EconoHorse... My movie making skills leave a lot to be desired though ha.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tomato Plants a-poppin'!

They're starting to poke through the soil. I have both flats under a 4 ft fluorescent light out on the porch. Actually, I just let them go on their own from last Sunday till Friday, at which time I added the light over top. I would love to experiment with doing some time lapse pictures of them as they sprout and grow. Maybe I can talk my wife into letting me use her old laptop and I can probably scare up an old webcam (Good idea Diggs)...

So I also helped 'The Neighbor' build another Salad Box. This one was made of 2x4 and some screen. It's roughly 16" x 32" and is put together with 8 screws. Important to note that pre-drilling is a good idea and makes your life easier in the long run. With someone with some knowledge on using a saw and a drill it should take mere minutes to get together and ready for dirt. A metal screen is stapled onto the frame after it's screwed together, making sure to double-up/fold the screen over where you staple it on the sides for extra strength. 'The Neighbor' always uses another layer of 'ratwire' that just increases the strength and makes sure that the screen won't fall through after the dirt is added.

Video shows short clips of the assembly, screening and two salad boxes made from old lumber found in one the many sheds on the compound. Shows that it doesn't take much to grow fresh veggies like lettuce, spinach and herbs inside using some partial sun coming from a window and artificial fluorescent lighting. The lettuce is probably going on 3-4 weeks and the spinach 2 1/2 weeks. There is also some parsley in there as well.

note2uppl: Yes that is a Gen-U-ine miniature ball-peen hammer!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tomato planting time!

I don't know if it's late or early for getting my tomatoes started. I always forget the dates that I planted them the year before. Last year I even went so far as to write everything down... who knows where that paper is... ha.

A couple things I wanted to mention. Everyone I've seen uses different mediums to start their seeds in. Some like sunshine mix, some use seed starting mix... I like to use dirt. When I say dirt, I mean that I like to use something heavy, dark, and something that's easy to get AND keep moist. All of those seed starting mixtures out there are mostly sphagnum moss. That stuff is a pain in the butt to get wet for the first time. Last year I had to put a bunch into the wheelbarrow and dump some water in and mix it around forever until it soaked up the water.

This year I'm just using a Miracle Grow potting soil. Yeah, most people probably wouldn't use it... it has weird stuff in it... and fertilizer but you know what? When I'm planting this many tomatoes, I'm going to do what's easy and I know this stuff works. Probably better than all that sphagnum moss, at least in my opinion.

Today I planted 144 seeds. Here's the rundown:

36 Paul Robeson (true seed)
18 Tasty Evergreen
18 Red Zebra
18 Gold Medal
18 Yellow Mortgage Lifter
18 Nyagouos
18 Japanese Trifele

I still have all my Uncles seed to plant as well as some more Paul Robeson that I saved from my own tomatoes last year. I wanted to see if they might be a bit different since they were packed in with some other tomatoes. It'd be cool to see some crossbreeding going on with that one.

My wife and I have been real busy with life in general so I haven't had much time to post. Work picked up, a lot! And it's rare to get a day off that you don't work or plans doing something else. I'm still trying to get lined up to do some of the things I talked about in the previous post.

Hope everyone is well... and yes I know I have 'ham hands'


Monday, February 1, 2010

So I can't stop myself...

So today I went to throw away the envelope that my Uncle sent me seeds in and realized there was one more little bag of tomato seed I didn't even see. A variety called Boxcar Willie! I've seen this variety a number of times and now I get to try it out.

That compounded with the fact that I ordered more seed today means that I have a real problem. A bunch of plants that I want to have - vs - not that much space to plant them. I'll definitely have to figure something out.

I added to my original list which brings the total so far to:

Paul Robeson (the favorite)
Boxcar Willie
Gold Medal
Black Krim
Yellow Oxheart
Yellow Mortgage Lifter
Lemon Boy
Better Boy
Green Zebra
Red Zebra
An organic Tasty Evergreen
Japanese Black Trifele
and Nyagouos (another purple/black variety)

So my list is growing. I don't want it to really but I can't help myself. I'm going to need to talk to someone about some land ha!

I hope to update from here on out weekly and plan on doing some how/to posts including but not limited to:

How to make your own salad boxes
How to make your own seed starting/growing shelves complete with lights.

Hope everyone is well.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


So there's 10 or 12 inches of snow on the ground... so what? We can still all dream about planting our tomato plants can't we?

I'm going to try a little harder this year to post more pictures and maybe even some video on the who, what and where. I just got some seeds in the mail from my Uncle George including Black Krim and Yellow Oxheart. This should be a fun year as tomatoes go.

I learned quite a bit from last year.

1. I need a bigger garden ha!
2. Flagging tape does hold up tomato plants but DOESN'T hold up tomato plants with tomatoes on them.
3. I know what didn't do well last year and what did.

As far as #1 is concerned, I'm going to address that to a point. Last year I had a strip of grass big enough for my tractor to fit down the center of the garden to get my clippings to the compost. I'm going to turn most of that back into usable soil. That at least would give me another two rows of tomatoes.
I'm not going to mess with cherry tomatoes this year. They did great last year but I personally could care less about them. My list of tomatoes that I want to plant is this:

Paul Robeson (the favorite)
Gold Medal
Black Krim
Yellow Oxheart
Yellow Mortgage Lifter
Lemon Boy
Better Boy
Green Zebra
Maybe a new Green Variety...

Now, instead of the 17 varieties I had last year, I can plant more of the tomatoes I really want to eat!

As for #2... I found out the hard way and toooooo late that flagging tape just won't hold tomato plants full of tomatoes to stakes. I did come away with three smaller rolls of concrete wire from the job site this fall so there's at least 7 or 8 more cages right there. I guess I will go spend the 70 dollars per roll and at least buy one, which would give me another 20 25 cages. With my slimmed down list and # of plants I should be fine adding those to what I already have.

Enjoy the Snow everyone... at least everyone around here...