I planted two kinds of tomatoes, the previously mentioned Solar Fire, and Celebrity, a pretty standard early tomato. Then yesterday I was reminded in the Master Gardener colmn in the newspaper that both varieties are determinate. Determinate is a trait developed in tomatoes that makes the bush grow just to a certain size. They tend to produce their whole crop at once, not that I have ever had one big enough to make a difference. Indeterminate tomatoes grow to be giants and will grow all over if not heavily staked. The typical tomato cages and stakes will not hold these monsters. Yet, the indeterminate bushes will keep right on producing until they are killed by frost. Last year I had dozens of green fruit when I pulled out the vines. So what to do? Buy another plant and wrestle with it all summer? Buy another plant and figure out how to do something like I saw when we visited an elderly relative in Missouri a few years ago, involving the wire grid they use in cement foundations, and 2x2 8 foot stakes? Or just go with what I have and enjoy what we get and not worry about it?
This past week we ate asparagus, carrots, chard and peas, all picked and brought in just before the meal. It is so fun! Fresh veggies are nothing like the stuff from the store. I am so happy we can do this.
On Saturday we ceremoniously picked our little crop of Meyer lemons and made some lemondade. And of course we are still eating oranges.
I planted tomatoes yesterday, including a new kind called Solar Fire that is supposed to be heat tolerant. Since most tomatoes start moping when temps hit 90 I am hopeful this one lives up to its name. We are so enjoying the spring vegetables I hope this summer is as fruitful.
Sumer is Icumen in,
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Grows the seed and blows the mead,
And springs the wood anew;
Ewe bleats harshly after lamb,
Cows after calves make moo;
Bullock stamps and deer champs,
Now shrilly sing, cuckoo!
Wild bird are you;
Be never still, cuckoo!
Well, not really. But it feels like summer is just around the corner. Here we are, not yet to the equinox or even to the fullness of the spring bloom, but I feel like I am hurtling into summer, something like a spaceship feeling the heat of reentry. These days of spring, of wind and rain and new life emerging are so fleeting. The enjoyment of it all is stressed by the knowledge that hot weather is on its way. I have the sense of needing to hurry, to batten down, to have plants in place and the ground mulched, and finish up whatever plans I dreamed during the past year. Summer is looming as a deadline rather than as a bright new season.
Gardening requires gardening 'stuff'. I am so pleased with my gardening station that is right inside the back door.
In the little drawers I keep seed packets, gloves, plant info labels, twine, plant markers and other bits and pieces. My gloves, clogs, clippers and hat are right there ready to grab as I go out.
Outside I created this potting bench, alongside a plastic storage shed for the rakes and shovels, snail bait and fertilizer.
This is not my dream setup. I would love to have a little wooden shed for storage and potting, with a small greenhouse attached. I can picture it with a large porch that would serve as a patio. Dreams....