Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Question for the experienced gardener

I have tomatoes on many of my plants already - this is much earlier than I have ever had tomatoes. Do these early tomatoes stunt the plant growth? Should I pick them off? It would seem that the plants are putting all of their energy into making these early tomatoes and not into growth of plant. Here in Atlanta we have had a great combination of rain and sun and not too hot. My past gardens were all part of the recent drought. Still it seems that 5 weeks is a bit early to see tomatoes on: Yellow Taxi, Solar Fire, Cherokee Purple, Sweet Million and Box Car Willie

Cindy: Any advice? Should I worry? Pick the tomatoes? Let them be?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Challenges of a raised bed & backyard garden

One of the challenges I face in incorporating my vegetables into my backyard and front yard gardens is how to mesh vegetables and the sometimes sprawling vegetation into a pretty garden. Especially in my back bed where it becomes a lot of green against the house and in the front bed which is prominent to anyone driving by the house. I'll start with how I am working with the front bed garden which is the first time I have planted vegetables out front. This is an area that benefits from a lot of strong afternoon sun.

I used an ornamental column to serve as the post for the pole beans - it is five feet tall but we will see if that is enough for the beans as summer progresses. I have wrapped the squash and melon plants around in a circular pattern to take advantage of the drip hose and scattered in some onions for trial. From there I will be planting flowers around the edge and in the front to soften the look. I am investigating companion planting for the flowers but also have to take into consideration what will live in the hot Georgia sun and of course the colors that I like best.

Regrowth of the black cherry tomato plant

In an earlier post I asked Cindy a question about a tomato plant that lost it's top. She thought it would re-generate and sure enough one of the offshoots has taken over the role of the leader and headed for the sky. Hopefully you can see the small white circle drawn around the spot where the plant broke off and then see the regrowth as it reaches for the sky.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sweet Millions

Greetings, this is the first year in my garden that we have had regular rain and it is amazing to see how fast the garden grows. Most of my plants have doubled in size and the one plant that lost its top has sprouted some strong stems. I have my first tomato as well on my sweet million plant! It's still green but this is very early even for Atlanta. The sweet million is an amazing plant - last year's lasted through Thanksgiving and I finally cut it down. Now, it looks like it has re-blossomed, sprouting a small 6 inch plant - I'll monitor and see what happens to this one as I haven't heard of tomato plants being perennials. I will post a photo soon but for now this is what my crazy sweet million looked like last fall (it's hard to see but it grew to the top of the 6 foot pole and then headed back to the ground with no breakage)