Sunday, May 22, 2011

Heaven Help Me, I Have Planted 18 Tomato Plants

In my defense, however, 9 are being "square foot gardened,"
which means one tomato plant is planted per square foot, and then I viciously trim them back enough that they can climb the wall of hog wire we'll put behind them.  While the square foot gardening guy has been doing this for almost as long as I've been alive, and it obviously works or else he wouldn't still be doing this, I just can't fathom this, so I have 9 plants that--even though I am sure he's not lying--I just can't really believe will produce many tomatoes.

We're also trying three Wall-of-Water tomatoes, and I took the W-O-Ws off two of them today, and they didn't look good
so I'm giving the third one another few days.  To fair, this scraggly looking thing does have flowers on it................but it also can't stand up without support.  So that's actually 12 plants that I'm unsure of, so really I might just have 6 tomato plants, which is far less than usual, so there is just the teensiest possibility that I will freak out about salsa shortages and go buy some tomato plants anyway.  Most of these are my own seedlings, and they've been enjoying regular backyard "outings" to get ready
though their pepper friends are probably going to wait until June to join them.  It might take me three years of killing peppers to learn such things, but even I will eventually notice that peppers need really warm nights to survive, and that typically isn't going to happen in May.

My buttercup squash seedling died, but the jug-greenhouse has worked really well for the zucchini

and since rogue cucumbers have been popping up, I decided it was time to free the zucchini before it outgrew the vinegar jug, and ta-da:
It's looking fabulous, and about how it would normally look in about late June?  I've never had good luck with transplanting any squash or cucumbers, but giving them a head-start with the jugs seems to work really well.  This guy has been on his own for a few days now, and is positively perky, so I think it's all good.  

We have the first sign of broccoli,
and everything else is pretty much just insane at this point:
About two weeks ago an elderly gent in the gardening section of Fred Meyer told me it was too early to be gardening yet, and I just didn't have the heart to tell him that we were already starting to harvest cooler crops, like the lettuces and spinach I planted on February 27:
I suppose as long as no one tells the plants it's too early, everything is good.  I suppose gardening is like anything--there are those who know very little but are willing to try anything (which, I think we can safely agree, is my method of gardening) and those who assume they know everything and won't try anything new.  And while I admit it's hard to get my mind around a whole new way of gardening,
it does seem to be working.  These are my new potato boxes Andy made this weekend.  According to the SFG book, you're supposed to dig way down in one square, plant 4 potatoes, then keep burying them as they grow.  I admit--this has been a real struggle for me, as 4 potatoes in one square foot seems quite insane to me, but he's been right on everything else, so I've decided to just have faith.  There's a tiny problem, in the fact that while I decided to believe him, I probably didn't believe that it would really work or that all the potatoes would sprout, so we have just a few more potato plants than would be reasonable, and....
they're all growing like weeds.  These have already been buried all the way back up to ground level, and are now filling their new boxes.  Every. Last. One.  Oops.  There's still no guarantee that all of them will produce as many potatoes as the plants we had two years ago did, so I have promised myself to not worry too much until we start seeing a few potatoes.  Or, perhaps, a truckload.

Speaking of problem plants,
remember me mentioning the mustard greens we were enjoying?  Since they sounded vaguely lettuce-like, I thought I'd plant them like Romaine--4 per square foot.  Well, they're nothing at all like Romaine.  We now have 4 very crowded monster plants, and they're flowering so we will be able to get mustard seeds from the darn things, but we're not exactly sure if they will continue to get even bigger.  Oops.  At least we still like the taste of the leaves....that's something. 

All 100 petunias are now planted: 
(including a lot that didn't get photographed), and the "vigorous reseeder,"
also known as Cosmos, are diligently trying to squeeze them out.  Now I like Cosmos, and had actually intended to plant them again, as they are quite lovely flowers, but last year by the end of the season, they had reached the top of this window:
 I'm pleased about the ones that came back in among the irises, since they can cover them up once they're done flowering, but they are determined to grow in the front of the flowerbed as well, and I am almost as determined to not be the first person in history to receive a complaint that my flowers have attacked the mailman, so they keep sprouting and I keep ripping them out.  It's a little game we play here. Along with "Which plant did Theo just dig up," "Where has the parsley moved to this year," and my personal favorite, "Whose stupid idea was it to plant mint in the first place?"

Ah, summer................


KT said...

Your garden is doing great! Our seeds are now sprouting so we are a bit behind you!!

Abby said...

Well, in my garden, the mint was my idea. My BAD idea. And I have 15 tomato plants. For a household of one. Keep posting the square foot garden results - I love experimental gardening!


You know you've reached a whole new level of gardening when you receive a wholesale catalog.....