When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the Garden Today

It felt good to get out in the garden today and plant some things. It has been unusually hot here for late April. Our thermometer got up to 96.1 in the shade. Yuck. But as the dusk approached, before I got dinner started, the whole family headed out back to do some gardening.

We picked up the boards covering our freshly turned raised bed soil to find hundreds of earwigs scurrying about. Yuck again. So we set one of our hens over there to scratch and peck for a while and clear the area. The chickens have proven not only to be good egg producers but also great pest control.

Soon after Miss Chicken did her work, I got in the bed with a rake and some Dr. Earth organic fertilizer and mixed up the soil a bit. Then I planted six cherry tomato plants from seedlings and two basil plants, also from seedlings. We started them indoors a few weeks ago and are hoping they will be able to stand this heat (which the news man assures us is going to subside in the coming days.) I found last year that having a little basil and rosemary near our garden attracted the bees and kept pests at bay. I'm not at all sure this is scientific, but it seems to work. Also, I love a nice tomato, mozzarella and basil side dish with dinner in the summer, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mmmmm, caprese always reminds me of my much too short time in Italy...

Oh, my mind wandered for a moment, but must return to the reality of Bakersfield...less culture, more fast food.
I also planted peas along the back of the raised bed where Scott will build a permanent trellis this year. Our pea trellis last year could not stand the weight of the plants and began to buckle toward the end of the pea growing cycle. I am looking forward to planting cantaloupe, squash, and zucchini this weekend.
-The best time to water your plants is from sunrise to 10:00 AM or 6:00 PM to sunset. -The plant enjoys water too. Don't just water the soil around the plant.
-You can wash picked fruit immediately and eat it. (OR I have noticed that if you are not going to eat the fruit right away, wait to wash it until you are ready to eat; otherwise, the fruit doesn't seem to stay fresh as long.)
-Avoid watering your plants during the hottest part of the day (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM).
-Discard any unused fruit that begins to rot. The tomatoes will appear darker in color and become very squishy feeling when they are starting to go bad.
-When you start to see yellow flowers sprouting, you've done it. You should have tomatoes coming off those sprouts within a week.

Some Tips & Warnings and Image courtesy of http://www.ehow.com/how_4512245_grow-tomato-plants.html

1 comment:

R. Hansen said...

Ha Ha Ha... I love the "less culture more fast food" comment!! So true. A little different from our European experiences.