Saturday, May 29, 2010

50 Tomato Plants

Yes, 50.  If you have been reading, you know I had this thing about buying seeds.  I bought packets, and packets, and packets.  Well, lately I've been buying tomato plants.  I hear the names of the specific types of tomato and think they sound so wonderful that I just need to grow it in my garden.  Last Saturday I was at the farmer's market and bought two heirloom/rare tomatoes from some guy there.  Initially, he tried to get me to buy  a tomato tree.  He promised it would grow to 25 ft. tall.  First of all, I don't have a place to grow a 25 foot tall anything, and second of all, how on earth would I harvest the fruit?  So I've been slowly accumulating tomato plants.  These are in addition to the ones I've grown myself, from seed. Anyway, I find myself with 50 tomato plants. 

Today I spent about 3 hours at my rented garden (which will be referred to from now on as The Big Garden - not to be confused with the miniscule garden in my backyard, which is referred to as The Little Garden.)  I should probably come up with something far more interesting to call these 2 patches of land I'm taking care of.  Oh well. 

I've been reading about other people's square foot gardens and decided to do something similar but on a slightly larger scale.  I divided my garden into 1sq. yd.  sections instead of 1 sq. foot sections, and marked them off with some shims I had in my garage.  I didn't feel like stopping at the home improvement store for some stakes so...   I also had some kite string that I used to mark off the plots.  Then I started planting.  I believe I have 44 tomato plants planted.  But I may have miscounted.  There just may be 45.  (The other 6 are planted in The Little Garden.)

I only had time to plant about 2/3 of the garden today.  I got all of my tomato plants in, 24 pepper plants, 2 sq. yards of carrots, 2 sq. yards. of parsnips, and 1 sq. yard of rutabagas.  Plus, I planted some watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, and cabbage.  The only things left to plant are potatoes, onions and beans.  When I go back there on Monday, I'll be mulching with some straw that the farmer provides. Do you see the pipe in the bottom of the picture?  That's the watering system with the sprinkler head right there near the lower right.  He waters twice a day.  If only he would weed too.

There are a lot of these 1000 sq. foot plots that this guy rents, and many people personalize theirs with signs and stepping stones and such.  Its fun to walk around and look at what people are growing and how they are doing it.  It makes me feel a little self-conscious, wondering if people are looking at my stuff and wondering why in the heck I'm doing it that way. We aren't supposed to use pesticides so I'm going to be on the lookout for non-chemical means of pest control.  Any suggestions are welcome!  I would also welcome some tomato recipes!  (Its quite possible that a tomato intervention is also in order.)

Today we attended the first of several graduation parties.  I love this time of year!  Nevermind that there's all kinds of food, or cake at every stop. Its just such an exciting time to see these kids achieving this milestone.  Their futures are so full of possibilites that it makes me excited for them.  Some of these kids are ones I've known their whole lives and I'm always surprised that they have grown up so quickly.  Others are new friends I've recently met, but it doesn't matter; I couldn't be prouder of any of them if I was their own mother.  I will miss these kids when I don't get to see them on a regular basis!

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