Monday, June 24, 2013

Gibby's Garden Diary entry #6 - Plant List

After a 2 week hiatus from blogging, I’m back with a garden diary entry. I know the last entry I made I complained about the weather and yes, I’m here to complain about it again, but only for a few sentences. The weather here in Maine has been all over the place. We either get downpours or it’s hot and humid for days at a time wreaking havoc on my garden soil.

With that being said, I’ve replanted a few of my cucumber mounds and will probably have to replant some of my beans as well. I’ve heard from a number of people, one who works in a lawn and garden center, that many people are having to replant some of their seeds due to sporadic weather we've been having. On a lighter note, my transplants seem to be doing fine as they already have roots and have established their places in the garden.

Okay - enough of the complaining already - right? Here’s what I have in the ground so fa,r and yes, I still have more to plant as I have run out of space and need to make some new garden beds for my root vegetables and corn. Not having planted my corn yet is what is really bothering me - but that’s a different story that'll I'll share in another garden diary entry.

What's Growing in Gibby's Garden in 2013

  • “Hybrid Miss Pickler” Cucumbers - 6/15/13 - 6/20/13 *
  • “Beefmaster” Tomatoes - 5/27/13
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 5/27/13
  • "Roma" Tomatoes - 6/3/13
  • “Viva Italia” Tomatoes - 6/3/13
  • “Premium Crop” Broccoli - 6/10/13
  • “Snow Crown” Cauliflower - 6/10/13
  • Jalapenos - 6/10/13
  • "Mesclun Mix" Lettuce – 6/13/13
  • “Hybrid Tyee” Spinach - 6/15/13
  • “Northfield” Peas - 6/13/13
  • “Blue Lake” Pole Beans - 6/5/13 - 6/19/13
  • “Golden” Wax Beans- 6/5/13  - 6/20/13
  • “Early White Vienna” Kohlrabi - 6/15/13
  • “Bright Lights” Swiss Chard - 6/15/13
  • “Hybrid Twilight” Eggplant - 6/15/13
* The dates listed are planting dates

Now you can see why I’ve run out of room in my 3 exiting garden beds. I’m definitely one of those crazy gardeners who loves planting everything under the sun. I’ve never grown Swiss chard or eggplant, so I’m anxious to see how they grow this year and I’ll be sure to let you know.

Is anyone else having any gardening issues this growing season? I’d love to hear about em’ below.

View Previous Garden Diary Entries

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 Quick Tips for Planting Tomatoes

Image: Jolly Janner 
Before heading out to plant your tomatoes, pick a spot in the garden that receives full sun, a good 6-8 hours a day, and one that has fertile, well-draining soil. Then, set your seedlings up for success by following these 5 tips for planting tomatoes.

Tip #1: Pinch off Bottom Leaves of Tomatoes

Pinching of the bottom most leaves of tomato plants encourages them to grow bushy and full rather than tall and thin. Pinch off only the bottom leaves, leaving the true leaves intact. True leaves are those that are main branches and have two to three sets of leaves per branch already.

Tip #2: Sprinkle the Ground with Egg Shells

In the weeks leading up to planting time, save your egg shells. Crush them up and sprinkle them in the holes in which you’ll be planting your tomatoes. Egg shells give the soil a boost of calcium, something your tomatoes will be thankful for. Make sure the shells are clean and crush them up before sprinkling them.

Tip #3: Size and Depth of Planting Holes

Holes should be twice as wide as the root ball of tomato seedlings and deep enough to plant tomatoes up to their first set of true leaves. Planting tomatoes at this depth gives them the support they need as they grow tall and wide, helping to keep their roots anchored.

Tip #4: Gently Loosen Root Ball of Tomato Seedlings

Gently loosen the root balls of tomato seedlings to entice the roots to spread out and anchor themselves once they’ve become established. It’s okay if some of the roots break. Loosen the ball about 3/4 of the way up, leaving the top of the ball intact.

Tip #5: Cage Tomatoes from the Start

After planting tomato seedlings, cage them right away. Doing this from the start is much easier than trying to slip a tomato cage over a mid to full-size plant and it’s many branches and leaves. You can also make your own support systems out of garden stakes and twine. 

Do you have any tips to share about planting tomatoes?

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Gibby’s Garden Diary Entry #5 - Excessive Rain & Heat

June 3, 2013

The weather lately really hasn’t been cooperating with my vegetable gardening - that is for sure.  Over Memorial Day weekend we had a North Easter which dumped lots of rain, completely saturating the ground and making it impossible to plant anything without risking a washout or root rot.

This weekend, the temps hovered around 100 degrees making it unfit for this gardener to head out and plant during the day - though I did manage to get my tomato plants in the ground Friday night as well as 2 rows of cucumbers - planted in hills of course.

What I planned on doing was planting all my cucumbers, which I’m planting a lot of to make pickles this year, and my lettuce. That didn’t happen. Today the weather is cooler and we’ve had some more rain which is expected throughout the day.

The rest of my gardens were rototilled this morning, so I’ll be busy planting away this week as long as the weather cooperates, as I’ve learned heat is not my friend. I plan on laying down my mulch hay first and then planting. I did this where my tomatoes and cucumbers were planted and it saves time. I simply raked the mulch back where I wanted to plant and that was it.

On a side note, I was glad I put my tomatoes in this weekend because they were beginning to outgrow their pots. Use your judgment when it comes to hardening off seedlings. My tomatoes didn’t quite get 2 weeks of hardening off but they’re doing just fine in the garden.

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