September 18, 2006
I came back from my trip very late Friday night and I would have headed straight to the garden on Saturday morning except for the fact that my poor cat's ear was swollen to 4 times its normal size and I had to get her to the vet. Now she has to wear one of those plastic cones around her neck -- how uncool.
I did manage to get out there on Sunday morning and the place looked like a total disaster. I asked a friend to water and take all the ripe tomatoes she could handle while I was away but, it still wasn't much care for a 10 day period. I ended up putting more tomatoes into the trash than I took home with me. The biggest excitement was the lima beans. I have always wanted to grow them and I failed last year. They're still sitting in the pods on my counter because when you wish for something for so long its hard to see it come to an end. Luckily I can attempt to grow them again next year.
I think next weekend I'll be spending a few hours pulling up all the tomato plants and all the weeds that I ignored through the month of August. The garden is seriously looking scraggly.
After that I'll be doing some reading on what to do now to prepare for next season. If anyone out there has any tips please send em my way.
September 5, 2006
Jeez Louise I can't believe how much updating I have to do. I pretty much stopped tracking the rainfall for all of August and I don't even have a photo of MY garden for this post. I need to sit down with my camera (and my conscience) when I get back from my trip to the Pacific Northwest (I leave in about 2 hours) and write a proper blog entry. Bad bad bad.
Meanwhile.....I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with. I AM very happy and pleased and all that. They taste good and I feel like a very generous friend these days (offering enormous heirloom tomatoes, grown with love, to everyone around) BUT.....I still see all the flaws:
The tomatoes are all splitting because of uneven watering and the plants are all toppled over and brushing the ground because I was wimpy at tying the branches to the stakes. I thought they were secure but really, I left them too much room to work with. I must be more stern next time. Oh and I never got a handle on the various diseases (wilt, spot, etc.) so I spent about an hour yesterday trying to clear out all the brown, dried and diseased leaves before they drop on the ground. Have I ruined the soil for next year? Honestly, I think I might just be worrying for nothing because, just about everyone elses tomato plants look about the same but, it sure does seem bad. Someone also told me that the tomato leaves getting wet is part of the problem. How do you prevent THAT? Even if I watered really carefully just at the soil line wouldn't the rain get them wet?
August is a busy month workwise for me and it always is so I just need a better plan for next year. Yes, I am already thinking about next year. I need a whole new layout. My poor parsley got completely shaded out and all my neat paths are pretty much invisible now. Do they have makeover shows for gardener's? "What not to plant?" Oh and I think I need to grow white eggplant. Someone else is growing some nearby and it looks so cool and spooky. I am so jealous.....I must have some.
More on plans for next year later.......