Friday, May 31, 2013

Fenton Friday: Tomato Time!


It occurred to me this week that we have just reached our two-year anniversary at the Fenton Street Community Garden! On May 13, 2011 I posted my first weekly "Fenton Friday" report about our first days in the garden. It is very hard to believe it has only been two years in Plot #16.

One of the biggest changes from the start of the garden to now is that the soil is finally in decent shape. This week I added a big bag of aged horse manure from gardening friend, Lynn Title. I mixed that into a 3x3 foot area and that is where I planted my 9 tomato plants. Three are for me -- 'Sun Sugar,' 'Sun Gold,' and 'Yellow Pear' -- as I love the sweet, cherry-sized ones. The rest are tomato plants I was sent to trial (one of the great perks for being in the Garden Writers Association) -- three are grafted tomato plants from Mighty Mato and the other three are 'Sakura' Tomato from Harris Seeds. No cages for me this year. I find the PVC-coated green garden stakes and nylon ties work much better and take up much less room.

This week we had a "Bermuda High" weather front sitting on top of us, which meant several days in the 90-degree range and daily watering trips to my plot. Plus, worrying about my lettuce and other cool weather crops bolting (aka going to flower and setting seed) in this humid, sticky heat. So far, so good.

Every day I'm harvesting about a cup of Sugarsnap Peas, several bunches of Lettuce, and over a cup of Strawberries. I checked one of the Carrots, but they are still too small -- will give them another couple weeks. This coming week, I plan to put in melon, cucumber, and (new) okra seeds.

Here is an overview shot of my plot I took today by standing on a chair -- 10 ft wide by 20 ft long -- I have a wide border all around and a wide path in the window (I've learned long ago at my home garden that with edibles, access from all sides is key for weeding and harvesting. I have two long beds of about 3.5 ft wide and 18 ft long. On the left-hand bed, in order from front to back, are: Calendula flowers (not pictured), Sugarsnap peas with Basil and Nasturtium seedlings coming in below, Lettuce, Carrots, and four Potato hills. On the right-hand bed, in order from front to back, Strawberries (not pictured), Ornamental (hot) Pepper, Asparagus, a blank space where Okra seeds have yet to emerge, Bean seedlings, Garlic, Tomato plants, and lots of Cosmos.

an overview shot of my plot this week

9 tomato plants are finally in this week
sugarsnap peas are ripe - picking about a cup a day

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