Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tomatoes, Rain Barrels and Garden Gnomes

Re: Spinach
I have, three days later, one teeny tiny little sproutling that's come up right where I planted these seeds directly in the garden beds. I'd love to say it's my spinach but in all honesty, I'm not sure! I'll keep my peepers peeped and confirm when more come up or when it starts to look like spinach and not a weed. Heh.

Re: Tomatoes
I'm a lazy so-and-so and have yet to start my tomatoes. What the heck am I waiting for? I really better do that tomorrow.

Re: Staking Tomatoes
So PA left a comment about a tomato staking product which they were wondering if they should use or not. While the stake itself looks fairly sturdy the method of holding the plant to it, I don't agree with. They've twisted a hard piece of wire through the stake (it has holes) and around the stem of the plant. This not only creates direct contact, ie. rubbing of vine to stake which can potentially open the vine up to insects and disease but it also doesn't allow for growth. You'd have to monitor the wire twist to make sure that as the vine grows the twist doesn't get too tight around the plant.

I always try to use a softer material to tie any and all plants with that need tying. Often a strip of plastic grocery bag will do the job just fine. While it still needs to be monitored that it doesn't become too tight I tend to tie loose and check often - I've yet to cut off one my plants with this method. I never tie the stem directly to the stake but make a circle eight with the string or strip of bag. This keeps them from rubbing up against one another. Obviously not a tomato plant but hey - it's still only Feb so I used what I could find! ;^) (poor little branch)

Re: Cages and Props
These are the tomato cages I've used in the past. They are very sturdy and won't blow over in any wind. (One of PA's concerns). They are excellent for determinate type tomatoes that are shrubbier. I'm still working on indeterminate tomato type staking. I'll most likely start with one of these cages to hold the base of the plant up and put some plastic rebar type staking with it as the plant grows late into the season. We'll see how it goes.

Re: Garden Gnome & Rain Barrels
My little garden gnome "helping" me put together the rain barrel the other day. She always makes me laugh.


Randy Emmitt said...

Cute photos of the gnome in the rain barrel! Our daffodils should be open by tomorrow. I planted spinach on Valentines day, it's raining now an might snow later today, hoping to see it out of the ground soon. We do have kale, arugula and meslin up from plantinf Jan 24 and Jan 31.

Get on those tomatoes.

Annie's Granny said...

I haven't grown indeterminate varieties of tomatoes in years. When I did, I had the room to just let them sprawl on the ground, and I had gorgeous tomatoes. I'm biting the bullet this year, and trying 8 different varieties of indeterminates. I'm going to try the Florida Weave method of trellising with them, using heavy cotton clothesline. Since they are "lassoed" every ten inches up the pole, and the cord is never tied or looped on a plant, I'm hoping this method will serve my purpose. I'm also going to play with upside down Tumbling Toms in buckets, hanging from the rail of the dog kennel. That is, if I get them all back to WA safely!