June 20, 2011

We are swimming in chard. Harvested 30 more leaves today. 30!

Need to figure out better trellis' for the cucumbers. Mexican gherkins are finally starting to germinate. Tomatoes look great, fruit on almost every plant!

June 17, 2011

Tomato experiment fail. Well, the roots developed, and I probably could have planted them, but a little infestation of afids occurred in the basement and I did not want them to spread throughout the garden. Oh well.

June 14, 2011

I planted a mixture of rhubarb red, bright lights, and fordhook chard this year. So pretty in the garden!

June 12, 2011

Update on the tomato suckers - They are thriving and producing roots!!!! When I have time I am going to plant them in some pots with either seed starting soil or compost. Will keep you updated.

Tomato sucker that I pruned (don't pay attention to our neighbor's gross yard)

Our Garden at Home
Bought a few little "Purple Wave" petunias and look at them now!
Tomatoes ready and almost ready to be planted
Raised bed with huge brussels sprouts 
Close up of baby basil
Apple mint
When we moved in, there were all these raspberries running amok. Pruned and producing now!

June 10, 2011

Next year I'm going to do more companion planting. I think I will start nasturtiums, marigolds and petunias in the early spring inside.

More chard yesterday. I gave it to a friend. Hopefully she gets good use out of it!

June 8, 2011

One of the problems we had last year was that we went on vacation the first two weeks of June. This was a horrible time to leave. The garden is in full growth stage, which of course means the weeds are in full growth as well. When we came back we could barely tell if anything was alive under the massive onslaught of weeds. Our chard was so puny it barely ever made a comeback.

This year we planted a nice thick bed and have been weeding constantly. Worth it! We have already harvested twice and it just keeps getting better. An onslaught of chard I can handle.

June 7, 2011


My favorite thing to eat, plant, and cook with. Last year, we stuck with three varieties: Gold Medal, Wapsipinicon Peach, and Isis Candy Cherry. Got lots of the fuzzy little yellow peach tomatoes. They were delicious roasted with a little olive oil. Got a few cherry tomatoes. Did not harvest one single gold medal tomato. Sad! They were the ones I was most excited about. Unfortunately, we had a problem that is all too common. The plants went ape shit. They grew and grew and grew. I did a bunch of research and found out that my tomatoes were basically expending all of their energy on making foliage, and not making fruit.

This year, I am pruning. I want smaller, healthier, more productive plants. Much research on the interwebs, and a few You Tube movies later, I found what I was looking for. This is a great article that summarizes what you want to do. To give my own summary, you want one main vine with leaves and flowers. What happens is "suckers" sprout at the point between the leaf stem and the main vine. If left unattended, they will turn into entirely new branches, and your tomato plant will be a nightmare. So you cut those babies off!

This picture shows where suckers are located.
Photo Courtesy of "Three Finger Method to Pruning Tomatoes" by Gary Pilarchik
Another thing I learned was that if the suckers are large, you can grow new plants from them. Simply put the branch in water in the dark for a few days and roots emerge. I'll let you know how this goes, they are in my basement now.

What are your tomato tips?



Some of you may already know me from my other blog - Oh Kitchen, What Won't You Do? - but for everyone else, welcome!

My husband (Andrew - co-gardener) suggested that I start a gardening journal to keep track of what we do, what works, what doesn't, harvests, etc. But, although I relish the idea of a clean, well organized notebook with little sketches and reminders, that is not me. I've never been a journal keeper (not even in my teenage girl years), but I am a blogger!

While I have gardened all my life, it is still a relatively new thing to have my own garden. We had a plot last year at the Temple Ambler Community Garden, but due to poor planning and a bunch of other variables I won't mention, it was not nearly as successful as we wanted. Basically, it was a hot mess!

This year we have a different plot at the same garden as well as a raised bed behind our house in Philly and some herb planters. And boy has it been a different story. We planted on time and have kept up with the weekend. Nevertheless, it has been a much more enjoyable experience and I am very excited to share our gardening exploits with you (and keep a good record)!

To start off with, here is what we have planted:

Apple Mint
Golden Sage
French Thyme

Tomatoes (usually one of each):
Black Cherry
Cherokee Purple
Sweet Olive
San Marzano
Viva Italiano
Mystery Tomato (got it unlabeled)
Early Girl
Wapsipicon Peach
Amish Paste
Gold Medal


Tiger Eye (for drying)
Purple Pole

Other Vegetables:
Cheddar Cauliflower
Chard (Bright Lights, Rhubarb and Fordhook)

Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumbers
Russian Pickling Cucumbers

Exciting, right???

Happy Gardening!