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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Vegetable Garden

  It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my summer vegetable garden, but don’t let that fool ya, it’s been very productive this summer. So much so that it's been consuming most of my outdoor time recently – but with all this, who’s complaining, right?IMG_4135

As you can see, I enjoy growing a variety of vegetables. I tend to plant lots more than I can keep up with but the neighbors don’t seem to mind receiving the overflow.

Tomatoes are the main crop right now. They are really coming in at full force.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of my favorite veggies to grow in the garden - there's just so much you can do with them in the kitchen. I grow several varieties of hybrid and heirloom tomato plants. I personally prefer the paste (roma) variety. These are determinate tomatoes plants and are best for making and canning my favorite salsa.

Salsa

However, tomatoes don't come without their fair share of problems. They can be finicky plants. I always plant a few extra in the garden incase I loose some to disease of any other unforeseen circumstance. Because they are susceptible to various spreading diseases it's a good idea to plant them in various spots around the garden as opposed to putting them all in one area. That way if a disease strikes a particular plant, it hopefully wont infect the whole bunch.

Crop rotation is also very important practice that I apply in my garden. I like to draw a sketch that outlines where I plant each thing in the garden so I can track where vegetables were located the year before. Rotation is especially important with tomatoes. Tomatoes are part of the solanaceae (night shade) family of plants that include potatoes, peppers and eggplants. If you can help it,  it's best not to plant these vegetables in the same spot where they, or any of their kin (solanaceae family) were planted the year before.

peppers

A few simple techniques like these will not only help grow happier tomatoes but will help improve your overall garden vigor.

Just remember to keep it simple and have fun...like I've heard Felder Rushing say "it's just digging a hole and putting stuff in it".

 

4 comments:

Dave said...

Looks good Alan! Your tomato vines look much healthier than ours. We've had so much rain the blight has set in.

dAwN said...

oh...what a wonderful time of year! Just left mom and dads with some of their garden bounty..have a picture in my latest blog post.
Didnt know about the rotating of tomatoes...Good to know.
I love the looks of heirloom tomatoes..thanks for all the advice..and someday when my home stays put..i will have a veggie garden of my own.
will call u for advice. :)

Gabrielle said...

Hi Alan,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Your garden goodies look amazing. I miss gardening. I think we're going to ask our landlords if we can put in a garden next year.

Your bird photography is really great, too. Great action shot on the eastern kingbird! And you are so lucky to have nesting bluebirds on your property. Although it's probably a good thing that I don't or I'd never leave the yard!

Les said...

I am jealous of your garden space. My small patch is outside the fence at work and it has become overrun with tomatoes, choking just about everything out. My next yard will have to be larger.