Saturday, June 11, 2011


The garlic patch
Saturday, June 11, 2011.
My goal heading into the weekend was to finish planting everything in the vegetable garden.  I got started at
7:30 AM.  By 9:30 it was raining pretty steady.  Wet, cold, covered in mud and tired I quit at 11:30AM.
After a shower and some lunch I've decided to write down some thoughts and post some pictures.

The terrible weather this spring has limited my time in the garden.  As a result, I find myself somewhat behind
schedule.  Still on the "to do" list are the following items:
1. Plant sweet potatoes
2. Weed and till bed #21 for winter rye
3.  Weed and till bed #22 and plant beans.
4.  Prepare bed for Brussels sprouts.
5.  Erect tomato trellis assemblies, prune tomatoes and begin clipping them to trellis.

Despite the the weather we have enjoyed lettuce, kale, asparagus, broccoli and radishes.  Garlic scapes
are now emerging, peas are in the pod stage and the carrots are growing well.  A few tomatoes are
beginning to appear, mostly Japanese Black Treffle.  This morning I noticed a few tiny peppers on
a few varieties; cayenne, Senorita,  and Carmen (corno detoro).

The following are some pictures I took this morning before the rain came.
Bed #1, Tomatoes, eggplants and sweet peppers
Bed #2, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I've been an avid vegetable gardener for twenty four years and I am still learning.  It seems the more I know and
experience the more I realize how much there is still to learn.  I recently had an "ah ha" moment the likes of
which I hadn't experienced in some time.  I came face to face with a totally new concept for me; tomato
grafting.  Just when I was getting comfortable with my tomato growing techniques, I was made aware that
there is something BIG going on in the tomato growing world.

The technique of grafting has been around for decades if not centuries.  Wine grapes, fruit trees and roses
all benefit from being grafted onto more vigorous and disease resistant root stocks.  Why not tomatoes?
From what I have learned commercial growers have been grafting for many years.  Greenhouse growers
have led the way because of the need to control diseases like Fusarium Wilt and Verticillium Wilt.

Somehow, I missed the presence of tomato grafting supplies and grafted tomato plants in two of my
favorite seed catalogs on first reading.  As I started to get down to the serious business of picking out
seeds for this season I discovered a page in Johnny's Selected Seeds that listed the "Top 10 ways to
grow more food in the same space".  Coming in at number 9 was the following: "Graft tomatoes to
reduce disease and increase yield".

My first reaction was "What?!!!!!!!  This earth shaking revelation was found on page 179, way past
the vegetable section.  I collected myself, took some deep breathes and retraced my steps.  Back to
the tomato section I went.  Sure enough, on page 97 I found a section featuring seeds for tomato root
stock.  My next move was to visit Johnny's website.  There, I found a video featuring a guy by the name
of Mike Collins, a greenhouse tomato grower from Vermont.  He's been grafting for fifteen years.
Where have I been?

After watching the video I thought "I can do this", so I ordered seeds and grafting clips from Johnny's.
Stay tuned, I will report on my experiences over the course of the season.  I must say that the idea of
tomato grafting is getting me psyched about the 2011 growing season.  Let the grafting begin.

For those of you who don't want to "try this at home" I have discovered that Territorial Seeds is now
offering grafted tomato plants.  How cool is that?  My friends, this is going to be an interesting year.
All the best,

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's already been a tough winter and it's only February.  My little corner of heaven had 38" of snow in January.
So far, we have had over 60" total for the season and as my friends and associates like to point out, February
generally accounts for half the seasonal snowfall.  Great.

To keep my mind off the snow I have been working on my garden plan and ordering seeds for the 2011
gardening season.  I find that this activity keeps me thinking hopeful thoughts.  I feel like a big league
baseball manager at the beginning of spring training.  Soon, I will begin to start seeds indoors.  Life is good.

Part of my garden planning is reviewing the previous garden season and making an assessment of successes and
failures.  After twenty five years of gardening I still have things to learn.  The weather is never quite the same year to year.  Nature has a way of introducing new pests and plagues every year.  I find myself constantly
adapting to new challenges.  That's why I'm blogging.  This is the record of my struggles.  My greatest
failing last year was that I did not keep better records of the gardening season.  I stopped making regular
notes in my garden journal and stopped blogging altogether last July.  This year I am committed to documenting what I do and blogging about it weekly, even if it's only a picture and a short description.
Speaking of pictures, I broke down and bought a new digital camera with 12 mega pixels.  I promise you
some great pictures this season.

I would like to welcome some new friends to this blog;  Mary Angel and her husband Eddie.  They do
their gardening in Alabama and were attracted to this sight by my post on crop rotation.  In fact, I checked
the site for traffic and discovered that it is the most read post I have written to date.

That's all for now.  I welcome your comments.
All the best,