General Updates around the garden & More tomato reviews.

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Every year I test a package of annual seeds. This zinnia comes from Burpee’s “Chartreuse & Purple” mix. 

What an odd sensation it is to wake up the morning of August 1st, and discover the air seems to have changed somehow versus the air of July. Humidity is still somewhat present but not in the same sense. I’m slowly feeling like I would rather be outside working again, but it’s been a bit of a trial with the bugs in their peak season. But luckily the tenacious asshole deerflies seem to have dropped off for the season, and the dry weather has caused mosquito populations to drop too.  On cooler evenings, I did get to spend a couple of hours destroying weeds in the veg garden until I was no longer able to cram any more into the green bin. I don’t put weeds in my compost heap typically, unless they are young and not threatening to flower, and I definitely never put crabgrass in there.

Since the last week of updates, I have applied the two fertilizers. The first product is my own: A compost tea made with comfrey leaves. The second, I failed to tell you the name of the product. It’s called Natura 5-7-7. I applied both products on the 2nd of August. The results so far are negligible for both. There hasn’t been a lot of change, but I feel this is probably due to the lack of rain we’ve had. We just had a really generous rainfall yesterday, so I might have something to report the next time around. I definitely felt like I needed a shower after handling that comfrey tea. It’s very ripe.

I’ve also received a HUGE quantity of Echinacea in the past few weeks. They are all seedlings and divisions from other gardeners’ plants. One is a purple cultivar with subtle cream/green tips on the petals, and the others are seedlings dug up beneath ‘Cheyenne Spirit’. I am not going to plant them just yet, but the place where they will go is ALMOST ready. I may temporarily house them in another garden or grow them on until next spring. There are about 20 plants plus 2 large ones.  I want these to go into the butterfly garden (soon, formerly the goutweed garden). I’ll have an update on how that journey is going soon and I am impressed. There were a few survivors of goutweed popping up and I dealt with them promptly.

I was falling behind on keeping my deck tidy again. My launchpad is filling up again with bargain plants and gardeners’ divisions. I want to wait just a little longer before I plant these things. But the good news is, all the annuals are planted (mostly various asters and zinnias). Depending on how this week progresses in terms of rainfall, I might begin planting the rest of the plants from my launch pad.If i must wait till September, so be it. It was becoming very exhausting dragging watering cans to the back of the property just to water the trees I planted last year. I think I could almost call this phenomenon “sunshine depression.” Give me rain.

I am finding fall mums appearing in garden centers and shops. I just want to stick my face in them, close my eyes and breathe in the smell. Instantly, in my mind, it’s fall, and the air has a chill. I want to rush out and buy halloween decorations and prepare my forest for the haunted walk. I need to be patient, I’ll be crying when the last warm days of summer are gone…no I won’t. I love fall!

I think it’s also time to review a few more tomato varieties from my garden.  I have ‘Coyote’ and ‘Chiapis Wild’ tomatoes ripening quickly as well as ‘Indigo Rose’. Just as we were getting burnt out on store bought celery, we have something new to pack in the lunch.

20160812_113551.jpgI’ll start with Coyote. What a bunch of cuties! These are very tiny, currant sized tomatoes with a coloration that is mostly yellow with a paler, ivory underbelly. I decided to try out my photography improvement here. Oh my goodness! These are so delicious. The skin is very tender (not thick and leathery), and when they pop in your mouth, they are sweet with a little hint of tartness to excite you.  I would recommend this as a nice container tomato, if you want something a little small to set on your deck. I’ll be growing these both to eat and to sell seedlings next year. Each plant will give you loads to enjoy.

20160812_135138The 2nd I tasted last weekend was Green Grape. I first tried it at Tomato Fest here in the valley. Ever since, I’ve been dying to get a taste of this anytime I wanted. I will caution tomato growers that this variety is a bit hard to grow. I found it stressed really easily this summer, more so than other plants. It wilts easily, but responds fairly well to a good watering. When ripe, it is a bit green with a yellow hint to the skin. The skin is fairly tough, but kind of crisp like biting a grape. The flavor is mildly acidic, but also subtly sweet. Manimal did not like these. I must have enjoyed the first taste many years ago more than I do now, I’m not sure I will bother with this one next year. But for novelty’s sake, it’s a fun one to have in the bowl of tomatoes.

 

20160814_192738The last one we tasted recently was ‘Indigo Rose.” Manimal describes this one as having “oregano undertones” I more thought it tasted sweet and candy-like with maybe some sort of smoky and floral taste. I liked it, and growing it solely for its beauty is reason enough!

There hasn’t been a lot of other news in the garden. Harvesting has become a routine for me and the magic tomato fairy will be visiting people soon, with bagloads of tomatoes. Hopefully, I will be making salsa and hot pepper jelly soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, I entered some of my tropicals in the Valley Gardeners’ flower and vegetable show. It was a good time, as it always is, a good event to speak to other gardeners, see what they like, how they feel about certain flowers, and share what you know. If you are a gardener, join a club, because I’ve had some great conversations over the last 3 years. You don’t have to know a gardener to strike up a conversation. It will just come naturally.

Especially about how amusing my Nepenthes looked…..! People sure have very interesting imaginations!

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Have a fabulous monday, enjoy the rejuvenation that comes from a good rain!

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