Sunday, April 25, 2010

The prodigal gardener returns

I had almost thought about not doing a garden this year. Last year between the drought conditions and not being able to keep my garden watered enough, and the critters that ravaged what few crops I did get I was pretty frustrated with the whole thing. All that time, effort, and money wasted. Well, not wasted if you consider the rabbits, squirrels and coons were appreciative.

But I decided to give it another whirl, and hubby and I today started the arduous process of getting the boxes ready for the season by weeding the long abandoned boxes, adding soil, and rearranging my trellises so I could rotate crops around to different boxes. And we drove some t-posts around the garden in preparation of putting in a hot wire to keep the various and sundry fauna at bay. Running the wire and getting the box hooked up to power is on his to do list tomorrow since he's not working right now.

I'm changing my strategy on planting this year. Last year I had 6 tomato plants, but they didn't give us fruit every day, which is what I really want, so this year I'm putting out 17 tomato plants. If we end up with more than we can use, I'm sure my co-workers and family won't say no to some free veggies. I took a trip over to Cook's Nursery to buy the mater plants. Last year we bought some great looking Black Krim and Cherokee Purple plants there, and I wanted to get 4 apiece of those, but I went way too late in the season. I was fortunate to find one (for sure) 1 Cherokee Purple plant. There were 4 other tomato plants in the flat that did not have a tag, and plants in the same flat are supposed to be the same, but we may end up with some Green Zebras instead of the CP's. *fingers crossed* I was dismayed to see that had I made it to the nursery sooner, I could have bought some chocolate cherry heirloom plants. Next year I'm gonna get a much earlier start on the garden! I feel like I'm playing from behind the eight ball right now. The sad thing is I have seeds in the fridge and could have started and planted my own tomato plants, but it was such a hectic late winter/early spring the garden just seemed like one more responsibility I didn't have the time or the energy to deal with.

Since Cook's didn't have the heirlooms I really wanted, I settled for 4 heirloom sweet baby girls, 4 early girls, and 4 fantastic plants. The fantastics are supposed to be similar to beef eaters. We'll see...

Tomorrow I need to make a trip to Lufkin Farm Nursery for some squash, zuchinni, eggplants, and (hopefully) some Fooled You jalapeno peppers. I also intend on planting some okra. I've got some seed here for that too, but I'll probably just buy it there if they have a decently priced 4-pack since I'm getting such a late start. I also need another net for the new tomatoe trellis. We're going for 16 plants on the same trellis. I think I'm gonna be regretting it when I have to tie those darn things up, but we're gonna give it a whirl and see how it goes.

Thank goodness we have such a long growing season here. Gives us late starters time to still get in a decent garden.

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