Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2.5 kilos (just over 5 lbs)

More tomatoes.
I think, however, that this is the last of the Caspian pinks for the season.

There are still many more Black Cherries, San Marzanos, and Romas to come.

Several of the birdhouse gourds have serious munches on them, and are not likely to be useful. I've left them on the vine, hoping (maybe against hope) that this will persuade the beasties not to munch the other ones, because they're obviously not tasty.

We'll see if there are any harvestable ones by the middle of October.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

More tomatoes!

Last week, I got about 7 lbs of tomatoes. About the same the week before. This week I harvested some that are not quite ripe as well as the ripe ones. 10 lbs worth!

I'm freezing the paste tomatoes as they ripen, and I'll make a big batch or two of tomato sauce one of these days (with lots of my basil in it).

I've also got about 10 birdhouse gourds growing: let's hope they continue to grow, and ripen before the garden gets closed for the winter.

It's been an exceedingly dry summer. I've been watering on a weekly basis, because there just hasn't been any rain to talk about.

It's been fun having a garden plot, but I'm not likely to renew it for next year. I've got enough with my front and back gardens at home, and really want to devote some time to photography.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ripening is happening.

I went out to my plot today to water... there hasn't been any significant rainfall in well over a week. But because I've been putting a gallon of water on each plant when I water, their roots are probably deep (because I only water once every week to ten days).

My plants look as tall and healthy as anyone else's, so I credit Marjory Mason with the story of her father's vegetable garden, and how she planted tomatoes.
She said that, when planting, she and her father would dig a hole; fill the hole with a bucketfull of water; plant the tomato and fill the hole in; put another bucketfull of water on the tomato. And didn't water for the rest of the season. Now, we've had an extremely dry summer, so I've watered once a week to ten days.

The tomatoes are growing, as is the basil, and as are the two birdhouse gourd plants. Here's what the garden looks like now. You can hardly tell there are tomato cages... the tomatoes are growing wildly out of them, and some are crawling along the ground, like vines.

I picked some. Here are a couple of photos before I picked. First, the San Marzanos. They're an heirloom variety of paste tomato.

And some Caspian Pinks! Warning: I used Autofocus (it was getting dark) and so the vine is in focus, not the tomatoes.

So how many tomatoes did I pick today? About 1.8 kilos worth!

I didn't pick any of the black cherries today, because I think they need a few more days of ripening on the vine. I'll have to go down to the garden mid-week to check on them.


p.s.: I just ate one of the Caspian Pinks as a Caprese salad (tomato, basil, bocconcini, drizzles of olive oil and Basalmic vinegar). 'Twas yummy!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

First harvest

Another week, another trip to the allotment garden. What luck!~ some tomatoes were ripe this time!

Heirloom variety "Black Cherry" -- nice and small, so they're the first ones ripe. Caspian pinks and paste tomatoes are getting larger and more numerous, but are still all green.

So here's a picture of my first tomatoes, paired with some fresh basil (also from my garden).

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Another weekend, another trip to the allotment garden

Just a short trip this time; did some weeding using my awesome Lee Valley loop hoe (yippee... kill weeds without bending and squatting).

Also watered.

And I'm now looking at the sky (on what Environment Canada assures me is a full-sun day) and wondering if it's going to rain.

One thing I did notice today that I hadn't felt on earlier trips: mosquitoes! Must remember to wear mosquito repellant as well as sun block.

Which one does one apply first?

Or are there any non-paba 40+ sunblocks with mosquito repellant in them?

Today's Toronto Star has an article about the increasing number of people who are growing their own veggies. For more details, see Urban Gardeners are Growing Local ... the article is by Sonia Day, a gardening writer with a couple of books under her belt, Master Gardener, and artist.

Grow green! Eat local!

Monday, July 02, 2007

I have tomatoes on my tomato plants!

It's true.

I've been watering them once a week since I planted them.

I went down to the garden today to put cages around them for support (before they get too big, or the cages wouldn't fit around them then: I'd be breaking stems off).

Just about every tomato plant has tomatoes already -- and lots more flowers, indicating tomatoes to come.
Here is a picture of some of the black cherry tomatoes,

as well as a shot of the eight plants (plus two basil).

I planted three birdhouse gourd plants today (they take a lot of space). 120 days to ripen. I should be able to harvest them around Thanksgiving, and then dry them out and drill openings in them.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Don't give up on plants too soon!

Saturday afternoon I did indeed go down to the spit, to clear out some weeds and plant my tomatoes and basil. No bike this time: would have been too much jostling of the plants. I took a cab.

I walked past my garden the first time. I didn't recognize it! Two things happened since I last went there on September 10th last year:

  • The weeds kept growing. Oh my, how they kept growing. They're mostly at ankle height or slightly taller, but they are abundant.
  • My garden was full of these bleached-gray hollow sticks, all about knee height, all with a slight angle to the east.

    I asked one of my gardening neighbours what the heck it was that came up, and she replied that it was the soybeans I had planted. They hadn't died when all their leaves were cropped off by rabbits! They grew more leaves, and goodness knows how long they lived. I expect they didn't produce any beans, because I didn't see anything that looked like bean pods around.

    I just hope they added some nitrogen to the soil.

I need to go back several times this week to clear out the raspberry canes and the rest of the weeds. I have some seeds to plant (some decorative gourds, squash, asparagus peas, and more.

Somewhere, over the winter, I have misplaced my two weeding tools. I need to take another look around for them. The garden claw will do the trick for tonight.

I'll have to see if my tomato plants survived the heavy rain that fell yesterday.

I'm wishing the Canadian Tire at the corner of Lakeshore and Leslie would hurry up and be finished... it's a mch closer place to buy tomato cages than anywhere else. Alas, if it doesn't hurry up, I'll be carting cages from up on the Danforth, likely.

That's it for today. Happy gardening!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tomatoes and basil

Withrow Park, a breezy walk from home, is starting an organic farmers' market today. It will be held weekly throughout the summer.

I went first thing this morning (hmm... I thought they might open before the advertised time of 10am... nope).

I could have made some purchases there that I made at the St. Lawrence market on Friday. There were beautiful bunches of basil, fresh local organic lettuce, and fresh local organic asparagus from Kerr Farms.

I bought some rhubarb to stew up, and a spicy sundried tomato pesto made with hemp seed instead of pine nuts (it tasted good on a little piece of cornbread). Also got some organic green tea (can't believe that was locally grown, somehow).

There was lots of other produce, fresh bread from several sources, and fruit and veggie and herb plants, and some flowering annuals, too.

I bought 4 different types of tomatoes, since I didn't get seeds started this year:

and I got two basil plants. So this afternoon (after 3pm) I'll grab a cab down to the spit with some tools, my plants, and some seeds, and get things in the ground.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's spring!


Last weekend, I got most of the gardens cleaned up. Still have one bed to do. Got the pond set up for the summer (and the birds flocked to it immediately).

Looks like most things made it through the winter, although I may have lost a few roses. Or maybe they're just slow waking up. I won't give up on Scentimental, Angel Face, and Love yet.

The elderberry and saskatoon berry shrubs look like they will burst into flower within a few weeks.

Heucheras don't look happy, but we'll see.

King Alfred daffodils are open, and I've got about another 6 species of daffs to come, plus the Estella Rijnveldt tulips I planted in the fall.

Migratory birds are starting to pass through. This week, I've seen both golden-crowned and ruby-crowned kinglets, a song sparrow, white-throated sparrows, and the goldfinches have returned. The dark-eyed juncos haven't left yet, although I've heard they've started arriving in Nova Scotia, so some of them have moved on to summer homes.

I really have to get my seeds started for the allotment garden!