Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend status

I spent all of Sunday potting up the tomatoes. My yard looks like the attack of the trifids. Most every plant is a foot tall or taller. The Purple Russian (which I have nicknamed the Cossack) had to be planted into a garden bed. It was just too large to plant into a gallon can. I put a Wall-o-Water around him, but somehow, this might be overkill as the cool weather hadn't affected him much in the greenhouse. But I worry about the excess sow bug population in bed 3. I may have to resort to diacamaceous earth and more traps. They are munching on the onions and the garlic! Maybe I should add breath mints to the trap (ha!).

I started the potting up session on Saturday afternoon after a few errands and a trip to the UCSC plant sale and Sierra Azul. The plant sale was a little smaller than I imagined and there were fewer varieties than the brochure mentioned as they suffered from the cool, wet spring as much as anyone. But I was able to purchase a few eggplants for Mom and some peppers for me. I didn't get the varieties that I had hoped, and had to guess with many. I purchased a couple of "Lipstick" peppers. They are ones that I had marked ahead of time and I am quite excited about the description from the Cornell Dept. of Hort. website. I also picked up a "Tiburon" not knowing what it might be, and was pleased to find out it's a poblano chile. I love those grilled! I wonder why it is classed as "sweet"? Anyway, I have an Ancho Gigantea to compliment it. I also purchased a Sweet Apple Pimento. I still really want a yellow sweet pepper and I hope with the larger greenhouses at Cabrillo, that they fared better than UCSC. I can almost taste the red and yellow bell pepper tarts! I completely forgot to look for herbs at the sale. So I need a better shopping list for Cabrillo. Too bad none of the Hungarian pepper varieties were available. I was looking forward to trying one or two of them.

Also I changed my pruning style on Saturday. I've always thought that when you prune out the suckers on a tomato, you took the entire sucker. Pam Peirce seems to suggest that you let the sucker develop 2 leaves and then prune the growing tip. It did make the tomatoes on Sunday look bushier, so I'm going with that method. I figure the more photosynthesis, the better. And I chose to pinch any and all flowers that I saw, and there were quite a few. Basic supplies were running out, I ended up scrounging for bamboo stakes, and 1 gallon containers. I even had to plant out a couple of things to keep the repotting production line going. I'm going to see if I can dredge up the last of the cans today so I can complete the job. (That's right, still more to go!) I was amused at the repetitive nature of the task; grab empty can & clear it, fill with potting soil, empty into potting tray, select plant, unpot, prune, settle into new pot, re-tag, stick in bamboo stake, tie to stake, water, place outside, grab empty can....

I'm hoping to start a few seeds this evening. I should have started the cosmos a lot earlier, but I'll just put a few nursery grown ones in for now. I just want to make sure there are plenty of beneficial insects around. I've seen a couple of ladybugs, but not many. I think the year I grew wheat was when I saw the greatest numbers of them. I've seen syriphid flies around the sweet alyssum, so that's encouraging. And I'll transplant the sunflower volunteers.

Meanwhile, the tomatoes are lounging around my garden, soaking up the sun.

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