Saturday, June 4, 2011

Replanting Tomatoes, Direct Sowing and Other Garden Chores

I was really discouraged by my mass tomato suicide and aphid-palooza. Thanks to those that left comments of encouragement. I was outside watering my plants the other evening and just a little thing made me smile and gave me hope for better gardening days. The bees were out buzzing around their favorite, the Spanish lavender. A few bees however ventured over to my raspberry bush and were busy collecting pollen from the flowers. It made me smile and as I looked over to my dead tomato plants, I made the decision to replace them.

Yesterday I went to a nursery near my house with my list of dead tomato plants to replace. I was more or less successful. I couldn't find a few but picked out some nice replacements.

Starters that I bought yesterday:
- Paul Robeson (replacement)
- Black Zebra (new variety; there wasn't any Green Zebras)
- Ananas Noire (new variety; looks pretty and sounds yummy!)
- Bloody Butcher (replacement)
- Tomatillo (replacement)
- Lemon Cucumbers (replacement)

I spent some of yesterday and today replanting and transplanting all of the remaining tomato plants outside. Some transplants that I grew from seed that were transplanted were: Green Zebra (although this plant looks like it's knocking on death's door), San Marzano, Cherokee purple and Romas.

I forgot to blog about the great find I stumbling upon. I saw these 18 gallon containers at a local store for only $4.99. I bought a whole bunch to plant the tomatoes into. I originally was planning for only 5 gallon pots for each but after more research, it looks like bigger really is better.
I drilled some holes in the bottom of these and planted up the tomatoes. I like that they're black and keep in the heat!
I also caged some of the larger tomato plants.
I had also noticed that my lemon cucumbers that I planted outside under the row covers didn't survive. I transplanted the ones bought at the nursery as replacements.

Nursery Lemon Cucumbers.

I also took advantage of the nice weather to direct sow some seeds. Today's high is supposed to be in the 80's! Too bad I had to work. I got my garden chores done early in the morning.

Seeds Directly Sown:
- Lemon Basil (the ones started inside were attacked by the aphids)
- Sweet Basil
- Sweet Treat Carrot
- Parisian Market Carrot
- Rothild Carrot
- Rose d'Hiver de Chine Radish (seeds brought home from France)
- Watermelon Radish
- Parisian Pickling Cucumbers (reseeded)
- Golden Beets (reseeded)
- Dill
- Dragon's Tongue Beans (reseeded)
- Envy Edamame

I made use of the remaining space in the 18 gallon containers for the tomatoes by planting some with radishes, carrots and basil.

I also had to reseed some plants that either didn't sprout or died. This is a square foot with carrots planted a while ago. I planted 2 varieties in a square foot. The Asian New Kuroda seeds shared by Suzie didn't sprout well. I only got 1 seedling poking out of the ground. She said the seeds were older and I sowed heavily.
I replaced them with Rothlid Carrots using homemade carrot mats.

I reseeded my Dragon's Tongue because some of the plants outside had signs of either too much sun or cold. I also reseeded my Golden Beets. I planted 9 in a square foot and only 1 sprouted so I filled in those holes. Despite the Lemon Cucumbers dying off, 2 of the Parisian Pickling Cucumbers seemed to be holding their own. To be on the safe side, I reseeded about 3 more plants to improve my chances.

Whew! That was a lot checked off my to-do list. Tomorrow will be more chores! It's supposed to be another sunny day!