Thursday, May 03, 2012

Planting Seeds

We have been a little late getting the rest of the garden planted but it's no big deal really, since our growing season is so long here.  Our last frost is usually around April 18th so I'm not horribly late!  And we kept having these really cold spells of near freezing temps after having a really warm March so I was afraid to set out hot weather plants.  It's all worked out though.  We have expanded the garden over into the secondary chicken run where we kept the broilers.  The area above, in the original garden, was planted with green beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, cukes and squash in addition to the cool weather crops already in.  On the far left you can see part of the broccoli and brussel sprouts.  In the far left back you can see the potatoes coming up nicely.  All the fruits are over here too.  I tidied up too, cleaning out the cold frame and such but this area needs much more work.

This is the expansion area where I planted corn and cantaloupes.  The broilers pooped this place full for about 3 months so it should be well fertilized!  To the right, on the other side of the fence, is blueberries, strawberries in the raised bed, and raspberries down by the coop.  That white dot down by the little black door is Goober digging in the dirt.

I am trying a different approach in planting my tomatoes this year.  I was reading some gardening info and came upon one lady's procedure for planting and it sounded good so I thought I'd try it.  Basically, you dig a deep hole, deeper than you are going to plant your plant.  Know what I mean?  She recommended 2 feet deep but my plants were only about 1 foot tall so I dug about 16 inches down.  Throw in a handful of basic fertilizer.  I just happened to have some organic stuff formulated for tomatoes.  Then, throw in a couple of crushed eggshells.  Then a fish head if you have it.  I didn't, so I just poured in a little fish emulsion and a banana peel.  Then, throw in a little bone meal and a few inches of dirt on top of all that.  Then, plant your tomato plant.  I plant mine deep to help them establish deep roots so I had about 4-5 inches of plant sticking up after filling the hole.  Then, bury 2 aspirin tablets about 6 inches away from the plant stalk.  This is supposed to help the tomato resist some blights.  Just a little epsom salts might not hurt either.  So, we'll see.  I'll either kill them or have great maters!

Hey, in other news, I cooked my very first, totally from scratch pizza!!  I made the dough and everything!  I was surprised at how quick it was to do so and it came out great!  I would like a crust that was maybe just a tad chewier? Maybe?  But it was still good.  I just threw together some stuff I happened to have for the toppings.  I used some chard (it's like spinach), smoked sausage, ham, onions and feta cheese with a little Monterey Jack too.  I thought it was great!  The feta adds a wonderful flavor.


Ed said...

I always feel a bit like I'm looking at someone living on Mars with that red dirt!

With all the stuff you added to your tomato hole, it sounded like you were growing tomato soup instead of tomatoes! But I'm taking notes just the same.

I discovered home made pizza from scratch about five or six years ago and can count the times I haven't eaten a home made one since on one hand. I assume you cook yours on a baking stone? For a slightly chewier crust, use bread flour for part of your flour. I use about a 50/50 mixture to regular unbleached flour.

My favorite pizza... Crab Rangoon. I mix up cream cheese, crab meat, shallots, red onion and some spices for the filling. Fry some sliced up wonton wrappers as topping and buy a bottle of sweet red chili sauce. Top the dough with the cheese mixture and cook until dough is done. Drizzle with sweet red chili sauce and top with fried wonton wrappers. Eat!

pamit said...

That pizza looks amazing. --I've always been told that the very high heat one gets in a professional oven is partly responsible for that chewy texture..hard to achieve at home.

On the tomatoes, my only trick is to lay the seedlings on their side, so that the stem is mostly horizontal, then just bend the end up gently before filling with dirt. The stem will develop roots when planted in that fashion, which help in support, growth etc.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! that's funny; I'm going to put up a photo showing you some REAL red dirt. Mine is brown compared to what is south of here. You'll freak! lol!
I thought about the bread flour and used it for the whole amount; maybe I should cut it back to half? The crab rangoon sounds kinda icky but then sounds kinda good...I may have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

Hey Pam! You may be right about the high temp; hadn't thought of that.
I think the burying of the plant deep does the same thing as far as it developing roots along the stem. Seems to work and I would probably break them if I tried to lay them over, knowing me. lol!

Rich said...

I once read something about spraying a diluted raw milk solution on pastures and cropland to boost the microbial activity or something.

So, since tomatoes like calcium (blossom end rot is caused by low calcium levels), if I happen to have some milk that has gone sour, I pour it around the tomato plants. I figure I'm feeding all the little microbes in the soil and giving the tomatoes a calcium boost at the same time.

I don't know or think that pasteurized milk has the same effect as raw milk (the sugars might be more important that the "good" bacteria in raw milk), but it can't hurt.

I'm not going to milk a cow or pay for raw milk, so the tomatoes are going to have to just suck it up and drink the milk I give them.

Carolyn said...

Your gardens are really nice. Takes a lot of work to achieve this. I'm just not "up to snuff" doing what you and Jack have going there. I envy the ambition and results too! The pizza looks perfect to me - good enough to eat as my BIL used to tell me! It makes me real hungry.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Annie, looking at the photos of your gardens brings back memories of our large beds. We decided to downsize this year with hopes of selling our home. So far, we are not missing all the garden chores and our small 8x10 garden will suit us fine, besides we still have frozen veggies from last year. Grenville uses egg shells around the tomatoes when they are just starting out.

edifice rex said...

Hey Rich! you know, that sounds like a real good idea to me. Although I recently discovered that if any of the organic, non-homogenized local milk I buy sours, I can still use it for baking, I might could spare a little for the garden! thanks for the idea.

Hey Carolyn! thanks! yes, it does take a lot of work. It has taken me 5 years to get this far and I wouldn't have got this much if Jack hadn't helped so much. It's a tremendous job to do alone.

Hey Bea! I guess I didn't realize ya'll were trying to sell your house but know I remember you saying something about that before. Hope that works out good for ya'll.