Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Tangle of Tomatoes (and Other Updates)

For Mother's Day, I got to do whatever I wanted today. So I got my family to help me in the garden for a much of the day. It was a beautiful day for it. There's a lot of been meaning to do, it was great having them out there helping me!

I even made our dog Elsa help!

I don't know if you remember my elaborate plans for my spring/summer garden, but they've (mostly) been working well. Some of them actually worked a little too well (a problem we all want to have) and I had to adjust things a bit accordingly. What does that mean?

Well, originally, I planned to plant a bunch of tomatoes in a circle in the spring, and then surround them with okra as things got hotter. The idea was that the okra would shade the tomatoes and protect them from the summer sun. The okra might even create a humidity zone that would help keep the tomatoes alive in the summer. Here are the tomatoes now:

We don't need your help, Man!

I'm not sure if it's the unseasonably cool weather, the ollas, or the humidity zone created by having them so close together, but they are MASSIVE. As you can see, I had to build a whole structure around them to keep them supported. And here is one of the okra plants next to them:

Hello? Are you in there? 

Can you even see it? It's that teeny tiny little thing in the left side of the picture. What never occurred to me is that the okra wouldn't grow because the tomatoes would shade the okra (instead of the okra shading the tomatoes). So however thrilled I am that my tomatoes are doing so well, I had to find a new spot to plant my okra today.

So I pulled out my artichoke plant. I was going to let it flower--as you can see, it was really close to creating its beautiful purple flowers--but it was more important to me that I get more okra started.

Goodbye lovely artichoke!

For the first time ever, my green beans are also doing well enough that I actually need supports for them. So I dragged the family out to Home Depot get some bamboo stakes and we made a little tent thing for the green beans to grow over.

The sky's the limit! Or, more precisely, about 5 ft. is the limit!

I also planted various sunflower, melon, and zucchini seeds around the garden. I actually already have a zucchini plant that is thriving, but one of the tips I've read to beat the dreaded squash vine borers is plant new zucchini plants every few weeks. (Basically, if one plant goes, the next might do better.)

Be brave, little zucchini plant. Hold strong against the borer!

All of that kept us pretty busy today. It was a lovely day in the garden. I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day. How about you? Did you have a good Mother's Day?

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