Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer garden = Mostly tomatoes this year

We finally got the last of the tomatoes in this week. Right on par with when I've planted them for the past few years. 

Only this year has been warmer than the past few. 

So, while everyone else's tomatoes are three plus feet by now, ours are still about a foot. 

I am fine with that. Come late August or early September we will be swimming in tomatoes. We planted about 40-45 saucing tomatoes and six slicers. 

Plus, we had the spring harvest of mammoth shallots and garlic in June which many other folks didn't. 

Our task right now is keeping the seedlings happy in the unseasonably hot weather - 10 plus days in the high 80's and up into the hundreds! 

So, we will water deeply and as often as we can. With working full-time and having an eight-month-old, that equals about two times a week lately. Though I have the next five days off, right in the heart of the heat spell, so I am going to try to go over to the community garden and to hit the veggies at home daily.

This year, we purposely choose to do mostly tomatoes at the community garden plot because they can withstand some drought conditions. Theoretically, as long as you are consistent with when and how much you water all should be good. We also planted each plant in a well so they really can be soaked when we water them and then mulched them with straw. 

The other thing we may have to contend with is the fact that tomatoes need a certain nighttime temperature range to set flowers and fruit - anything above 85-90 spells trouble!  So, I am hoping that the plants focus on settling in over the next couple of weeks of hot weather and then it cools down into the 80's in time for them to flower and fruit! 

It's a working experiment. That's a lesson I've learned over and over with gardening. Some of it is up to you, but a lot of it is up to nature and out of your hands. Things rarely go as planned, but often work out well anyhow. 

For now, we water, wait and hope for the best. But, my guess is they'll be flowering and three feet tall in no time!