Saturday morning SM and I were out in the garden early.
After having an absolutely PERFECT week of blue skies and warm breezy days, we were forecast to have a stretch of cloudy rainy days.
"To plant or not to plant. That is the question!" I said aloud to SM as we sat on the porch swing Friday evening. My tomato plants were the size of small trees and starting to flop over.
"I'd plant now and let Mother Nature do the work." SM replied shrugging. "You're getting four whole days of clouds and rain. It doesn't get much better than that for transplanting."
So that was the plan.
I had read a blog post at Hickery Holler Farm about how she plants tomatoes. I was planning on using her advice on amending the soil with powdered milk.
Have you seen the prices on that? $18 for 2lbs at Walmart. Good Grief!
I bought bone meal instead @ 4lbs for $12. I already knew about the Epsom Salt trick plus a neighbor who's been growing monster tomatoes a few doors down swears by mushroom compost in the hole when she transplants. So that was my triple threat.
Since my plants were long and leggy, I thought I try her "plant it sideways" trick. I asked SM to dig me a trench and tried to plant a couple that way. My problem was that our "soil" was not only dry but had huge clods of clay clumps (say THAT five times fast).
Even breaking up the clods with the hoe just left smaller clods. I ended up breaking some stems doing it sideways. So we ditched that idea and just planted straight down as deep as we could go.
SM and I took our time but it was still hard work that neither of us were used to. I had 40 tomatoes to set out. Why so many? Some years are good, some years are bad. Seeds are cheap. And if there's an abundance, there's always folks about who will take your extras.
About halfway through this I looked up at SM and said "Makes you wonder if we'll be doing this in another 10 years."
He was leaning on his shovel and nodded towards the raised beds. "That's where your future garden will likely be."
(Maybe I'll turn all these inground beds into flower beds. That would be pretty.)
After finishing up the tomatoes we decided to tackle the strawberry beds. I wanted to rig some hoops up to lay bird netting over.
I had planted Seascape (everbearing) last year and pinched off flowers as instructed to encourage better production for THIS year.
You ain't kidding!
My strawberry beds are a sea of white blooms and green fruit that should start to ripen in the next few weeks.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that this year might actually be a fruit year for us. Still a little too early to tell with the blueberries, grapes and apples although our peach tree has some fruit on it.