Saturday, June 20, 2009

What's Happening in the Vegetable Garden?

It's time for another look into the vegetable garden. To say that things are growing well is an understatement. The raised beds filled with mounds of organic material like grass clippings, newspaper, composted cow manure and good old compost are doing the trick. In many cases the plants are exceeding their boundaries and covering walkways. I need to confine those vegetables in question to their beds through additional stakes to create some sort of border.


The cucumbers are climbing the homemade trellis I put together. It's nothing fancy just reused fencing material and a few branches. I like to use materials I have on hand to help lower costs. Underneath the trellis is our cantaloupe stretching outside of the bed.  you can even see the flowers poking up through the foliage. I can't wait to see some melons forming on the vines.


Speaking of melons, do you remember the little 'Moon and Stars' Watermelon plants I showed you a couple weeks ago? They are doing nicely! We have a couple flowers but no melons forming yet.


By far the most revered fruit of our vegetable garden are the tomatoes! We have some nice round green tomatoes ready for ripening. I do only minimal suckering on my tomato plants. If you sucker the plants you tend to get larger tomatoes, if you don't sucker you get more tomatoes of a smaller size. I believe smaller tomatoes are actually tastier than the larger ones and I like having lots of tasty tomatoes so my choice was simple!
  
I am a little disappointed with the zucchini and the squash. We seem to be getting some blossom end rot which is caused by a calcium deficiency. I'll try to take a few pictures of that soon so I can show off that nasty problem. It's correctable with some special care. Often its because of irregular watering that can't move calcium through to the new cells on the fruit. This could be caused by an imbalance in the pH of the soil and sometimes a little lime helps. That's one reason why testing your soil is a great idea!  I had this issue last year so I took a few Tums and after my stomach settled I dissolved them in water then watered the squash plants. Tums are made with calcium and they seemed to help the squash!

8 comments :

  1. Tums? Thats a funny idea...but hey if it worked! I had BER on my tomatoes last year. I used a little dusting of some garden lime and sprayed the plants with epsom salt and water and it made a huge difference. Don't know if the epsoms salt helped the BER but there sure were lots of yummy tomatoes!
    You all have had a lot of rain down there. My moms first batch of tomatoes got washed away in one of your storms!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Morning Dave, I added your link in. Great post on the veggies this morning! Yours are way ahead of mine and doing so well! I might have to come to your house for some fresh veggies. I like the tip on the tums. You are so right about the pH too affecting calcium. Lots of compost can help right the pH but a soil test is best for sure. Looks like another bumper crop on the tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Dave- I have heard Epsom Salts work for this too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't heard about using Tums- I'll have to remember that!

    ReplyDelete
  5. garden looks great but don't try to coral the melons they tend to go where they want! I like your cuke trellis I have some branches that might work if it ever stops raining here in Pa

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like you're havin a successful season so far Dave. I'm sure you know too much fertilizer causes excessive foliage, which takes away from fruit production. And I pinch out the suckers on my tomatoes not because I like larger fruit, it's because I like a more manageable sized plant. Speakin of maters, I always put one Tum (I buy a cheap generic brand) in the planting hole when I set mine out and rarely have problems with blossom end rot. I bet it'd do the same for squash and zucchini.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never heard of this Tum's trick but I think it may be an easy thing to do to keep blossom rot away! The things I learn by blogging are wonderful. Thanks for the tip and I shall give it a try with future veggies, that is, if there are any future veggies...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shawn Ann,

    The rain definitely has played a role in developing Blossom End Rot. Things are starting to normalize a little now with the weather. Hot, humid, and very little rain. Where in TN does your mom live?

    Tina,

    Thanks! This posted while out of town so I'm a little late in responding.

    Heather,

    I've done the epsom salts before also. Worked good then too.

    Laura,

    One more quick tip: buy generic tums! Cheaper and they do the same thing.

    Cherie,

    You're right about the melons. The bed is 4'x8' and is completely covered.

    TC,

    Pinching does give a more manageable plant. I actually haven't fertilized my tomatoes at all. All the compost in the beds does the trick for me. Lots of tomatoes are on their way and we even saw baseball sized watermelon yesterday!

    Skeeter,

    Things will get going for you soon! Those tomatoes are faithful producers, and you might even get some potatoes from your compost bin!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading The Home Garden. Please feel free to comment on the posts, ask questions, offer suggestions, or just say hi!

I read every comment The Home Garden receives and appreciate the time you take to read about what I'm working on!

Dave

Advertising will be removed from comments as the administrator of this blog sees fit. If you wish to advertise please fill out a this contact form with your proposal.