The potatoes are growing very well! The plants are starting to get flowers! The extra drainage is paying off, despite the heavy rains.
So far no sign of Potato Beetles. Plus, I’m on the look out for fungus!
The next step is to feed the potato rings with seaweed emulsion and watch for critters and disease. When the plants die back and turn brown, then the potato harvest will begin (probably in late June).
It appears this is working so well, I’m going to try this with sweet potatoes.
Talk to you soon!
The potatoes are growing. Another layer of tires were added, compost was installed between the growing plants and topped with straw.
The compost used was from last year! Dark and rich with almost no smell!! Hopefully the plants will take off and turn darker green.
Pots of basil and other aromatic herbs will be placed between the tire rings to deter insect pests. Colorado Potato Beetles can be a challenge.
I’ll keep you posted.
When my son Nathan was here, we planted potatoes in used tires with the sidewalls cut out. Three tires were planted with Red Norland and three tires were planted with Yukon Gold.
We have an issue with standing water from time to time. Piles of composted tree trimmings were leveled out and covered with weed cloth. The tires were placed and the bottoms were filled with sand. The hardened off potato cuttings were placed in the bottom of each tire on top of the sand. Compost mixed with soil was placed on top of the cuttings to cover the cuttings. Subsequently, composted grass cutting were placed on top.
I will keep you posted on the continuing results of this Spring project.
After health issues, Papa has returned to give you the best in horticultural information!
There will be more to come! Stay tuned!
Larkspur was planted three (3) years ago. The seed pods let go of their seeds and new plants come up every year!!! These self sown plants are an absolute joy!
What beautiful tall plants with flowers of white, pink, lavender and purple. The plants look so fragile yet they are very sturdy! I look forward to seeing them every year.
What volunteers do you have in your growing spaces? What an encouragement that will be!!!
My old nemesis the Tomato Hornworm is back! They certainly are an impressive creature!
When the Five Spotted Hawk (Manduca quinquemaculata) moth finds a tomato plant, it will lay one or several eggs on the tomato plant. When the eggs hatch, the little caterpillar will eat its egg case and starts to eat like crazy! The caterpillar will molt several times until it becomes mature and ready to burrow in the ground and metamorphize into a chrysalis. By late spring the chrysalis will open and a new moth appears in late spring/early summer. Finally the cycle starts all over again.
It is incredible how fast an almost mature caterpillar can strip a tomato plant. I recommend removing the worms by hand. Usually the creatures are found alone hiding amongst the damage. Beware, there color is a great camouflage! Check out the size of this critter!!
BTW, here is another indicator of their escapades. Giant worm poop!!!
You have to admit, they are amazing!!!!!!
Garden peas and sugar snap peas were planted a week ago! They should be up in about a week.
Bachelor Buttons, Shasta Daisy, Pansies, Snap Dragons, Marigolds, Foxglove and other flower seed were planted in cell trays. Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower were started as well.
Tomato and Pepper seed will be planted tomorrow. Full production has started in earnest!
Flowers have started to bloom. The Crocus and jonquils are showing their lovely blooms!
Watch for more gardening goodies!!!
The Fall season is my favorite time of year! Leaves changing color, final summer harvest and cool, delightful weather. The Fall mums are in bloom. Time to enjoy!
I almost forgot, beautiful sunsets!!!!
There’s more to come.
You desire to grow some late tomatoes, but you didn’t start more seed. What do you do?
Take an old shallow container, drill holes in the bottom and root tomato cuttings in vermiculite and water. It’s actually pretty simple. Tomato plants are actually very tough.
Find a container that will hold coarse vermiculite and water ( a plastic dishpan works great!!). Drill several 3/8 inch holes in the bottom of the container. By the way, you may use a large shallow nursery pot as well. Now place about 3 to 4 inches of coarse vermiculite in the container. Water the vermiculite to supply moisture to the cuttings. Allow excess water to drain prior to taking cuttings.
Carefully take cuttings from desired tomato plants using garden pruners. I have found, the larger the cutting, the easier to root! Place the cuttings in the moistened vermiculite about 3 inches apart. I place my rooting container in the shade to maintain proper hydration of the new cuttings. Usually it takes 10 to 14 days for proper rooting.
You may notice raised bumps or even small roots starting on the stem. These cuttings are the easiest to root.
Look at the results after just 10 days.
Now it is time to pot up your rooted cuttings in large containers to use for transplant in 10 days.
Water the newly potted cuttings and place in a lightly shaded area. Gradually move the pots into more sun light. Plant the potted plants as you would any transplant.
This an easy, effective way to start large, quick growing tomato plants.
Sunday was a beautiful day for a festival. It was a wonderful day to meet and greet new people and the Bluegrass music from the Missouri Ozarks was amazing! What more could you ask from the day?
My Miss Sunshine was a wonderful helper.
Gardening questions included “How do you change the color of hydrangeas?”, “Why did my strawberry plants die?”and “You can grow lettuce during the hot summer months?” I plan to address these questions in future posts.
The booth was a stunning success. Heirloom Tomato and Hot/Sweet Pepper transplants in addition to potted June bearing Strawberry plants, Annual Phlox and Hollyhocks were for sale.
The lettuce bowls with Oak Leaf, Amish Deer Tongue and Red Romaine lettuces with edible Pansy’s were well received.
Sweet Peas on the vine, Bachelor’s Buttons and Snowball Hydrangeas complimented the booth receiving surprised and rave reviews. People in this area are not familiar with cultivated Sweet Peas and were pleased with their knockout colors and fragrance.
Thanks again for visiting the world of Papa’s Gardens.