Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First Harvest Donation of the 2012 Growing Season

We delivered our first produce donation today! It was a small one, just 7.3 pounds, but everything looked delicious!

Rainbow radish, Stupice tomato, Magda squash, and Zucchini (clockwise)
We donated rainbow radishes, Magda summer squash, basil, and 4 little tomatoes from our harvest sharing plots. Gardeners contributed  lettuce, kale, red radishes, and green zucchini from their own plots.

A big thanks to the Campbell Community Garden donation plot sponsors, Tempus Dictum Inc. and Badbeard Microroastery for their cash sponsorship of the plots. And thanks to Hansen Family Farm for their donation of tomato and eggplant plants.

Tuscan kale, green leaf lettuce, and Red Russian kale (clockwise)
Thanks to the gardeners who shared produce, and for our garden volunteers who helped last night with planting basil, parsley, and radish, bean, and beet seeds.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Training Tomato Plants

Our tomato plants have really appreciated the recent warm weather and are starting to really grow and flower, a few even have small fruit. Tomatoes left to grow on their own tend to vine and sprawl all over the ground. Taking the time to train them to grow up onto a structure of some kind will reward us with healthier plants with fruit that can be easier to pick. Campbell Gardeners are employing several different methods of training their plants.
Traditional style tomato cages in yellow and red complement the marigolds for a pretty combination...imagine red ripe fruit in this colorful  mix!
One of our Square Foot Gardeners is trellising their tomatoes on netting and PVC pipe.

This gardener decided to try out a combination of metal T-posts and wire after figuring out the cost to outfit his large number of plants with traditional cages...I think we could name his system a "Tomato Corral"

This gardener isn't growing tomatoes sideways, it just looks that way. They are staking their plants to wood stakes and are using old pantyhose and pipe cleaners to keep them in line.

This gardener is using stakes and twine to make a cross between a cage and a trellis.

This gardener found a very attractive solution to tomato cages that want to topple over. They enclosed the cages in bamboo tee pees.

For detailed instructions on how to prune and train tomato plants, see the two videos below.
Here is a video from the University of Main Extension Service that show how to stake indeterminate tomatoes:

Here is a link  from Fine Gardening Magazine on pruning and trellising tomatoes.