Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back in the Garden

The Brandywines and Purple Princes are putting on a whole new crop, after a short vacation when it was so very hot. They set fruit only at a certain temperature range, and apparently 41 C (105 F) is outside that range. Countless little yellow blossoms just dried up. But now there are many pea-sized newly set tomatoes again, and the ones in this picture should start to ripen in a few days.

This morning I tackled the tomato vines in my 4 x 4. They are all "cherry" type tomatoes, and while the plants were purple and stunted when I put them in the ground, they have now just about taken over everything. They have escaped their stakes and crawled all over the raised bed, over the edges, into adjoining pots. I half expect them to start running across the street next.

But I wanted to plant some kale in the 4 x 4, so Tony and I took a stout piece of vinyl lattice and carefully eased the tomato vines back into a little more than half of the space. We gently lifted sprawling branches over the edge of the lattice, where they will have more sun and air circulation than they had lying on the ground. The vines are loaded with 100s of little tomatoes, each one a morsel of intense flavour.

Then I dug compost out of the bin, mixed it with the not-so-great sandy soil in the newly exposed half of the 4 x 4 and planted one long and two short rows of kale.

I also pulled the now finished burgundy bean bushes from two containers and planted broccoli raab and bok choi. These are quick-growing crops which should be ready to eat before we have a frost. The kale is better after a frost, so hopefully we can eat kale into November.

We'll see what effect the compost has on that soil. Hopefully it will keep it from compacting into sandstone, as it has done this summer.

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