my garden after a June t-storm

njitgradJune 11, 2013

The light was just right after a heavy downpour this evening so I decided to snap a bunch of shots and ask a few questions I have about the progress of my garden.

I'll start out by saying that I have never seen my tomatoes grow this fast. This is the first year I started from seed and so far all signs are good. Some of the younger plants look a little droopy in the photos below because we received a lot of rain the past week (and more is in the forecast for Thu/Fri).

Until today I had not checked my garden in the last three days and was amazed by how many large thick branches I have on the tomato plants. My cherry tomato blooms are also coming in nicely. A lot of this early success I can directly associate with advice procured from the fine folks that make this forum the "place to be" when it comes to gardening.

Here are my questions, identified by the photo number below.

#1 thru #15 (Tomatoes) - Do I need to start trimming branches? If so, please elaborate on the method. Two weeks ago I pinched off the bottom leaves that were yellowish due to a rough hardening. Now the branches are so thick I couldn't possibly pinch them off. Some branches are angled downward, their leaves almost making soil contact. One of my plants (#10) has started growing a second main branch from underneath the soil line. Do I leave that like it is?

#20 (Shallots) When and how do I harvest these? This is my first year growing shallots so I know nothing about them or onions/garlic/etc for that matter.

#22 (Eggplant) The edges of the leaves have started to turn black. Is this an early warning indicator?

#29 (Arugula) Looks weedy to me. Is that how its supposed to look? All of my other leaf lettuces have already been harvested twice.

#32 (Squash) I am seeing squash plants (or very close imitations) popping up in random spots in my landscaping mulch. This one was about 50 feet from my garden. What gives?
































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nc_crn

Determinate tomatoes...let them be.

Indeterminate tomatoes...pruning/suckering will depend on what you're trying to get out them...bigger than normal sized tomatoes, or lots of tomatoes...either way you're going to get best production out of some sort of pruning/suckering. Also, if they're indeterminate...you're probably going to have to stake those tomatoes the taller they get because they'll soon outgrow that cage.

Your arugula has bolted and started flowering...it's most likely too hot to be growing it this time of year. Rip it out...eat it if it tastes fine by your tastes.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Tue, Jun 11, 13 at 23:54

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:52PM
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njitgrad

What if determinate leaves are angled downwards and touching the soil?

What if some branches are too thick to just pinch off? Should I use something to cut them? and how far from the stem?

In 11 years I have never grown tomatoes that outgrew cages of the size that you see in the pics right now. Looks like that's about to change. I guess that the Promix I used in combination with my new GeoPots is proving to be a winner. This is the first time I am using either of the two. Maybe I'll just stick longer bamboo sticks in the center of the containers and support the stems as they continue to grow. Or should I stack a 2nd cage on top of the first?

Since I have two of each tomato plant, I'll probably want one to grow larger tomatoes, and one to grow more tomatoes. How does the pruning technique determine this?

I'll toss the arugula in my compost bin. I started it from seed when it was still quite cool in early May. Maybe next year I'll start it indoors?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:18PM
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insteng

In 11 years I have never grown tomatoes that outgrew cages of the size that you see in the pics right now. Looks like that's about to change. I guess that the Promix I used in combination with my new GeoPots is proving to be a winner. This is the first time I am using either of the two. Maybe I'll just stick longer bamboo sticks in the center of the containers and support the stems as they continue to grow. Or should I stack a 2nd cage on top of the first?

I would just stack two cages on top of each other. I've grown tomatoes down here before that were over 8' tall. So having them out grow the cages are common. I use 4' cages now and just let them droop back down over the top.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:30PM
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