Learning the Art of Gardening

While things grow

While things grow

It’s been so long since I posted anything.  So much is happening, new job and with that comes different hours and then it’s the growing season.  A lot of time is spent waiting for things to be ready to harvest during the growing season.  We spend a bit of time watering all of our containers and sometimes the garden.  We don’t have soakers in but I think it’s something we should seriously consider next year.  Just having all of those hoses everywhere is not very attractive.  Once the propagation and planting is complete, there is only waiting left.  In the meantime the weeds and grass grow; this of course keeps us busy while we wait.  With some plants, harvesting can be done several times during a season.  We have harvested at least 2 to 3 dozen cucumbers, tons of cherry tomatoes at this point and plenty more to pick.  Our Roma tomatoes are finally coming in full speed and we can pick peppers at any time on any given day.  We have a lot of lessons learned again this year and it always seems to be the same lesson, we plant too much for our space.  We have had two gardens in the last two years and we still are learning this lesson, someday it might stick.

Being a wanna-be, I’m always looking for new and different ideas to make our garden more spacious, efficient and pleasing to the eye.  This year we planted a bunch of zinnias and sunflowers, it makes the garden so much more diverse and we love the way it looks.  Not to mention the busyness of bees and butterflies doing all their pollinating, I could stay there all day watching each one go from flower to flower and never get bored.  Next year we will be planting more flowers, we have been pleasantly pleased with the look of our vegetable garden with flowers scattered around.

We also have decided (I think) on the types of tomatoes we are going to grow from here on out.  Jimmy likes to make salsa and he picked Sweet 100’s and Roma tomatoes based on a recipe he likes.  The problem is that Sweet 100’s are indeterminate plants, which means they grow, and grow, and grow, in any and every direction possible.  Even when you think you have planted everything perfectly, put cages up early and try to keep them confined, they really just do whatever they want.  At this point in the season they are completely top-heavy and we can’t get to the fruit in the middle of the rows.  I can’t even imagine how many little tomatoes are falling on the ground that we can’t see!  As a matter of fact Jimmy said he smelled rotten tomatoes last night in the garden, great…

On a recent visit to Longwood Gardens we walked through their test gardens and I saw the best idea for indeterminate plants.  I’m sure it’s not new by any stretch but I’m a wanna-be, remember?  I don’t know these things; I learn most things by seeing what others are doing or good ‘ol Google.  Anyway, they had placed two tall posts firmly (if not permanently) into the ground and had rope wrapped around each pole reaching to the other pole, each at a different height called string weaving.  They grew indeterminate tomato plants, as they grew they could simply tuck the branches between the ropes.  Basically it grows the plant flat, if you will.  You can get access to both sides of the plant this way and you could make the space between the poles as wide as you want.  I loved the idea, I thought it was genius.  So much so I want to try it next year in our ever-expanding garden.  Like I said, it’s not new but it kind of is to me and I felt like I had an epiphany.

As if I needed another hobby, I’ve recently began looking seriously into Bonsai.  I think it’s fascinating to be able to grow small trees, there’s so much to learn and I’m up for the challenge.  I’m going to join a local club so I can get questions answered and learn the techniques.  I’m really excited to get started and I’ll be sure to post about what I learn as I go.

I’ll add some pictures soon of our garden that is literally bursting at the seams, especially the gourds.  O the gourds!  There’s a whole different lesson learned there, a topic for another day.

As always, thanks for reading!

Happy Gardening  ☺

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Hi! I'm Julie and I live in Harford County Maryland. I am currently a computer technician but I have a passion for photography and things that grow. One day I hope to have a small thriving plant nursery, where I can grow many things and take as many pictures of them as many ways as I like. They say if you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life, that's my goal.

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