Posts tagged ‘sweet 100 tomatoes’

June 25, 2012

Our Spring/Summer Garden

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Hi guys. Promise I haven’t completely forgotten about the blog. But things have been a little bit…um…crazy? Between the day job, all the projects we’ve been tackling around here and (most of all) Baby S on his way, I’ve just been exhausted and completely scatterbrained. I’ve probably worked on this post in spare moments at least a dozen times over the last month if that tells you anything!

But anyway…the only thing we’ve been semi-good about photographing for the past few months is our garden. I’m so excited that it’s actually producing veggies this year!! Last year we built the raised beds and attempted to fill them up, but we didn’t do any research. And we probably started too late for this Houston heat, so the results were pretty dismal. Vegetable gardening takes a little more effort than just throwing some seeds in the ground – who knew?

Ethan was determined to succeed this year, so he did the research and developed a plan – we’re pretty thrilled with the results! These photos are from the garden’s peak a month or so ago. Between this oppressive heat and my neglectful watering (oops), things aren’t quite as lush these days…but you get the idea.

Our #1 resource was this article on the Urban Harvest website – a Houston-based organization on a mission to educate home gardeners. The article explains how to rotate 4 plots in a small vegetable garden, taking advantage of crop pairings and the optimal time for planting in Houston’s climate. The plan is for a 200sf garden and since ours is only around 120sf, we modified the plan to fit our space. I’m a visual person – so of course I drew a diagram. :)

Ok, nothing exciting. But having a detailed action planned has really been key for us. I noted each month’s plantings on our family calendar (on the refrigerator) so we wouldn’t forget when to plant things, and six months in, we’re still going strong!

Another key for us was researching the seed varieties that would thrive in our hot, humid climate. This page on the Urban Harvest site was a great reference. For example, we chose an Asian cucumber variety (Suyo Long) because it is “very dependable in hot, humid climates.” Just what we needed.

We also have 8 or 9 plants tomato plants –  Celebrity, Cherokee Purple and Sweet 100’s.

Our crop has been a little out of control – so we’ve been making salsa!

Earlier in the year we planted Super Sugar Snap peas, which are long gone now in the summer heat. I was so amused by the way they “climbed” our chicken wire trellis. They made it all the way up our 6-7′ wall…and then some.

Right now, our Derby Bush Beans are taking over the spot where the Sugar Snaps used to live. They’re pretty much green beans – just a short bush variety that apparently likes the Houston climate (when you remember to water them…)

And onions too – we bought them on a whim when picking up some seeds at a local feed store. They’ve been pretty handy with all the salsa-making.

With 100 degree days upon us, I’m pretty sure all our plants are on their way out. Hopefully we’re as good in Sept/Oct when it’s time to tackle the fall plantings!

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May 25, 2011

Squirrels

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Our very first strawberry was ripe for the pickin’ and the dang squirrels stole it!

{a quick iPhone pic before heading to work}

I should’ve snagged it when I had the chance, but I seriously thought it would get bigger. I guess those strawberries at our local HEB are eating their Wheaties! But not to worry, it looks like a couple more will soon be making their debut.

All in all, the garden hasn’t been looking so hot lately. Or maybe it’s just been looking extremely hot…possibly parched? I’ve been watering away, hoping it will make a difference, but so far…nothing too exciting to report. Our poor poblano pepper is hanging on for dear life.

{poblano pepper}

This weekend, my neighbor was over checking out our lack of harvest, and mentioned that we should fertilize. Her cherry tomato plant is yielding a serious crop. Ours is sending out fruit slowly but surely…but they’re still green as can be.

{sweet 100 tomatoes}

{more sweet 100’s}

My neighbor said our plants needed an extra kick of protein to push them over the edge. I don’t know if she’s right or wrong, but I sure was willing to try! Maybe it was a coincidence, but guess what popped up the next day!

{squash!}

Our okra’s not looking to shabby either!

{okra}

Now if only the big tomatoes would start ripening up. These are the Cherokee Purple ones, so they should be way ahead of the others (we bought this plant, rather than starting from seed).

{cherokee purple tomatoes}

Oh, and the squirrels. Does anybody have a tip for keeping them away? I heard one for deterring birds…but it looks like I’m decorating for Christmas.

The theory is this: birds go after tomatoes looking for water. If you hang a red ornament, they’ll stop there first, won’t find any water, and will stay away from the tomatoes. I’ll let you know how that one works out for us!

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