Look what I did with my week off! Those would be fourteen tomatoes planted all in a row. Fourteen! I’ll probably regret planting so many, but last fall when I was in France, I saw tomatoes trellised like this (not with copper plumbing pipe, which I like because it’s sturdy, easy to put together, and weathers to that pretty green color — but with much more rustic and charmant bamboo) and it seemed to me like a good solution for our short-season tomato issues. This time of year, I can start them with the wall-o-waters, about which I cannot say enough good things. They keep the tomato seedlings warm, and provide excellent protection against hail, which is an omnipresent danger this time of year. Then in the fall, when the days get short, I can sling plastic over the trellis and pin it down against the edges of the raised beds for a semi-greenhouse effect. I’m also planning to prune my tomatoes this year for the first time — I’ve gone for the wild and untamed effect in the past — but the trellised tomatoes I saw in France had lovely bunches of tomatoes hanging off them and they’d been pruned quite severely. So, that’s the plan this year. I envision lovely bunches of tomatoes ripening in my backyard by September.
I also transplanted the beans, which are, once again, being skeletonized by some bug in my backyard. I sprayed them this morning with rotenone, and even a little bug-eaten, the scarlet runners look like they might come through for me. Hence the new trellis on the house side of the garden — I’m hoping that if the beans grow up the trellises, then I’ll have a lovely green “fence” around the garden. We’ll see.
Planted chard, some carrots, beets and harvested the first leaves of arugula and spinach. The garlic didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but as always, the onions are going great guns. The potatoes are starting to come up out back, and I have my first sprout off the raspberry canes that I planted bare-root and that have looked like popsicle sticks out there. Also harvested the first of the rhubarb, which I baked off last night and we ate over ice cream.
It was a fun week off, but I have to admit, as much as I liked having all that time and space to write and garden and putter around, I did sort of miss the structure of my far-away day job. It’s nice to have people out there to check in with during the week …