Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garden Tuesday 06/30/09 - Tomato Suckers and More!

Gouda Garden Greetings! While taking time out to sip some “nettles” tea (supposed to help allergies ... I’ll let you know if it works), I realized it’s time to share what’s going on in the Gouda Garden. I know, I know ... you need a container for your joy! Still (ahem), I’ve got to admit that I’m simply enamored with my tiny garden plots. Especially now that the sun is gracing us with daily appearances, the garden is really starting to take off. In fact, summer is supposed to hit tomorrow with temperatures in the 90’s (it was in the 40’s last night!).

So, let take step outside the patio door and see what’s happenin’!

Tomato Tutorial: See Ya Round, Suckers!

There are two types of tomato growers: those who remove suckers and those who do not. I belong in the former category. What’s a sucker, you ask? They are branches that grow out of the joints on the tomato plants. Suckers don’t hurt your plants, but there is some evidence that they do “rob” your plant of fruit production energy. Since my garden is so small, I pinch off the suckers to keep the plant focused on growing fruit, not leaves. Suckers do NOT bear any fruit themselves, they just produce leaves.Look for suckers growing at the plant joints. In the photo above, my pointer finger is touching the new sucker on this plant.Grab hold of the sucker (sounds like a move scrip ... “Hey, you, grab hold of that sucker!”) at the base.Simply snap it off! See ya, sucker! (That's probably the only time I'll say that. It's just so out of character for me. If you knew me, you'd understand. Even if I did mouth the words, you'd shake your head and tell me that it just doesn't work coming from me. *sigh* My friends would bust out laughing, and then they, too, would tell me to give it up and stick with "blast and darn it".)Suckers grow fast!

The Case of the Fascinating and the Curious: Things that make me go “hmmm”!

Here are a couple tidbits in the garden that fascinate me.

This is the first time I’ve grown cherry tomatoes. This plant doesn’t have a center stalk!It is growing in a V formation. Do all cherry tomato plants grow this way?

Someone’s been eating my porridge ... uh, make that beans. Some little creature decided to chow down on this leaf. No others, just this one. Don’t you just love the vein structure on the underside shown here in this leaf? I feel a homeschool lesson coming on! Hey kids, come look at this!
Isn’t this a hoot? It’s called “salad mix” which is basically a bunch of different types of lettuce! Ha!


I just love the delightfully delicate yet Samson strong qualities of pea tendrils! Plus, aren't the two-toned pea leaves darling? (I like the word darling. I use it often.)

I just love the fuzzy quality of these Potato Flowers! Do you like fuzzy things? You know, like small critters, and, uh, potato flowers!

What’s new in your garden this week? Anything fuzzy?

14 comments:

Marjie said...

We discovered that our pea plant was trying to attach itself to the garden frame, so Ryan moved a tomato support to it, and within 15 minutes it had 2 tendrils attached. I have a funny feeling I should have planted more than one pea plant per square...hmmm. Maybe I need to read that book after all....

I'm glad you're sampling your lettuce, finally! Do you find a lack of slugs with the coffee and grounds? Penn State's agriculture column in our paper says the slugs eat the grounds and OD on caffeine, so they never even make it into the lettuce! Hooray! Less disgust!

Lynda said...

Great garden tour, Paula! I've been removing the suckers from my tomato plants-it was so hot last week,my garden actually wilted and my squash are not looking very well. Last year they didn't make it.:(

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i'm now throiwing my coffee grounds onto the soil where the tomatoes are growing, thanks to you!

Pam said...

What a lovely photographic journey through your garden. Simply lovely. Even if it was filled with such "strong language"!!!

Cathy said...

Good tomato tips, Paula. My cherry tomatoes grow in wild patterns. I do lots of staking.

Grace said...

i'm pretty sure i could just go ahead and stick my face into your salad mix and chew. so i might eat a slug or two...that's just extra protein. :)

Cheryl said...

I had no idea you were supposed to do that with maters, I shall do so in the future! Your garden is beautiful!

The Blonde Duck said...

My jalepenos are roasting. In their pots. In the 105 degree sun.

Lo said...

Thanks for reminding me to get out there and pop some suckers off of MY tomato plants. I always forget to do it systematically... So far, the gardens are doing great at our house. Tomatoes and tomatillos are growing into a jungle. Bush cucumbers are sending out adorable tendrils. Hot peppers seem to be blossoming. Leeks are... growing. Herbs are doing great too -- with the possible exception of my Thai Basil, which I'm convinced is dying just to SPITE me.

Am curious about the slugs too... have been saving coffee grounds for spreading around my hostas. It's eggshells for the tomato plants at our house... but maybe we drink enough coffee that they could have some too.

Manggy said...

I WISH I had a good garden because I can't go to the market this week! Sigh!

I didn't know the axillary meristems of tomatoes didn't flower :( How cool would it have been if they did? Bushy tomatoes with tons of fruit!

noble pig said...

That salad looks fabulous! Good for you, I am sincerely envious!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Yes, YES!! I LOVE the fuzzy and I ADORE tendrils! Aren't they amazing? We have passion vines that shoot them out and I find them fascinating. Great tutorial!

Jan said...

We grab those suckers too, you are quite right more leaves mean less fruit. Our potato plants have already flowered, so hopefully those tubers are growing like crazy. The flowers are kind of cute and fuzzy. No other fuzziness ro report, I'm afraid. Your garden is looking lovely, Paula.

Bridgett said...

Wow, salad mix! What a gorgeous garden you have.