Fire Mountain Garden Exchange

Tomato Magic by Editor
July 12, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Vegetables

Yet another source of interesting information on Tomato growing that we recommend, “Organic Tomato Magic” by Kacper Postawski . This is a very opinionated treatise on tomato growing that I found very helpful, as it is copyrighted, I don’t think it is appropriate to copy it here. You can purchase a copy for $20 on line.

The basic premise is that one should grow tomatoes not leaves. He suggests removing almost all the suckers and sun leaves so that the plant can breathe and focus growth on fruit not leaves. This is best done by hand, pressing the stalk of the sun leaf up towards the top of the plant until one hears a pop then moving it quickly downward to cleanly snap it off. Be careful not to tear strands down the vine. I will say that my plants look great, the set is good and they are easy to tie up after this treatment. As I did this three weeks ago, I haven’t yet seen the benefits in a new high set, but I think I will get it. The plants have no fungus and no dead leaves (a wonder for Heirlooms!), which is good enough in itself.


A Return to Our Fire Mountain Garden by Editor
July 8, 2009, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s the 4th of July, I hope we are all savoring the history of our Nation and the remaining freedoms we have.

We returned last month from a vegetable eater’s delight, time spent in Southern France. The local daily public markets were the scene of some of the most extravagant displays of produce. Every day in some local village there is a farmer’s market where one can purchase the freshest of vegetables. Lettuce the size of soccer balls, beautiful onions, peppers, carrots etc. Each stall seems to vie with the others for the most beautiful display. We thoroughly enjoyed fresh salads every night.

While in France we had the good fortune to stay for two weeks on a family farm in Provence that was just starting up an organic produce venture. Our hostess was an American who landed in France in the 70’s and decided she liked there. She and her daughter are raising tomatoes, lettuce, cukes, mescal and some other leaf crops. I read the “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, by M. Pollen and the Barbara Kingsolver book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”. Both works are very suitable to read on a farm or in your yard while looking at your veggie garden.

We came home to find much to our pleasant surprise that the Vista Farmer’s Market has matured for the most part into something quite comparable to the fresh produce sections of French and Italian local markets. There is a price to pay for local fresh organic produce, but also a great benefit, for us as consumers and as supporters of local farming.

We also returned to find weeds in the garden and a slew of green tomatoes. The beets were ready to put up and the onions and garlic ready to pick, we had our first Early Girl two days ago. Even though I plant a lot of Heirlooms, I always have a couple of Early Girls and San Diegos so I can have the joy of brushcetta in July. It was, however, weak year for apricots though, please share your experience and suggestions on this one.

So what’s new this month? Remember that we here in Oceanside are now on a City mandated watering cycle. You may have noticed that many of our neighbors had ripped up lawns and have planted cactus and succulents. It is something for all of us to consider. Another interesting option is offered by the organization called ‘Food not Lawns’ . They aren’t hiding their agenda, which is if you are going to water; put it on something you can eat.

July Plantings by Editor
July 8, 2009, 11:39 pm
Filed under: Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables

Once again we depend on the timeless advice from Charles Ledgerwood’s 1994 “Reliable Seeds” for our instruction as to recommended planting for the Month of July.

For the Vegetables we have:

BEANS, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, celery, CORN, CUKES, LIMAS, okra, SQUASH, NZ SPINACH and Swiss chard.

For flowers:

Cinerarea, Centaurea, Cosmos, Dusty Miller, Fountain Grasses, Gypsophilia, Lunaria, Nasturtium, Pansy, Phlox, Salpiglossis, Snap Dragon, Verbena, Viola and Zinnia.
Look for more web sites and recommendations in the posts below and get to work in that vegetable garden! Times are tough, they are going to get tougher, you and you family can reap the rewards of gardening in just a few months.