Fire Mountain Garden Exchange

The July Rant by Editor
July 5, 2011, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Fruits, Vegetables

Such an interesting month it has been. If you perchance follow this blog you will note that I was shocked and dismayed with my tomato production as of early June. All is forgiven; they have turned around and put out. I will say I understand why the Kentucky Wonder is so aptly named, “you wonder where the tomatoes are”! Read back on last month and last year’s June issues to check out the information on culling the sun leaves on your plants, remember you are growing tomatoes, not leaves. The pole beans are crawling rapidly up the bamboo trellis’. Still having a slow time with the eggplants, but I have become murderously cavalier in my approach, no growth or sets, away they go and I replace them. The French lettuce continues to amaze us; I have seven varieties, a little less lush than in April but still way better than store bought. This is a good time to start a crop for late summer /early fall. Just started a bunch of purple bush beans, they are so pretty when they grow, but don’t be surprised when they turn ordinary green when cooked.

Beets, oh goodness do I have beets, four varieties and all just muscling out. I will be pickling this weekend and replanting. I finally got enough confidence in

Trade Joes Basil - $2.99

the overnight temperatures to plant cukes, they are only 8” tall right now, so no telling what goes on, last year was wonderful with 18” Japanese cukes hanging from a wire fence. I am going to rip out the basil I got from Armstrong at the flower fields. I think those plants are boosted with drugs to sell and then just collapse. Next year I am going back to starting my own seedlings for everything. I used to do it all the time, but apparently got side tracked into laziness. My late season fall back for the basil is the Trader Joe’s 2.99 pots out in front. Last year I separated, planted and pinched back as low as I could go and got a decent crop. Basil also grows remarkable well from seed too.

I decided to grow herbs close to the kitchen this year so I planted 8 of my favorite herbs in 5 gal pots (using potting soil from the new Home Depot Garden spot in the abandoned Saturn Dealer (boy does that end of the center look like the lost world –ugly) 2.5 CU ft for $10 is reasonable. I built little redwood frames to gussy up the pots so they don’t look so industrial and put the fake terra cotta plastic trays from the old HD ($2.18 per) under them and installed them on the back deck near the kitchen.

A Fire Mountain Drive neighbor said he shopped at Anderson’s Nursery on La Costa, so I went looking for herbs. Hadn’t been for a coon’s age, and my beer drinking/ tomato growing competitor/friend and I were quite impressed. High dollar plants. They had a nice little veg and herb section that was very reasonably priced, but I will say the herbs were almost totally root bound. At $3 for a 4” pot it is iffy but I think I will be able to reclaim the French tarragon, chives, African basil and basil. They had a very nice selection of heirloom tomatoes but I would suspect they were also root bound, not necessarily a deal breaker, you just have to rip them up a bit, but it slows the program for a week or two. Nice people, very savvy and the nursery is dog friendly.

Don’t forget to let your neighbor’s who think they can send off personal fireworks know that they will reap what they sow.