End of July Status

The Ramapo tomato plant we’ve been growing in a container had been doing incredibly well and had burst outside the tomato cage and was touching the roof of the porch. And then it wasn’t.

We think the weight of the tomatoes pulled it down. It doesn’t look like a stalk has snapped, so we are hoping all the tomatoes will turn red nicely. But the lesson for next year is to plant cherry-sized tomatoes. We also want to go with an early variety in the hope of having fruit in early (or even mid) July.

But yes, we’re starting to harvest more, and we’re also replanting some of our squares (we’re square-foot gardeners, remember?): Lettuce we’d started under the lights, plus the last of the spinach seeds, some arugula and parsnip seeds. We’ll see what takes.

We’ve been slow in harvesting chard, but we finally did a bit today. Plus we also got some salad greens and tomatoes. That all contributed to a good dinner, and lime basil added some zing!

Swiss chard

tomatoes, salad greens, basil

Growing Vegetables in Containers

I’ve just seen an impressive vegetable garden, all in containers (mostly 18-gallon containers), on the deck of a townhouse. I had a hard time not eating more of his cherry tomatoes (yes, I’m envious)  It gets  in more plants in less space than square-foot gardening, so even more impressive.in one container. I think there were eight pepper plants in one container. The cherry tomatoes are prolific, and these gardeners are headed for a glut of cucumbers.  I may try it next year on the front porch. I wonder if that will keep the strawberries safe.

See this gardener’s website for instructions on how to build the system yourself.

Homegrown containers

Overflowing with petunias
Overflowing with petunias

The Brit gets all the credit for these jam-packed containers of petunias (I can only claim the yellow calendulas), begun under the grow lights and now dazzling our deck (and a bit of the front bed).
We opted for containers after the rabbit nibbled off the flowers of all the red petunias within days of planting them last year. Our only quibble this time is that all the nearly white ones ended up in one pot.
Unfortunately we haven’t had as much success with the night phlox. Or the knautia, which has disappeared after being planted in beds. We now intend to use the rhubarb bed to get perennials big and healthy before moving them to more permanent sites.


I am so excited! Looked at my pair of silvery firs in pots and one has one, no, two little tomatoes already! (I figure the other is behind because a deer munched on it a while ago). I think I’ll have ripe ones by the Fourth of July!
I’ve tried to take a photo but it’s hard to get a good focus on something still so small. This is the best I could do:

baby tomato
baby tomato

Wait a week and I’m sure I’ll do better.
Silvery Fir is a determinate variety, so all the fruit should come around the same time. That also makes it suitable for pots. My only fear now is that the deer will come back and munch. Right now I have the pots under the motion-detector lights for night and wonder if I should drag them close to the front porch. More sun, I think, but also the risk of out of sight, out of mind. Plus the deer seem to have discovered a few things at the other end of the front path.
Also in bloom: eight rose campions, which are magenta flowers on a silvery-green stalk/foliage. One of my favorites, and long-lasting. Only a few days until the red-hot pokers (aka Tiki torches) are blooming too.