Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tomato Explosions! Vegetable Garden Update

Tomato's did not explode, but I had so many I considered exploding a few.  The vegetable garden worked out better than ever this year.  I have been growing tomatoes, peppers, and corn for a few years now and this year was the best crop I have ever had.

I contribute the success to a number of factors which I will list below.

After Ocean City Mega Harvest
1.  I got the plants earlier this year.

I got the plants and planted all by Preakness.  I heard some people talking about not planting until Preakness and I said okay.  Other years I planted closer to June.  This also allowed me to get the smaller and cheaper 4 packs of tomatoes and peppers that are normally not available by June.  These surprisingly  grew much better.  Not sure why?  Maybe it was easier for these to adapt and adjust to my yard not growing at the store in a pot for a month.  

2.  Better Boys are Better Big Boys
I always got the Big Boy tomatoes because my mom insisted that they were dads favorites.  I was finally able to convince her that the Better Boy is the same just better.  Boy were they better.  Never have I had so many tomatoes at 1 time.  The after O.C. harvest was kinda over whelming.  There are still big batch of tomatoes growing now.  

Overwhelming Huge box of tomatoes 
3.  New Location and Correct Spacing

For years I have tried different places and ways to plant more plants.  Always ended up sacrificing some of the desired spacing.  One year I used those Topsy Turvy, they were good for the space, but did not produce the amount of fruit I expected.  This year I just said what the hell, I'll just plant everything right here in the middle of the yard.  I had been reserving this area for Wiffle ball and Kick ball tournaments, but with no kids and the nephews not around and getting older, I have now open this area to the garden.   You can check out my big Wiffleball story here Wiffle Char.  One of the big benefits is I didn't have to mow a big stretch of the yard all summer.  The greatest benefit is that this stretch gets the most sun and I was able to correctly space out all of the plants.

Reinhardt Rose Field
4.  Using adequate fertilizer

For years I had not used or used very little of those time release pellets.  My big concern was for my dog getting into that crap and getting sick.  Unfortunately, my dog passed away at the age of somewhere between 12 -13 years old.  She is now planted underneath a peach tree that will produce Emma peaches.  With no worry for Emma, I was able to use the time release fertilizer and it appears to have worked out well. 

Emma Peaches
Other plants,

Hellena's Silver Queen Corn 

I don't like growing corn.  Never have much luck.  Pulling the corn too early too late.  Corn getting infested with bugs and water logged.  Corn getting knocked over in large storms!  No really something I want to grow, but I do it for Hellena.  I let Hellena decide when to pick, so she waited a week after I wanted and the corn was kinda of dry.  I gave all to her to enjoy, but surprisingly did not hear about much enjoyment?  I wonder why?  

Mom's Cabbage
Another plant I was reluctant to try.  Mom grabbed these early in the spring and I did not want anything to do with it.  She planted them late not realizing that the cabbages could be planted before the last frost.  She was so worried about the frost.  Anyway, these I did not mind because they turned out great and we used them for Corn Beef and cabbage!

The Peppers!

Green peppers are still growing.  Have eaten many peppers just with salt and pepper and a couple of times had them as stuffed peppers.  The Chili,  Jalapeno, and Habanero, have been blended together and used in a couple of Chicken and rice dishes that Hellena makes.  Still hoping to take a bunch and make some Chili for a Ravens game soon.  

Other Pictures From the Harvesting!

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