How Does My Garden Grow

IMG_9601I’m a tomato growing guy! Over the years I’ve raised them at home and work.

Does raising tomatoes at work where I was paid make me a farmer? Sure. Why not?

Now that we’re in the land of perpetual sunshine I’ve got a single tomato plant in a pot on our patio. Growing space is limited. One is enough.

IMG_9600I cheated. The pot, with a plastic tomato cage above, came from Home Depot already in bloom. So far, it has survived my questionable care.

Our patio has limited sunshine. That’s good for people, but not optimum for tomatoes. They can’t get enough sunlight.

So far the impact has been minimal. Maybe it’s that sunshine is stronger in SoCal than Connecticut. Because of our more southerly latitude the Sun is higher in the sky.

I certainly started earlier. Back in the Northeast I never planted until Memorial Day. These bad boys are close to a month in.

IMG_9608I had been watering the tomatoes by hand. Today I installed irrigation.

We have a tiny sprinkler system for our flowers and bushes. I tapped into that, adding ‘dribblers’ for the tomatoes and a few other plants in pots.

The dribblers are rated one gallon per hour. The system runs two minutes every other day. That’s 4.27 ounces of water three or four times a week.

Is it enough? I’ll let you know.

In Connecticut tomato season ran from late July into October. It will be longer here. And no killing frost!

Cheating My Way To A Garden

IMAG0735-w1200-h1200For the last few weeks our tiny plot has been ablaze with spring color. The calendar says March but our plants say April, maybe May.

Does that mean it’s tomato time? Home Depot’s got plants. Why not try?

I headed to the garden center. My plan was buy a plant, a pot, some soil and get to work.

And then I spied it.

IMAG0736-w1200-h1200I picked up a plant already over a foot tall, with flowers, in a pot with an attached tomato cage!

This is cheating, right?

No planting. No weeding. No getting my hands dirty. It will have to be hand watered. That’s my only real contribution.

If things go according to plan there should be fruit to harvest in a little over two months. I can’t wait.

Will they taste as good without all the grunt work? I’ll let you know.

These Are Killer Plums

20130319_233926-w1280-h1280There is a plum with speckles available at the supermarket right now. The label says “Black Plum.” They’re from Chile.

This particular plum is available briefly, then gone.

The Black Plum is the fruit against which all others should be judged. Simultaneously sweet and overpoweringly sour, the plum’s meat is firm and flavorful.

Seriously, these are killer plums.