How does my garden grow? Very well, thank you -- especially my tomatoes!
Shortly before vacation, I planted Mr. Stripey, a tomato near and dear to my culinary heart. With that addition, the count stands at 15 plants, with two new ones to be added shortly -- hybrids Mountain Pride and Bush Goliath. Then, I think I might be finished. However, I admit that this represents a down-sizing from other years when I often have 20-plus plants in the ground!
Early May in coastal Virginia was NOT conducive to tomato growth! While it was warm enough here to plant them, we literally had nine days when the sun did not shine! Although they were well-watered with all of the rain we had, the plants literally showed no visible growth. When I was on vacation, the weather changed for the better and we had the right combination of rain and warm sun that made my plants thrive (plus great care from my friend Sharon, who tended the garden, geese, and cats while I was away).
Since my return on the 24th, I have harvested 3 tomatoes from my Patio plant, with several more green fruits on the vine. My Japanese Black Trifele also has some green babies poking out from spent blossoms! All of my plants have blooms or buds that should bloom shortly. The plants are lush and green and gorgeous! True to form, my Sweet 100, so small when planted, has grown exponentially (with tons of blooms already) along with the Japanese Black Cherry (absolutely puny when transplanted from a styrofoam cup)!
I've had a bit of help, though, from my geese. Confused??...I'll fill you in. The girls are not too particular about where they poop, including in their watering hole (aka, a fairly large kiddie pool). So, I am certainly not going to let that beautiful, wonderful manure tea go to waste and have put it to good use fertilizing my tomatoes with it. Typically, I change the pool water every other day (it will become a daily event shortly when the weather heats up). With this sandy soil here, I water the base of the plants first to saturate the ground. Then I religiously pour a bucket full of manure tea close to the base of the stem of each plant. This way, the tea ponds a bit on the surface, then sinks in slowly for maximum benefit. I should note that when I planted each tomato, I added in a bucket of goose manure into the surrounding soil.
So, now you know the secret to my beautiful tomatoes! Photos in the next few days...