Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tomato plants need to be staked or supported

Ok so being new to gardening I figured I would experiment with different techniques.  I tried a topsy turvy and a few in planters.  This one here is the first one that I had outside.  It was the only one I did not grow from seeds, I bought it when it was ready to be outside, think it was about a foot tall.  We had an opportunity to eat a couple of tomatoes off of this already which made us happy, they were good!  As part of my experiment I decided to let this do it's thing.  I did have a small stake to start but when the plant was growing off in two main branches, I decided not to try to stake it higher or buy a cage.  It was great at first and the brances were almost touching the deck on both sides but all of a sudden it started to split.  The two branches split the main stem and they are now touching the deck.  Surprisingly tho the plant is still looking alive and green.  Didn't think it would survive with a big split in the main stem but we will see.  I recommend people stake their tomato plants better or cage them tho.  Not sure if this is going to produce any more fruit.  The fruit on it in picture was already on it before the split happened.  I definitely wouldn't recommend allowing this to happen if plants are in a garden and tomatoes would be touching soil.  I read that is not good.

Feeding the plants with Miracle Gro cured yellow leaves

All my plants are planted in Miracle Gro Potting Soil.  I thought that it was going to be enough plant food as this is my first year gardening.  The leaves started turning a little yellow so I searched for answers online and found that it could be a lack of nitrogen.  So I bought Miracle Gro all purpose plant food, a powder you mix with water in the watering can.  I gave their first dose last Sunday and boy what a difference.  It was definitely what they needed! They almost instantly started getting all green again and they started growing faster.  It is supposed to be used every 7-14 days so I will give them more tomorrow.  Now I have to transplant three of my plants into 5 gallon buckets.  They were growing quite slowly before. 
My yellow bite size tomatoes were mostly for the kids.  They are very tasty but I do not have a chance to eat many of them before the kids do.  The plant is growing quite tall now and is in need of a transplant.  I have two other plants in planters to be transplanted now.  The plant in the topsy turvy is really taking off and I don't have to transplant that one.  It stays in the topsy turvy once planted.  I think that and the Miracle Gro was the best $15 investment I have made! 
Maybe by next year I will be a pro :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cat vs Pepper Plants

My male cat has been munching on my pepper plants.  I have tried many different things and moved them to a spot that I didn't think he would be able to get them and still he is getting munching!  He just can't help himself.  I have read that parsley is safe for cats to munch on and maybe it will satisfy his need to munch on green plants.  He hasn't eaten the peppers just the leaves.  Of course I find kitty puke with leaves in it everytime he eats the pepper plant.  I am probably going to buy some parsley and cat grass today and we will see if this works.  Hoping for the best, I will let you know if this keeps my furry friend out of the plants.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Green Pepper

I had to take a picture of this pepper.  It was the first pepper that I grew and it just looked so perfect (probably because it was the first pepper I grew.)  I picked it last week and used it in a pasta salad for my family's picnic, it was delicious!  It was the only pepper so far, the other ones were falling off the plant before they were big enough to survive.  We had some very hot days.  I am getting some more growing on the plants now and of course we are going through another heat spell.  Hopefully they will hang in there this time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Give your plants enough water in this heat

This heat has been crazy! We have been seeing 102 degrees the last couple of days and my plants are so far hanging in there.  It has been so hot that I have been having to water my tomato plants 3 times a day.  I also have been having to water my pepper plants every day.  The pepper plants are usually getting watered every few days in normal temperatures and the tomato plants usually get watered once a day.  The tomato plants are loving this weather though, I am starting to get color in one of my tomatoes in the last couple of days.
Please remember to check your plants a couple times a day in this heat and make sure they have the amount of water they need.  Especially the tomato plants as they seem to use more water then other plants anyway.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pepper Plants

I have 4 pepper plants, 2 green pepper plants, 1 yellow pepper plant and 1 red pepper plant.  This here was the first pepper, it's the start of the red pepper.  It didn't make it to the red pepper state though.  I picked it while it was still green and put it in a salad.  It was definitely better then any store bought green pepper!  I have to admit I was very proud of this pepper. 

Tomato plant in the topsy turvy

I transplanted two tomato plants on the same day a few weeks ago.  They were both only about 5-6 inches tall when I transplanted them.  One of the plants was planted in a planter and the other was planted in the topsy turvy.  I have got to say the topsy turvy works great!  This is a personal observation, I am not at all affiliated with the topsy turvy and do not receive any compensation.  The plant in the topsy turvy is almost twice the size of the one planted in the planter.  It is doing good.  I have it hanging on the deck in a spot where it sees a lot of sunlight and give it water everyday.  All of my tomato plants are treated the same.  I almost didn't buy a topsy turvy but now that I got it I recommend it to friends.  These pictures were taken about a week ago and the one in the topsy turvy has gotten bigger and fuller since.