Sunday, May 31, 2009

mole removal.....

no sign of any gophers or moles on my property in 5 years - and a couple months after the beds go in with nice soil and BAM! - i get this:

inspite of chicken wire across the bottom of the beds - all screwed to the trex, the buggers found thier way in. so this fall i may be pulling the dirt and installing a better metal barrier in each bed - something i am not looking forward to.

in the mean time, i got the word from farmer fred (todays kfbk show, just after 9) that castor oil is the most effective way to control the critters. so off to front yard nursury i went and bought granules and liquid forms of the oil, as well as a manual trap that - hopefully will - you know.....

tomato list 2009

well, here it is the first string for 2009. you will note some duplicates. hybrids outnumber heirlooms - only to ensure i have enough fruit to go around. with 41 plants - its probably overkill; not a big deal.

sungold x3
sun sugar x2
sweet million x2
parks whopper
better boy x4
oregon spring
dinner plate
black cherry
beef master
super fantastic
golden jubilee
black zebra
celebrity x2
great white
early girl x2
beefmaster x2

costuloto genovese
german pink
cherokee purple x2
hungarian heart
black krim

my fave is sungold (cherry) - hands down.... but the description for sunsugar says its sweeter than sungold, only time will tell. larger tomatoes - pretty much goes to the one i am eating at the time - thickly sliced and topped w/ freshly crushed pepper and salt - mmm, good!

there are a lot of new ones are on tap - black cherry, costolutto genovese, sweet million (farmer fred's favorite), super fantastic, heartland, black zebra, plus a few more. it will be interesting to find out which ones produce the best.

all in, all done....

fast forward a couple weeks and what we have here is a garden in full flight. germination of all seeds has gone real well and the tomatoes are just about all caged up. we even have quite a few small fruits across the 41 plants. i built trellis' from 2x6 cedar, which i ripped on a table saw. the cedar was $1.86 each, which resulted in very cheap, rot resistant 2x2 wood in the garden. i opted to use tee-pee style trellis for climbing beans this year - but upon reflection will probably build a ladder style trellis for my 2010 climbing beans - the tee-pee's just dont seem to be very space efficient and even though i have 12 beds - i need to be space efficient.

the tomato cages are a mix of home grown concrete wire cages and texas tomato cages. these texas do-dads are pretty cool as they solve a major problem with cages - they fold up in the off season and take up next to zero space. but the big elephant in room is cost - those texans cost almost $25 each - not cheap. so i buy a few a year until i get to my total of 36. i did try to build a reasonable tomato cage from pvc - and to build one w/ similar support characteristics was close to $20 - and pvc will break over time when exposed to sun - so texas gets the prize on this one.

the plants go in

well, we got a late frost, so i didnt plant on ff's bday. the first weekend in may was a washout (see previous post) so its mother's day weekend and the crew is out in force getting the garden into the beds.

this is our inaugural year for garden beds and has been anticipated for some time. vege's on tap include 41 tomato plants (5 beds), 1 bed of potatoes, 1 bed for corn, 1 bed of beans, 1 bed of winter squash and scattered among several other beds include, cucumbers, summer squash, onions, radish, bell peppers and melon.

i probably over planted - as usual - but it isnt the first time, and probably will not be the last. the picture shows the tomatoes being planted and our head of ranch security - jed.

omg - has it been a month already?

geesh - its amazing how fast it goes by and - BAM! the blog is way out of date. oh - on top of that the usb cable for the camera - suddenly went AWOL and the usual culprits (ages 7 &11) claim they have never seen it....go figure. so today i steal the wife's usb deal to get me back online.

well, lets recap; we left our garden action hero building a compost bin and this was the first weekend in may. when out of the blue - we get an extremely rainy weekend that completely blew my schedule. but the bin did get built and we have started throwing in the greens and the browns.

fast forward a couple weeks and the bin gets done and so does a lot of other things. and i now have some unwanted visitors. more to come.