Rain, rain, rain

on Fri, 06/17/2016

I haven't posted much lately because it's just been rainy, rainy, rainy. Lots of rain. Even some hail and thunderstorms. Thankfully the hail was smaller and my plants a good size, as early in the season that could have decimated the garden.

I'm noticing a lot of pale leaves and yellow leaves across plants. This is because when you get this amount of rain it washes much of the nutrients out of your garden, especially if you are container gardening. After you've had a lot of rain it is very important to make sure you feed your plants and make up for the nutrition they lost from all the rain. I'll do my usual weekly treatment, but will also likely do some fish fertilizer and Epsom salts to make up for what they lost.

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So hot!

on Sat, 06/04/2016

It is so hot here this weekend. Normally in June this area of Oregon should average about 78° for the high. This weekend we're expected to hit 100°+. With it being so hot, you've got to be certain to take care of your plants so that they make it through such high temps. That is especially true if you go from lower temperatures to really high ones like we've done (we were in the 60s).

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Tomatoes grow quickly

on Wed, 06/01/2016

Typically once planted in the ground or in a large pot, tomato plants will grow quickly. I usually see at least a foot's growth in the first few weeks, as well as a lot more branches.

If yours aren't growing very well, there are a few reasons this could be:

- It's too cold. Tomato plants are not fond of the cold and might not grow as well under those conditions.

- Not enough nutrients. Did you give the plant some kind of tomato food, fertilizer, etc when you planted it? Mine get a handful of long lasting granular fertilizer in the hole before I put in the plant.

- Using too much energy on buds/tomatoes. Did you pinch off any buds that popped up? It may seem crazy, but until your plant is a good size you should pinch off any buds that appear. This allows the plants to focus their energy on growing the plant instead of growing tomatoes. This will meant a healthier plant and more tomatoes later.

I planted my tomatoes in their pots on May 5th. I started growing them inside from seed at the beginning of March and then moved them outside a couple weeks before I planted them so they could harden off. 

Here's what they looked like the day I planted them:

tomatoes-planting-day-may05_0.jpg
(click for larger photo)

Here's a comparison of what they looked like on May 23 (when my husband helped me stake and mulch them) and today on June 1:

tomatoes-time01_0.jpg
(click for larger photo)

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Planting tomatoes

on Sun, 05/29/2016

Planting tomatoes for the first time? Maybe been growing them for a while, but just been putting them into the ground without much thought to their roots? If so, did you know that tomatoes like to be planted nice and deep? Tomatoes are one of the plants that thrives on being transplanted because they love it when you bury their stem deep. I do this when I transplant the tomatoes from the seedling cells to the 4" pots and again when I plant them in my garden. This helps build a strong root system, which means better access to the water and nutrients in your soil.

All those little hairs and bumps that you see on a tomato plant can become roots if they get close to or touch the dirt. This is why sometimes when you buy a tomato plant you'll see roots right at the surface. This isn't a problem plant, it's one that is developing a better root system.

tomato-roots-sm.png planting-tomatoes-sm.png
Click on the photos for a larger version.

May 24, 2016, part 2

My husband helped me this last weekend in the garden, getting the tomatoes staked and mulched, some items moved around, etc. Even cut some of the grass around my pots. If I don't do it myself, the yard guys will get too close to my plants and will break my pots and will chop off any part of my plant that is hanging out of the pot. I just found out about a handheld battery operated cutter I can get (we've been using scissors). It reminds me of a hair trimmer. Looking forward to getting it and trying it.

Garden is doing well

on Sun, 05/22/2016

The garden is doing pretty well. Planted more carrot seeds a little while back, as something happened and most did not germinate. It could be that the cats were in the planters again. Lots of little carrot plants popping up now.

The tomato plants are growing like crazy. I think they really like that new fertilizer I bought. Same with the squash.

I'm planning to post a bunch of pictures sometime soon. Things have just been hectic with work and I haven't gotten a chance to prep all the photos for posting on the web.

Hope your gardens are doing well!

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Pollinating squash

on Mon, 05/09/2016

A lot of people are used to plants where the fruit doesn't grow until a flower has been pollinated. So when fruit shows up on a squash, pumpkin, or gourd plant, they assume it means the flower has been pollinated. When they don't see any fruit, they try pollinating the flowers themselves. The problem is that these kinds of plants don't work that way - they have male and female flowers. The male flowers go from the stem to flower, while female flowers have a fruit at the bottom.

Click any of the photos to see a larger version. Sorry about the quality - I didn't realize until I was all done with the photos that it was saving them as gifs instead of png.

flowers-indentify-sm.gif

flowers-indentify02-small.gif flowers-indentify01-sm.gif

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Welcome! About this site...

Zucchini seedlingsWelcome to my blog on container gardening. I live in an apartment and as such don't have the option to plant anything in the ground. As such, I gave dozens and dozens of containers surrounding my patio filled with herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

I started out with just a few planters of strawberries around my garden. Then I added a few hanging baskets of flowers for our daughter. Each year I've expanded and expanded my garden. I've been buying bigger and bigger containers and adding new plants. I've found some things that have worked well for me - like the Asian finger eggplant that produced probably 100 eggplants - and things that haven't - my rapini never grew and it's just too cold for melons to do well.

I hope to share what I've learned thus far, tips, and more through this blog. I also hope to hear from you about what has worked for you.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries! Lots of photos there showing what I'm growing, how the plants are doing and more!