What are you doing this weekend?
Do you live in the flat barren keeping up with the Jones land of suburbia and want to start a vegetable garden but haven’t?
What are you waiting for?!
I’ve been slacking with the this years Gardening posts. And not because I don’t want to talk about the candidates for the potential crop of mystery bugs that Mother Nature will surely descend upon this years garden as the surprise “I didn’t know you could kill my cucumbers in 3 days bug of the season. But because I’ve actually been spending more time outside this summer vs oh on my computer reading and *cough* writing hundreds of blog entries.
And I decided to simplify this years vegetable garden from all the lessons I learned from starting my garden last year. That’s a post I’m working on.
So I present this years Suburban Backyard Vegetable Garden.
This year I decided to try a new way of growing tomatoes. Instead of using last years cages, we built a trellis.
We got three pieces of 2 x 2’s of pine wood, water sealed them and then made the world’s easiest basic frame within the garden bed.
It’s a modified version of the A-Frame Trellis but we don’t need the other half of the “A” because of where it is located in the garden. If you want a great Pro and Con list of using cages vs stakes vs trellises for your tomatoes, go read the write up that Tomato Headquarters did on it.
It wound up like this.
Then like the easy bean trellis, I just tied twine vertically down it. I was not a happy camper (funny because me and camping are so not friends) with last years tomato cages because inside the cages towards the end of the season I was left with tons of unripened green tomatoes that were shaded by the foliage surrounding the cage.
I also got smarter with my gardening this year and did a quasi square foot garden. I say quasi because I doubled the square feet of each block. So technically I should call it a rectangular foot garden. Doesn’t sound as nice mind you.
The first crop of tomato’s I planted were destroyed by a hail snowstorm in May. Yes the month of May.
You know when you’re out for the Long Weekend (in Canada we call this May 24), we got SNOW around that time and quarter sized hail.
It did this to my tomato plants.
So I rescued what I could and replanted them into containers and then planted a whole new series of tomatoes.
And now they look like this. Even the sunbeams came out for the photo.
All you do is wind and tie or clip the tomato stems to the twine as they grow. The trellis then helps to support the plants as they get bigger and makes it easier to prune foliage that can shade tomatoes.
I had read rumours of how this method also helps tomatoes to arrive sooner and increase your harvest. It’s not a rumour. I didn’t get tomatoes last year until July and even then they still weren’t ripened.
Here is the first one a full month early. Night and day difference from the cages of last year.
As for other parts, raspberries in full bloom.
My salad bar – lettuce, radishes and bush beans.
And the salvaged tomatoes that I did put in with cages because they’re in containers and they’re taking a lot longer to grow.
This year my gardening mantra is to keep it simple. Because I am too busy with other things.
Like hanging out with my lovely Little C.
Who is discovering the fun of a sprinkler.
And then we do it all again the next day…
Summer priorities people.
Always remember your priorities.