Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 2: First tomato sighting!

The husband and I got out of town for a quick escape to Austin and Fredericksburg last weekend, and due to extra work (and a short weekend) I haven't taken this week's garden photo yet. Week 2 garden portrait:

Garden - Week 2
East bed is in the foreground of this photo.
Click through for a closer look at the individual beds: East & West.

Last week before we left on our trip, I spotted the first tomato on one of the Mexico Midget plants.

First tomatoes!

The Jellybean and Homestead plants also have tomatoes, and all the tomato plants are looking very sturdy and healthy with lots of blossoms. No sign of any floppiness which would require trellising or staking just yet. My theory is if I wait to start supporting them until they really need it, the plants will grow stronger stems.

A closer look at the zucchini plant found buds upon buds right in the center of the plant. Not sure if these will turn into flowers or leaves, but something is going to happen!

Zucchini - preparing for giant growth!

My backyard is plagued with squirrels. PLAGUED. I am so frustrated with them that even though I have been a vegetarian for more than half my life, and have never purposely killed anything other than an ant, roach, or mosquito, I was seriously thinking about buying a pellet gun this morning. Not a lethal pellet gun, of course, but if there was some way to give those little jerks a serious sting on the butt when I catch them digging without any risk of actually harming them, I would be very interested.

Internet seems to think that I can plant marigolds and keep them out, but I'm not so sure. If they don't dig up the plants immediately after I transplant them, I don't see why they wouldn't just jump over them or go around and dig somewhere else in the garden. A flowerbed full of marigolds would be effective, but unless my understanding of the plant world is very wrong, marigolds don't make tomatoes or melons or zucchini.

I found some spray at the garden center today that claims to keep pretty much every animal away (dogs, cats, possums, SQUIRRELS, rabbits, raccoons, frogs), but the ingredients list was more than a little offputting... Blood, putrified egg whites, and garlic. Maybe the fact that I thought it was too gross to buy is a sign of its squirrel repelling potential.

Since they have killed one of my melon vines already, I'm getting ready to try pretty much any non-lethal tactic.

This week's garden to-do list:
- move lemon tree outside, hope bees pollinate some of the flowers so we can have a chance of seeing our first lemon (I have had the tree for almost 4 years)
- set up soaker hoses for easy watering
- mulch
- dig up volunteer tomato seedlings, root tomato cuttings, deliver baby plants to my brother since all his tomato seeds failed
- transplant chives, dill, and parsley into the west bed
- transplant Principe Borghese tomato into container
- plant marigolds in favorite squirrel digging spots
- start seeds: basil, zinnias, melons to replace the squirrel victims, more marigolds and nasturtiums

I think that's enough for one week, considering I only have about an hour every morning to work outside before I have to get in bed.

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