The Fall Garden: The finishers and the slow growers

22 09 2008

Well, in the ongoing Battle: Dirt Sack Vs. The Evil Blight, I may have to give The Dirt Sack some credit.  I’d say it is putting out as many tomatoes and takes up hardly any ground space.   I’ve pulled several romas off of it and dozens of the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes.  Was it worth the added expense and extra watering?  I don’t think so.   As soon as I take it down, I will respond to the recall.  It really was a terribly made piece of equipment.  That said, I do think that there is a lot of potential for upside down tomatoes.

Meanwhile The Evil Blight does seem to finally be striking at least one of the plants on the ground. I have found a few romas that were squishy without ever ripening, and many of the leaves are starting to turn yellow as seen below. I’ve cut the what-appears-to-be-blighted parts back and thrown them away.  I’m giving the tomatoes another week and a half.  Then I think their numbers will be up.

I keep wondering when the green beans will be done.  I am letting a couple of the plants go to seed in hopes of not having to buy seed next year.  The rest of the plants are still putting out plenty of beans for a side dish every few days, so we’ll just keep eating them until they are done.

Meanwhile, the leeks keep on growing extremely slowly. The biggest are about thumbs-width, depending on the size of the thumb.  They still have another month and a half before I was planning on eating them, but man do they crawl along.  Someday I would like to have an entire bed of just leeks, though.  Whether they will justify taking up a row in such a small garden is yet to be determined.

The brussels sprouts are absolutely fascinating.  The one big one has gotten HUGE while the smaller ones have stayed, well, small.  I’m not expectings many spouts from the three smallest ones; they simply have not grown that many axial leaves.  I think that despite being spaced fairly far apart, the two largest ones got such a leap on the smaller ones that the smaller ones just got crowded out.

What I find SO fascinating, though, is WHERE the sprouts come from!  Why they appear at the base of the leaves is a total mystery to me.

Wrapping it up, the purple sprouting broccoli is trucking along slowly in the front yard.  While I think they could do with more direct sunlight, this is actually about the size that I was hoping the cabbage would be.   Provided they don’t get frozen out, we’ll have fresh broccoli come March.


The Dirt Sack: Recall

11 08 2008

That’s right.  The Dirt Sack has been recalled due to the fact one leg is apparently prone to breaking, causing the entire stand to fall over.   The company that makes the stand will refund my purchase directly, despite the fact I bought it from a 3rd party.

I will be collecting my refund.  I am waiting to see if my tomatoes will recover from the inadvertent drought before I tear it down.  The whole thing makes me sad from start to finish.   So, all you novice gardeners out there, remember the lesson of The Dirt Sack: while a new gardening idea may seem like a Very Good Idea at the time, save your money until the item has a track record.

The Dirt Sack: I broke down.

3 08 2008

My master plan to attempt to keep it simple with The Dirt Sack continues to fail. The promise of tomatoes was just too much. The romas have started appearing by the dozen. The temptation from seeing tomatoes and knowing that the plants might not make it wiped out any remaining resolve.

I started adding some of this:

And spritzing with this:

I’m not sure which or both is working, but the leaves have stopped yellowing. Tomatoes are growing. My guess about the yellow leaves? Too little nitrogen.