18 Oct 2010 2 Comments
The kids are going strong. Crops are coming in, as well as weeds — but we’re on top of them. First, we loosen their grip in the soil and then we pull them free, forming small work piles ultimately headed for our compost pile.
Granted it’s not the most exciting part of our garden, but it is a necessary one! These weeds are battling for the same sun and water as our plants and we are rooting for our vegetables to win out!
And there is plenty of weeding to go around. While we mulched these corn stalks to prevent weed growth, they still have a plethora (abundance) of weeds growing around their base. Most of these should be removed. A few survivors won’t hurt, but a “carpet” of weeds is definitely not helpful to our plants.
Maintenance is the key at this point. For our tomatoes, we learned how to pinch the suckers from the vines. These small growths at the elbow of main stalk and branches “suck” away energy from the main branches. Very bad.
We want our efforts directed toward tomato production, not branch production!
As the tomato plants grow larger, we must also stake them. This basically means to tie the stalk of the plant to a sturdy stake (we used bamboo) so that when to tomatoes start coming in, they won’t topple over our plant.
We could have used a cage, but using ties is easy and allows the plant plenty of space to breathe and spread its branches. You can also utilize a trellis, encouraging the plants to climb.
As usual, we’re always on bug lookout. It only takes one day for a hornworm to devour an entire plant. Which would be wholly disappointing after all our hard work.
This little brownish varmint below had to be removed else he do damage. I’m not sure exactly which type of worm he is, but we take no chances when it comes to saving our tomatoes!
If we’re lucky, we’ll spot a ladybug. Maybe a frog, or two. But so far, nada. Could it mean we have nothing for them to eat?
Probably not. We have holes in our poles bean leaves so something is chomping.
Another task is training the pole beans to grow up the fence. We do this by gently tugging the leading vine toward the links of our fence and winding it through. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Our sweet peas aren’t ready for training, yet. As it is, they’ve only just peeked out from the ground. But once they get going, we’ll do the same for them.
All in all, I’d say we’re off to a great start!