By Month:

November 2015

Late planting of EB3, trying spinace in one row, kohlrabi in other row.  Planted 11/21/15.

October 2015

Just planted lettuce, 10/12/15.  Earthbox 1: Red Sails on top row (row w/o water spout), Black Seeded Simpson on bottom row (with water spout).  Earthbox 2: Little Gem on top row (sans water spout), Lollo Rosa on bottom row (with water spout).  Lollo Rosa seeds too old I guess, some never sprouted, had to plant [...]

April 2013

Grabbed a few more plants at Lowe’s today. No Early Girls at the local nurseries I checked, but Lowe’s had some. Final lineup from N to S (with nursery where I got the plant): Independence Day (Red Barn), Valencia Orange (Shoal Creek), Lemon Boy (Shoal Creek), Super Fantastic (Lowe’s), Early Girl (Lowe’s), Sweet 100 (Shoal [...]

Barely have had time to think about tomatos this spring, but managed to get started this weekend. Amended the garden with the same stuff as last year: two bags of Natural Gardener Revitalizer compost, 8 lb dolomite, 3 lb of garden tone organic fertilizer. Got four plants in yesterday (4/7): Sungold, Sweet 100, Valencia Orange [...]

June 2012

All Early Girl except the lumpy one at the back, which is a Mortgage Lifter.

Woke up to the horror of a ripe tomato half eaten and callously discarded.

Bougies are happy.

First non-cherry tomatoes were ripe enough to pick today. Two Early Girls and one Mortgage Lifter. May have jumped the gun too much on Mortgage Lifter, but I’m afraid that critters will steal them once the show any red.

May 2012

Only a few ripe cherries so far, but lots of green tomatoes and plants are happy.  

April 2012

The tomato garden at four weeks. Still only a few green tomatoes, but plants are looking healthy. I have to assume that the volunteer plant that sprouted is a Sweet 100. That’s the only cherry tomato I planted last year.  

Finally planted this year’s earthboxes. Did green beans in one, peppers in one and we’re trying strawberries in the third one, for the first time. Decided not to do squash this time, have not had much luck with it the last few times.

Some photos of the garden.

Got the 2012 tomatoes into the garden today. Varieties planted, from south to north: Sun Gold, White Currant (from seed), Early Girl, volunteer, Lemon Boy, Aunt Ginny’s Purple (from seed), Mortgage Lifter. The only new variety this year is Mortgage Lifter. We also have an unplanned volunteer, doing quite well with some baby fruits already [...]

February 2012

Planted some tomato seeds for spring in 4″ containers: Aunt Ginny’s Purple, White Currant, Mortgage Lifter and White Cherry. Can’t find Aunt Ginny’s Purple or White Currant in the nurseries and they have been favorites in seasons past, so wanted to get those seeds started. Will round out the other varieties with nursery plants.

July 2011

Found this on the ground in the garden this morning. The one and only fruit from the Orange Oxheart plant. Some critter ripped it off the plant before I could get to it Probably will not plant this variety again. Plant is large and healthy, but has only produced one fruit!

First time growing Black Prince. Pretty steady producer, but fruits are on the small side–around 3oz on average.

June 2011

Plucked a 12 1/4 oz beauty from the Lemon Boy plant this morning. Really happy with the Lemon Boy performance. Will be planting this again. Big beautiful yellow/orange tomatoes.    

Sliced in to the Lemon Boy last night. Was delicious. More tangy than the other varieties I am growing, which I like.

First Lemon Boy finally ripened up. Weighs in at just over 9oz. Wasn’t expecting them to get that large. Looks good, will be slicing into it this evening. Paul Robeson has been producing well, as well as Early Girl (although I got a bush variety of EG and it seems to be petering out. must [...]

May 2011

Cut into the “Black Krim” I harvested the other night. Fully ripened. Was tasty. But I’m not sure it’s a Black Krim, after checking some images online. No “black” in this tomato at all. Mystery tomato. Compare to an actual Black Krim, found online:  

Harvested a partially ripe Black Krim tonight. Decided I’d better get it before some varmint did. Weighs in at 7.25 oz.  

First Earthbox Spacemaster Cucumber harvested today, weighing in at 12oz. Also got another Black Beauty Zucchini. Black Beauty is proving to be quite vigorous–growing much faster than the other squash I planted.

April 2011

First Earthbox squash picked today. Black Beauty zucchini weighing in at 280g. I fear my squash may not be long for this world, however, as the other day I spotted the dreaded squash vine borer moth buzzing around the plants, depositing its eggs of death all over the squash stems. I tried to scrape off [...]

March 2011

Got the garden ready for tomatoes. Info: Central soil area of garden measures 19′ x 2′ Added 2 1.5 cu. ft. bags of Ladybug Revitalizer Compost, 1 1.5 cu. ft. bag of Farm Style Compost. 8 lb. dolomite. 2lb 10oz of GardenTone organic fertilizer. Planted three tomatoes (the rest not quite big enough yet, plus [...]

EB1: removed fertilizer strip, added the EB non-organic fertilizer, added 1lb dolomite. Did not replace any of the soil. I am guessing this is the second season for this box maybe. Planted green bean seeds, clockwise starting at water tube: Roma II, Roma II, French Filet*, Provider, Blue Lake*, Contender (replanted 4/18), Royal Burgundy*, Pencil [...]

Summary of last season’s tomato varieties: Sungold: Very good producer, lasted thru the summer, 3/4″ to 7/8″, orange cherries. A favorite. Aunt Carolyn says “good, sweet!”, and I have to concur. White Currant: good producer, by far the most delicious of the cherries. Super sweet, juicy, thumbs way up. Only downside is they are difficult [...]

November 2010

Today’s harvest, 2.5+ lbs, mostly Bush Early Girl, with a few Japanese Black Trifele (the darker ones below), plus the usual group of cherries. The Bush Early Girl have proven to be quite productive. They ripen much faster than the other varieties I am growing.

Picked the first tomatoes from the two Earthbox plants today. I am now thinking these are Stupice and not Aunt Ginny’s Purple, as originally thought. I think they are too small to be Aunt Ginny’s.

Typical Bush Early Girls picked this week. Averaging 2.6 oz.

October 2010

More tomato action. Black Cherry tomatoes are getting bigger than I’ve seen yet–1 1/4″ diameter, 1/2 oz. That Bush Early Girl weighs in at 2 1/2 oz.

Lettuce sprouting in Earthbox three days after planting the seeds.

Tomatoes are loving this weather. Today’s pickings:

Redid EB1 (Earthbox One) with all fresh potting mix, 1lb dolomite, 3c organice fertilizer (2c GardenTone, then ran out and used 1c other organic I had). Planted 6 Black Seeded Simpsons, 2 Lollo Rossas.

Thanks to this post by Austin Urban Gardens, I decided to plant two tomatoes in the pepper earthbox (on 8/30). Peppers were done. For some reason, it had not even occurred to me to pop my tomato seedlings in. I had planned on removing some of the in-ground spring tomatoes and replacing them, but the [...]

August 2010

There is one thing that loves being blasted by the August heat, and that is bougainvillea. Mine have been blooming all summer. I followed a tip I got at Shoal Creek Nursery one day. They have amazing hanging baskets of bougainvilleas, spilling over with blooms. I asked how they achieved that, and the guy there [...]

I popped a couple of the fall tomatoes into the ground today. Seeds were planted on 6/26. Removed the Black Krim that never did anything and replaced it with an Aunt Ginny’s Purple. Then added one more plant to the garden, a Cherokee Purple. Am leaving the cherry tomatoes and the Japanese Black Trifele because [...]

Surprisingly, the tomatoes are still going pretty well. The cherries I expected to keep producing through the August heat, but am surprised that the non-cherry varieties are not doing too poorly either. Am getting decent tomatoes off the Japanese Black Trifele and somewhat decent tomatoes from the Bush Early Girl. The JBTs are juicy and [...]

July 2010

The 8-Ball, Zephyr and Multipik have petered out. The Spacemaster cucumber has gotten a second wind and has produced another cuke. It actually produces tons of cucumbers, but very few get pollinated on this plant. So, I planted three new squash seeds today to hopefully get some Fall summer squash. Trying something different this time. [...]

June 2010

Finally was able to harvest a couple of “real” tomatoes–i.e., not cherry tomatoes. These are Bush Early Girl. Not that big, but bigger than a cherry. Have not tasted one yet, first one is just now to full ripeness. Anyway, exciting to finally get a non-cherry tomato!

The caterpillar that destroyed my parsley (which has alredy recoverd, by the way) is back in his new form.

Decided that the two pepper plants I put down in the “real garden” were going nowhere, and the Earthbox peppers were going to satisfy our pepper needs, as well as far outpace the ones planted in the ground, so tore those up and replaced them with more green bean seeds today (6/4/10). I only planted [...]

The bell pepper in the Earthbox finally turned orange. Only the side towards the sun turned orange. The whole thing became orange a few days after picking though.

Harvest update. Getting a few more cherries coming along. Both the Sungold and the White Currant are leading the pack (note, the links are to the sources of the seeds I grew these plants from). The Sungold’s are great, good size cherry tomatoes. Nice orange color. The White Currants are more yellow, are also tasty, [...]

Sliced into the first and likely only cucumber we will get off the plant. Looks and tastes like a cucumber! Pretty cool. The plant seems to have petered out, so doubt we’ll get more cukes off of this one.

May 2010

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Look who is quoted in this month’s Earthbox newsletter! Just happened to see this. Looks like they did a bit of editing to my original post (original post wasabout squash, not peppers), but that’s fine, I’m a big Earthbox fan as you can tell.

Finally have a cucumber nearing readiness. This is a “spacemaster” cucumber, which has turned out to be a sprawling vine that has not lived up to its name. I had to add a trellis to the Earthbox to give it somewhere to meander. This is the first cucumber that has developed on it also, so [...]

I have one small parsley plant in a pot. Should be gone in a day or so at this rate. There are five or six of these guys chomping away. Quick internet search indicates they may be black swallowtail caterpillars, so I think I’ll let them snack away.

Woohooo, first ripe tomato. Appears to be a Sungold (after planting I lost my garden map so not sure which tomato is which). More babies forming on a few of the other plants.

Peppers are coming along well. All are producing except for the poblanos. Looks like I will have mini-jalapenos again. Was hoping for the big size peppers you see in the grocery stores these days–3 to 4 inches long. Next season I will have to seek out some seeds like that.

That’s about all I can say for the tomatoes at this point. They aren’t doing a whole lot, but at least they aren’t dead! There are a couple of tiny cherry tomatoes on one plant, but that’s it. And lots of the flowers have fallen off, as you can see from the first picture below. [...]

The bees have found my Earthbox! So far I have only seen bumblebees and not the garden-variety (heh heh) orangish bees. At least I think they are bumblebees–they’re black and yellow colored. Regardless, they are doing their thing. Here’s what you get if they don’t show up (or if you don’t hand pollinate):

Harvested the first squash from the Earthbox today. One Multipik and one 8 Ball ready. Probably should have picked the 8 Ball yesterday–I think they are supposed to be picked when baseball size. This one is closer to a softball. So, first squash ready 51 days after planting the seeds in the Earthbox.

The cucumber is finally starting to fruit. The li’l cukes are teensy tiny compared to the squash. The flowers are also much smaller. Finally getting some peppers forming too.

Finally got some pollination going and a few squash are plumping up. Should be ready tomorrow I imagine. Concerned about what looks to be some powdery mildew perhaps forming on the 8 Ball squash. The other squash do not show signs of it. But that’s what destroyed all my squash last fall. It will spread [...]

April 2010

Early squash fruits are dying as spinsters. It seems that the females are early bloomers. There have already been four squashes that have flowered and are now shrivelling away because not a single male flower has bloomed yet to provide the life-giving male pollen to these eager ladies. Painful to watch. But I think the [...]

I foolishly ignored obvious signs of some leaf-destroying predator on one of my bean plants and woke up today to find the plant sheared off at the base. So I dropped in another bean seed in its stead. This time I chose a Kentucky Wonder pole bean since this plant is near the fence. The [...]

Squash is coming along nicely at day 35 since direct-seeding in the Earthbox. The Eight Ball variety is winning the race at this point–seems much more vigorous that the other varieties. Second is probably Multipik, followed by Zephyr. The cucumber I planted isn’t worth mentioning yet–very slow growing at this point. Now we just need [...]

The one original seedling that I planted early in March that was still left in the garden (I replaced all the others a couple of weeks ago) has done nothing. It’s coming out and will be replaced by a Black Krim, which was the most interesting variety I could find at my local nursery. I [...]

March 2010

I replaced all but one tomato seedling today with backup seedlings that I had kept growing indoors. I now realize I put the tomatoes out too early. Night temps were still dipping into the 40s most nights, and even into the 30s a few nights. I had always thought that “after the last freeze date” [...]

Squash is progressing much more slowly than it did in the fall garden, perhaps due to the chilly night temps. The crappy Miracle Gro Potting Mix might also be a contributing factor. It seems much less fluffy than the Hi Yield mix I used last time (Red Barn Nursery, where I used to get the [...]

Harvested the last of the Earthbox lettuce and replaced it with peppers. Will be the first try with peppers in an Earthbox. Here’s the setup: The lettuce was a success. I found the Black Seeded Simpson to be the best producer. The Lollo Rossa was good, but produced much less than the others. The Salad [...]

Seeded this squash earthbox today. First attempt at “replanting” an Earthbox. Scraped the top ~3 inches of mix out, removed fertilizer strip. For fertilizer this time, I used 3c Epsoma Garden Tone. Added 2c Carl Pool Dolomite before adding new potting mix to top it off. Used Miracle Grow potting mix, which is definitely inferior [...]

Got this spring’s tomato seedlings in the ground 3/6. Trying five varieties this time around: Black Cherry, White Currant, Sungold, Early Girl (two plants) and Japanese Black Trifele. Hoping we get better results than last fall, where I netted maybe five cherry tomatoes from all six plants. Had some fungus problems or something that wiped [...]

February 2010

Growing cilantro for the first time. Seeds sprouted after 11 days.

January 2010

Here are the final counts for the Earthbox squash from the fall garden. Date Variety Weight Total 09/27/09 8 ball 217 217 10/03/09 8 ball 338 555 10/05/09 8 ball 255 810 10/08/09 8 ball 318 1128 10/08/09 8 ball 329 1457 10/15/09 8 ball 568 2025 10/18/09 8 ball 281 2306 10/23/09 8 ball [...]

December 2009

Lettuce has reached the point of harvest. Have yet to clip any leaves and try it, but should be doing so soon. I have heard you can clip leaves here and there and it will “keep going”. I have never grown lettuce before so not sure. Lettuce was directly-seeded into the Earthbox on 10/17; this [...]

November 2009

Looks like the squash has succumbed to some kind of mildew or something. I think it’s over for squash until next spring. Still, I got quite a bit of squash from the Earthbox. Will post harvest stats soon.

October 2009

The yellow “Multipik” squash is doing quite well in the Earthbox. Actually all four varieties of squash I planted in the Earthbox are doing well, but Multipik is leading the pack in terms of numbers of squash. Eight ball is leading the pack in terms of weight (although I think I’m letting them get a [...]

Something found one of the 8 Ball squashes. We’ll find out tonight if it’s still in there when I start dicing the squash up for dinner! Bon Appétit!

My fall tomatoes have never taken off. In fact, they look downright awful. Looks like some kind of fungus or something has gotten them. Would appreciate any input on what could be going on. I did manage to harvest a few thus far. Enough for a couple of nibbles.

September 2009

Harvested one of each of the four types of squash tonight (9/27). Stats: 8 ball 217g, Raven 209g, Multipik 151g, Zephyr 200g. So first harvest took 35 days.

Nice interview just posted to Facebook with Rick Bayless. The interview is conducted up on his rooftop garden. He talks about the charity he is associated with, which assists farmers and which was the beneficiary of his Top Chef Masters win, and there is a bit about his Earthbox garden and the “rooftop salsa” it [...]

I fired up the Earthbox on 8/23, sowing squash seeds directly in the Earthbox. So today is day 28, end of week 4. There are several squash blooming. Some of the female blooms (at the end of a squash) closed up before any male blooms opened, so I think they will shrivel away (I’ve learned [...]

First tomatoes appearing. Stupice has a few and Matt’s Wild Cherry has a few tiny ones. First squash appearing in the Earthbox too, if you get out your magnifying glass… Earthbox thriving at week four.

Earthbox is chugging along nicely at three weeks since sowing the seeds.

This is an old post that I had neglected to publish. This is how the tomatoes currently growing in the garden got their start. I started them indoors just because it was so hot outside (100+ daily). 6/21 – planted seeds of six tomato varieties for fall planting. 6/24–eight seeds already germinated. I did not [...]

Finally fired up the Earthbox a couple of weeks ago (on 8/23). Was pretty easy to set up (I had read up on some tips at the Earthbox Forum, which helped). Planted four types of squash. Seems like an overload for the box, but that is the official recommendation for squash. Used Hi-Yield potting mix, [...]

Seen on Renee’s Roots several weeks ago (and currently being implemented at the Pineapple Palace Horticultural Center): The last time I planted tomatoes I had a terrible time with birds and squirrels ruining just about every piece of fruit. This year I am using summerweight garden fabric and I find it has several advantages over [...]

August 2009

Finally got the plants into the ground for the fall garden. A bit later than hoped for due to out-of-town engagements, but they are finally in. Planted six of the tomato seedlings I grew from seed, plus three peppers grown from seed. Also planted a few green bean seeds for grins. The poor tomato seedlings [...]

June 2009

Something is ruining the last few tomatos left on my Celebrity plant. I suspect it is squirrels, based on other blogs around town complaining about squirrels eating their tomatoes. I guess it could be rats too though…the tomatoes are left on the plant but have a couple of giant holes/gashes in them. I only have [...]

In reading about the SIPs online, I found a simple version you can make from plastic soda bottles. Tried with some Autumn Sage (salvia greggii) cuttings. Planted two cuttings 5/21. Used RootTone on them. Stuck into Hi-Yield potting mix. Did not sterilize anything and used regular tap water (not distilled water). Noticed mold/fungus growing on [...]

Harvested the first ripe Celebrity last night. Kind of smallish, not sure what normal Celebrity dimensions are. Tasted like a tomato! So we got our first ripe tomato 71 days after planting the seedling. Days to harvest is supposed to be 70 days (but I’m not sure if that is from seed planting or seedling [...]

Plucked one jalapeno 6/8, and the first poblano. The poblano was nowhere near the proper size, but it was showing vague shades of red…and we were having tacos for dinner, so decided I had better pluck it off.! Roasted both of them. The peppers tasted good, but the poblano had a bit of a green [...]

Noticed the first sign of red on one of the tomatos this evening! Might be ready to eat in a day or two. Today is 67 days since planting the seedling. Of course, there is a hail storm blowing through right now, and we are under a tornado watch, so the tomato is probably on [...]

Decided to pickle the five jalapenos from the first harvest. Used a recipe seen in a magazine (quantities adjusted down from the Y2K-Bunker-Stocking amount of ingredients in the original): 1c white vinegar, 1/3c water, 1 garlic clove. Simmer vinegar and water with garlic for a few minutes, then pour over peppers in the hot jars. [...]

Finally picked the first fruits of the season, 62 days after planting the seedling. Plucked five smallish jalapenos this evening. I had been waiting for them to get a bit larger, 2″ long or so, but they did not seem to be gaining much ground. And they were showing signs of “corking”–brownish “woody” spots and [...]

May 2009

Peppers are growing nicely. Have several jalapenos and poblanos, but none large enough to harvest yet. No further signs of the dreaded BER yet either. It has been 53 days since I planted the seedlings. The jalapenos in particular seem to stop growing larger when they reach about 1.5″. Maybe they are ready to harvest, [...]

I am finding more and more evidence of EarthBox-like container gardening online. I was first tipped off to the EarthBox when watching a cooking show on PBS featuring chef Rick Bayless of Chicago. They were interviewing him on his restaurant’s rooftop garden in downtown Chicago. It was unbelievable–a lush forest of tomatos and peppers up [...]

Asked for some suggestions on GardenWeb for a shrub that would work well against one side of our house. Here’s the requirements: -Would like something that gets 3-5′ tall -Has to be deer resistant -Will get a few hours of late afternoon sun (2-3 hrs I am guessing, but not positive. We had some aspidistra [...]

The dreaded Blossom End Rot has hit my jalapenos. The first peppers are getting larger and now have black spots on their blossom ends. A sure sign of the scourge of tomatos and peppers–Blossom End Rot (BER). After some online reasearch, it looks like I should have added some source of calcium to the soil [...]

First poblanos are forming finally, about 39 days after I planted the seedling. The first jalapeno appeared much sooner, by the 27th day or so after planting the seedling. Still no harvestable peppers yet, but getting closer!

Jalapeños are popping out nicely, and finally am getting some flowers on the poblano, which should mean peppers forming soon.

The bougies are starting to bloom. I am a bougainvillea freak. Got new yellow and white ones from Lowe’s this season. They had a nice selection. Usually the big box stores only carry the ubiquitous hot pink Barbara Karst variety.

First tomatos emerging. This is the first time I have ever tried a container tomato. I got Celebrity on the recommendation of the nursery. The only time I have attempted to grow tomatos in the past were in-ground, and all tomatos succumbed to the dreaded Blossom End Rot. Fingers crossed…

Aphids are chewing away on my jalapeños now. Soaked ‘em with the insecticidal soap. As I discovered with the first aphids I dealt with on the poblano, aphids bring a host of other issues. So next comes some powdery mildew, and then the ants will probably show up, both caused by the sweet excretion from [...]

Just read some disturbing info at http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/pepper.html regarding pepper plants. Peppers, like tomatoes, are sensitive to temperature. Most peppers will drop their blooms when daytime temperatures get much above 90 degrees F. in combination with night temperatures above 75 degrees F. Hmm, that doesn’t bode well for Central Texas, where temps get well into the [...]

Got an Earthbox for my birthday, which was last weekend, so I was behind the spring planting curve to begin with. Want to try squash in it, so I thought I would head down to the local nursery and grab some seedlings and be on my way. Well, there were some sqaush seedlings there, but [...]

First baby jalapenos are forming, about 1/2 inch long (two of them). This is my first attempt at container gardening. Eager to see how things turn out. So now I’m wondering if ants will harm the pepper plant. Will have to investigate. They are small black ants. Not too many on there.

April 2009

Planted one jalapeno, one poblano and one celebrity tomato in containers. Dealt with lots of aphids on the poblano early on, used insecticidal soap. Aphid destruction was followed by mildew on the leaves, which is caused by the sweet juice the aphids excrete. Supposed to be harmless though. Just ugly.

By Category:

Bougainvillea

The bougies are starting to bloom. I am a bougainvillea freak. Got new yellow and white ones from Lowe’s this season. They had a nice selection. Usually the big box stores only carry the ubiquitous hot pink Barbara Karst variety.

There is one thing that loves being blasted by the August heat, and that is bougainvillea. Mine have been blooming all summer. I followed a tip I got at Shoal Creek Nursery one day. They have amazing hanging baskets of bougainvilleas, spilling over with blooms. I asked how they achieved that, and the guy there [...]

Bougies are happy.

Container Gardening

Planted one jalapeno, one poblano and one celebrity tomato in containers. Dealt with lots of aphids on the poblano early on, used insecticidal soap. Aphid destruction was followed by mildew on the leaves, which is caused by the sweet juice the aphids excrete. Supposed to be harmless though. Just ugly.

First baby jalapenos are forming, about 1/2 inch long (two of them). This is my first attempt at container gardening. Eager to see how things turn out. So now I’m wondering if ants will harm the pepper plant. Will have to investigate. They are small black ants. Not too many on there.

Got an Earthbox for my birthday, which was last weekend, so I was behind the spring planting curve to begin with. Want to try squash in it, so I thought I would head down to the local nursery and grab some seedlings and be on my way. Well, there were some sqaush seedlings there, but [...]

First tomatos emerging. This is the first time I have ever tried a container tomato. I got Celebrity on the recommendation of the nursery. The only time I have attempted to grow tomatos in the past were in-ground, and all tomatos succumbed to the dreaded Blossom End Rot. Fingers crossed…

Jalapeños are popping out nicely, and finally am getting some flowers on the poblano, which should mean peppers forming soon.

First poblanos are forming finally, about 39 days after I planted the seedling. The first jalapeno appeared much sooner, by the 27th day or so after planting the seedling. Still no harvestable peppers yet, but getting closer!

The dreaded Blossom End Rot has hit my jalapenos. The first peppers are getting larger and now have black spots on their blossom ends. A sure sign of the scourge of tomatos and peppers–Blossom End Rot (BER). After some online reasearch, it looks like I should have added some source of calcium to the soil [...]

I am finding more and more evidence of EarthBox-like container gardening online. I was first tipped off to the EarthBox when watching a cooking show on PBS featuring chef Rick Bayless of Chicago. They were interviewing him on his restaurant’s rooftop garden in downtown Chicago. It was unbelievable–a lush forest of tomatos and peppers up [...]

Peppers are growing nicely. Have several jalapenos and poblanos, but none large enough to harvest yet. No further signs of the dreaded BER yet either. It has been 53 days since I planted the seedlings. The jalapenos in particular seem to stop growing larger when they reach about 1.5″. Maybe they are ready to harvest, [...]

Finally picked the first fruits of the season, 62 days after planting the seedling. Plucked five smallish jalapenos this evening. I had been waiting for them to get a bit larger, 2″ long or so, but they did not seem to be gaining much ground. And they were showing signs of “corking”–brownish “woody” spots and [...]

I have one small parsley plant in a pot. Should be gone in a day or so at this rate. There are five or six of these guys chomping away. Quick internet search indicates they may be black swallowtail caterpillars, so I think I’ll let them snack away.

Earthbox

Got an Earthbox for my birthday, which was last weekend, so I was behind the spring planting curve to begin with. Want to try squash in it, so I thought I would head down to the local nursery and grab some seedlings and be on my way. Well, there were some sqaush seedlings there, but [...]

I am finding more and more evidence of EarthBox-like container gardening online. I was first tipped off to the EarthBox when watching a cooking show on PBS featuring chef Rick Bayless of Chicago. They were interviewing him on his restaurant’s rooftop garden in downtown Chicago. It was unbelievable–a lush forest of tomatos and peppers up [...]

Finally fired up the Earthbox a couple of weeks ago (on 8/23). Was pretty easy to set up (I had read up on some tips at the Earthbox Forum, which helped). Planted four types of squash. Seems like an overload for the box, but that is the official recommendation for squash. Used Hi-Yield potting mix, [...]

Earthbox is chugging along nicely at three weeks since sowing the seeds.

First tomatoes appearing. Stupice has a few and Matt’s Wild Cherry has a few tiny ones. First squash appearing in the Earthbox too, if you get out your magnifying glass… Earthbox thriving at week four.

I fired up the Earthbox on 8/23, sowing squash seeds directly in the Earthbox. So today is day 28, end of week 4. There are several squash blooming. Some of the female blooms (at the end of a squash) closed up before any male blooms opened, so I think they will shrivel away (I’ve learned [...]

Nice interview just posted to Facebook with Rick Bayless. The interview is conducted up on his rooftop garden. He talks about the charity he is associated with, which assists farmers and which was the beneficiary of his Top Chef Masters win, and there is a bit about his Earthbox garden and the “rooftop salsa” it [...]

Harvested one of each of the four types of squash tonight (9/27). Stats: 8 ball 217g, Raven 209g, Multipik 151g, Zephyr 200g. So first harvest took 35 days.

Something found one of the 8 Ball squashes. We’ll find out tonight if it’s still in there when I start dicing the squash up for dinner! Bon Appétit!

The yellow “Multipik” squash is doing quite well in the Earthbox. Actually all four varieties of squash I planted in the Earthbox are doing well, but Multipik is leading the pack in terms of numbers of squash. Eight ball is leading the pack in terms of weight (although I think I’m letting them get a [...]

Looks like the squash has succumbed to some kind of mildew or something. I think it’s over for squash until next spring. Still, I got quite a bit of squash from the Earthbox. Will post harvest stats soon.

Lettuce has reached the point of harvest. Have yet to clip any leaves and try it, but should be doing so soon. I have heard you can clip leaves here and there and it will “keep going”. I have never grown lettuce before so not sure. Lettuce was directly-seeded into the Earthbox on 10/17; this [...]

Here are the final counts for the Earthbox squash from the fall garden. Date Variety Weight Total 09/27/09 8 ball 217 217 10/03/09 8 ball 338 555 10/05/09 8 ball 255 810 10/08/09 8 ball 318 1128 10/08/09 8 ball 329 1457 10/15/09 8 ball 568 2025 10/18/09 8 ball 281 2306 10/23/09 8 ball [...]

Seeded this squash earthbox today. First attempt at “replanting” an Earthbox. Scraped the top ~3 inches of mix out, removed fertilizer strip. For fertilizer this time, I used 3c Epsoma Garden Tone. Added 2c Carl Pool Dolomite before adding new potting mix to top it off. Used Miracle Grow potting mix, which is definitely inferior [...]

Harvested the last of the Earthbox lettuce and replaced it with peppers. Will be the first try with peppers in an Earthbox. Here’s the setup: The lettuce was a success. I found the Black Seeded Simpson to be the best producer. The Lollo Rossa was good, but produced much less than the others. The Salad [...]

Squash is progressing much more slowly than it did in the fall garden, perhaps due to the chilly night temps. The crappy Miracle Gro Potting Mix might also be a contributing factor. It seems much less fluffy than the Hi Yield mix I used last time (Red Barn Nursery, where I used to get the [...]

Squash is coming along nicely at day 35 since direct-seeding in the Earthbox. The Eight Ball variety is winning the race at this point–seems much more vigorous that the other varieties. Second is probably Multipik, followed by Zephyr. The cucumber I planted isn’t worth mentioning yet–very slow growing at this point. Now we just need [...]

Early squash fruits are dying as spinsters. It seems that the females are early bloomers. There have already been four squashes that have flowered and are now shrivelling away because not a single male flower has bloomed yet to provide the life-giving male pollen to these eager ladies. Painful to watch. But I think the [...]

Finally got some pollination going and a few squash are plumping up. Should be ready tomorrow I imagine. Concerned about what looks to be some powdery mildew perhaps forming on the 8 Ball squash. The other squash do not show signs of it. But that’s what destroyed all my squash last fall. It will spread [...]

The cucumber is finally starting to fruit. The li’l cukes are teensy tiny compared to the squash. The flowers are also much smaller. Finally getting some peppers forming too.

Harvested the first squash from the Earthbox today. One Multipik and one 8 Ball ready. Probably should have picked the 8 Ball yesterday–I think they are supposed to be picked when baseball size. This one is closer to a softball. So, first squash ready 51 days after planting the seeds in the Earthbox.

The bees have found my Earthbox! So far I have only seen bumblebees and not the garden-variety (heh heh) orangish bees. At least I think they are bumblebees–they’re black and yellow colored. Regardless, they are doing their thing. Here’s what you get if they don’t show up (or if you don’t hand pollinate):

Peppers are coming along well. All are producing except for the poblanos. Looks like I will have mini-jalapenos again. Was hoping for the big size peppers you see in the grocery stores these days–3 to 4 inches long. Next season I will have to seek out some seeds like that.

Finally have a cucumber nearing readiness. This is a “spacemaster” cucumber, which has turned out to be a sprawling vine that has not lived up to its name. I had to add a trellis to the Earthbox to give it somewhere to meander. This is the first cucumber that has developed on it also, so [...]

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Look who is quoted in this month’s Earthbox newsletter! Just happened to see this. Looks like they did a bit of editing to my original post (original post wasabout squash, not peppers), but that’s fine, I’m a big Earthbox fan as you can tell.

Sliced into the first and likely only cucumber we will get off the plant. Looks and tastes like a cucumber! Pretty cool. The plant seems to have petered out, so doubt we’ll get more cukes off of this one.

Harvest update. Getting a few more cherries coming along. Both the Sungold and the White Currant are leading the pack (note, the links are to the sources of the seeds I grew these plants from). The Sungold’s are great, good size cherry tomatoes. Nice orange color. The White Currants are more yellow, are also tasty, [...]

The bell pepper in the Earthbox finally turned orange. Only the side towards the sun turned orange. The whole thing became orange a few days after picking though.

The 8-Ball, Zephyr and Multipik have petered out. The Spacemaster cucumber has gotten a second wind and has produced another cuke. It actually produces tons of cucumbers, but very few get pollinated on this plant. So, I planted three new squash seeds today to hopefully get some Fall summer squash. Trying something different this time. [...]

Thanks to this post by Austin Urban Gardens, I decided to plant two tomatoes in the pepper earthbox (on 8/30). Peppers were done. For some reason, it had not even occurred to me to pop my tomato seedlings in. I had planned on removing some of the in-ground spring tomatoes and replacing them, but the [...]

Redid EB1 (Earthbox One) with all fresh potting mix, 1lb dolomite, 3c organice fertilizer (2c GardenTone, then ran out and used 1c other organic I had). Planted 6 Black Seeded Simpsons, 2 Lollo Rossas.

Lettuce sprouting in Earthbox three days after planting the seeds.

More tomato action. Black Cherry tomatoes are getting bigger than I’ve seen yet–1 1/4″ diameter, 1/2 oz. That Bush Early Girl weighs in at 2 1/2 oz.

Picked the first tomatoes from the two Earthbox plants today. I am now thinking these are Stupice and not Aunt Ginny’s Purple, as originally thought. I think they are too small to be Aunt Ginny’s.

EB1: removed fertilizer strip, added the EB non-organic fertilizer, added 1lb dolomite. Did not replace any of the soil. I am guessing this is the second season for this box maybe. Planted green bean seeds, clockwise starting at water tube: Roma II, Roma II, French Filet*, Provider, Blue Lake*, Contender (replanted 4/18), Royal Burgundy*, Pencil [...]

First Earthbox squash picked today. Black Beauty zucchini weighing in at 280g. I fear my squash may not be long for this world, however, as the other day I spotted the dreaded squash vine borer moth buzzing around the plants, depositing its eggs of death all over the squash stems. I tried to scrape off [...]

First Earthbox Spacemaster Cucumber harvested today, weighing in at 12oz. Also got another Black Beauty Zucchini. Black Beauty is proving to be quite vigorous–growing much faster than the other squash I planted.

Finally planted this year’s earthboxes. Did green beans in one, peppers in one and we’re trying strawberries in the third one, for the first time. Decided not to do squash this time, have not had much luck with it the last few times.

Just planted lettuce, 10/12/15.  Earthbox 1: Red Sails on top row (row w/o water spout), Black Seeded Simpson on bottom row (with water spout).  Earthbox 2: Little Gem on top row (sans water spout), Lollo Rosa on bottom row (with water spout).  Lollo Rosa seeds too old I guess, some never sprouted, had to plant [...]

Late planting of EB3, trying spinace in one row, kohlrabi in other row.  Planted 11/21/15.

Landscape Plants

Asked for some suggestions on GardenWeb for a shrub that would work well against one side of our house. Here’s the requirements: -Would like something that gets 3-5′ tall -Has to be deer resistant -Will get a few hours of late afternoon sun (2-3 hrs I am guessing, but not positive. We had some aspidistra [...]

Pests

Planted one jalapeno, one poblano and one celebrity tomato in containers. Dealt with lots of aphids on the poblano early on, used insecticidal soap. Aphid destruction was followed by mildew on the leaves, which is caused by the sweet juice the aphids excrete. Supposed to be harmless though. Just ugly.

First baby jalapenos are forming, about 1/2 inch long (two of them). This is my first attempt at container gardening. Eager to see how things turn out. So now I’m wondering if ants will harm the pepper plant. Will have to investigate. They are small black ants. Not too many on there.

Aphids are chewing away on my jalapeños now. Soaked ‘em with the insecticidal soap. As I discovered with the first aphids I dealt with on the poblano, aphids bring a host of other issues. So next comes some powdery mildew, and then the ants will probably show up, both caused by the sweet excretion from [...]

Something is ruining the last few tomatos left on my Celebrity plant. I suspect it is squirrels, based on other blogs around town complaining about squirrels eating their tomatoes. I guess it could be rats too though…the tomatoes are left on the plant but have a couple of giant holes/gashes in them. I only have [...]

Something found one of the 8 Ball squashes. We’ll find out tonight if it’s still in there when I start dicing the squash up for dinner! Bon Appétit!

I have one small parsley plant in a pot. Should be gone in a day or so at this rate. There are five or six of these guys chomping away. Quick internet search indicates they may be black swallowtail caterpillars, so I think I’ll let them snack away.

Propagation

In reading about the SIPs online, I found a simple version you can make from plastic soda bottles. Tried with some Autumn Sage (salvia greggii) cuttings. Planted two cuttings 5/21. Used RootTone on them. Stuck into Hi-Yield potting mix. Did not sterilize anything and used regular tap water (not distilled water). Noticed mold/fungus growing on [...]

Uncategorized

Growing cilantro for the first time. Seeds sprouted after 11 days.

The caterpillar that destroyed my parsley (which has alredy recoverd, by the way) is back in his new form.

Planted some tomato seeds for spring in 4″ containers: Aunt Ginny’s Purple, White Currant, Mortgage Lifter and White Cherry. Can’t find Aunt Ginny’s Purple or White Currant in the nurseries and they have been favorites in seasons past, so wanted to get those seeds started. Will round out the other varieties with nursery plants.

Some photos of the garden.

Vegetables

Planted one jalapeno, one poblano and one celebrity tomato in containers. Dealt with lots of aphids on the poblano early on, used insecticidal soap. Aphid destruction was followed by mildew on the leaves, which is caused by the sweet juice the aphids excrete. Supposed to be harmless though. Just ugly.

First baby jalapenos are forming, about 1/2 inch long (two of them). This is my first attempt at container gardening. Eager to see how things turn out. So now I’m wondering if ants will harm the pepper plant. Will have to investigate. They are small black ants. Not too many on there.

Got an Earthbox for my birthday, which was last weekend, so I was behind the spring planting curve to begin with. Want to try squash in it, so I thought I would head down to the local nursery and grab some seedlings and be on my way. Well, there were some sqaush seedlings there, but [...]

Just read some disturbing info at http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/pepper.html regarding pepper plants. Peppers, like tomatoes, are sensitive to temperature. Most peppers will drop their blooms when daytime temperatures get much above 90 degrees F. in combination with night temperatures above 75 degrees F. Hmm, that doesn’t bode well for Central Texas, where temps get well into the [...]

Aphids are chewing away on my jalapeños now. Soaked ‘em with the insecticidal soap. As I discovered with the first aphids I dealt with on the poblano, aphids bring a host of other issues. So next comes some powdery mildew, and then the ants will probably show up, both caused by the sweet excretion from [...]

First tomatos emerging. This is the first time I have ever tried a container tomato. I got Celebrity on the recommendation of the nursery. The only time I have attempted to grow tomatos in the past were in-ground, and all tomatos succumbed to the dreaded Blossom End Rot. Fingers crossed…

Jalapeños are popping out nicely, and finally am getting some flowers on the poblano, which should mean peppers forming soon.

First poblanos are forming finally, about 39 days after I planted the seedling. The first jalapeno appeared much sooner, by the 27th day or so after planting the seedling. Still no harvestable peppers yet, but getting closer!

The dreaded Blossom End Rot has hit my jalapenos. The first peppers are getting larger and now have black spots on their blossom ends. A sure sign of the scourge of tomatos and peppers–Blossom End Rot (BER). After some online reasearch, it looks like I should have added some source of calcium to the soil [...]

Peppers are growing nicely. Have several jalapenos and poblanos, but none large enough to harvest yet. No further signs of the dreaded BER yet either. It has been 53 days since I planted the seedlings. The jalapenos in particular seem to stop growing larger when they reach about 1.5″. Maybe they are ready to harvest, [...]

Finally picked the first fruits of the season, 62 days after planting the seedling. Plucked five smallish jalapenos this evening. I had been waiting for them to get a bit larger, 2″ long or so, but they did not seem to be gaining much ground. And they were showing signs of “corking”–brownish “woody” spots and [...]

Decided to pickle the five jalapenos from the first harvest. Used a recipe seen in a magazine (quantities adjusted down from the Y2K-Bunker-Stocking amount of ingredients in the original): 1c white vinegar, 1/3c water, 1 garlic clove. Simmer vinegar and water with garlic for a few minutes, then pour over peppers in the hot jars. [...]

Noticed the first sign of red on one of the tomatos this evening! Might be ready to eat in a day or two. Today is 67 days since planting the seedling. Of course, there is a hail storm blowing through right now, and we are under a tornado watch, so the tomato is probably on [...]

Plucked one jalapeno 6/8, and the first poblano. The poblano was nowhere near the proper size, but it was showing vague shades of red…and we were having tacos for dinner, so decided I had better pluck it off.! Roasted both of them. The peppers tasted good, but the poblano had a bit of a green [...]

Harvested the first ripe Celebrity last night. Kind of smallish, not sure what normal Celebrity dimensions are. Tasted like a tomato! So we got our first ripe tomato 71 days after planting the seedling. Days to harvest is supposed to be 70 days (but I’m not sure if that is from seed planting or seedling [...]

Something is ruining the last few tomatos left on my Celebrity plant. I suspect it is squirrels, based on other blogs around town complaining about squirrels eating their tomatoes. I guess it could be rats too though…the tomatoes are left on the plant but have a couple of giant holes/gashes in them. I only have [...]

Finally got the plants into the ground for the fall garden. A bit later than hoped for due to out-of-town engagements, but they are finally in. Planted six of the tomato seedlings I grew from seed, plus three peppers grown from seed. Also planted a few green bean seeds for grins. The poor tomato seedlings [...]

Seen on Renee’s Roots several weeks ago (and currently being implemented at the Pineapple Palace Horticultural Center): The last time I planted tomatoes I had a terrible time with birds and squirrels ruining just about every piece of fruit. This year I am using summerweight garden fabric and I find it has several advantages over [...]

Finally fired up the Earthbox a couple of weeks ago (on 8/23). Was pretty easy to set up (I had read up on some tips at the Earthbox Forum, which helped). Planted four types of squash. Seems like an overload for the box, but that is the official recommendation for squash. Used Hi-Yield potting mix, [...]

This is an old post that I had neglected to publish. This is how the tomatoes currently growing in the garden got their start. I started them indoors just because it was so hot outside (100+ daily). 6/21 – planted seeds of six tomato varieties for fall planting. 6/24–eight seeds already germinated. I did not [...]

Earthbox is chugging along nicely at three weeks since sowing the seeds.

First tomatoes appearing. Stupice has a few and Matt’s Wild Cherry has a few tiny ones. First squash appearing in the Earthbox too, if you get out your magnifying glass… Earthbox thriving at week four.

I fired up the Earthbox on 8/23, sowing squash seeds directly in the Earthbox. So today is day 28, end of week 4. There are several squash blooming. Some of the female blooms (at the end of a squash) closed up before any male blooms opened, so I think they will shrivel away (I’ve learned [...]

Harvested one of each of the four types of squash tonight (9/27). Stats: 8 ball 217g, Raven 209g, Multipik 151g, Zephyr 200g. So first harvest took 35 days.

My fall tomatoes have never taken off. In fact, they look downright awful. Looks like some kind of fungus or something has gotten them. Would appreciate any input on what could be going on. I did manage to harvest a few thus far. Enough for a couple of nibbles.

Something found one of the 8 Ball squashes. We’ll find out tonight if it’s still in there when I start dicing the squash up for dinner! Bon Appétit!

The yellow “Multipik” squash is doing quite well in the Earthbox. Actually all four varieties of squash I planted in the Earthbox are doing well, but Multipik is leading the pack in terms of numbers of squash. Eight ball is leading the pack in terms of weight (although I think I’m letting them get a [...]

Looks like the squash has succumbed to some kind of mildew or something. I think it’s over for squash until next spring. Still, I got quite a bit of squash from the Earthbox. Will post harvest stats soon.

Lettuce has reached the point of harvest. Have yet to clip any leaves and try it, but should be doing so soon. I have heard you can clip leaves here and there and it will “keep going”. I have never grown lettuce before so not sure. Lettuce was directly-seeded into the Earthbox on 10/17; this [...]

Here are the final counts for the Earthbox squash from the fall garden. Date Variety Weight Total 09/27/09 8 ball 217 217 10/03/09 8 ball 338 555 10/05/09 8 ball 255 810 10/08/09 8 ball 318 1128 10/08/09 8 ball 329 1457 10/15/09 8 ball 568 2025 10/18/09 8 ball 281 2306 10/23/09 8 ball [...]

Got this spring’s tomato seedlings in the ground 3/6. Trying five varieties this time around: Black Cherry, White Currant, Sungold, Early Girl (two plants) and Japanese Black Trifele. Hoping we get better results than last fall, where I netted maybe five cherry tomatoes from all six plants. Had some fungus problems or something that wiped [...]

Seeded this squash earthbox today. First attempt at “replanting” an Earthbox. Scraped the top ~3 inches of mix out, removed fertilizer strip. For fertilizer this time, I used 3c Epsoma Garden Tone. Added 2c Carl Pool Dolomite before adding new potting mix to top it off. Used Miracle Grow potting mix, which is definitely inferior [...]

Harvested the last of the Earthbox lettuce and replaced it with peppers. Will be the first try with peppers in an Earthbox. Here’s the setup: The lettuce was a success. I found the Black Seeded Simpson to be the best producer. The Lollo Rossa was good, but produced much less than the others. The Salad [...]

Squash is progressing much more slowly than it did in the fall garden, perhaps due to the chilly night temps. The crappy Miracle Gro Potting Mix might also be a contributing factor. It seems much less fluffy than the Hi Yield mix I used last time (Red Barn Nursery, where I used to get the [...]

I replaced all but one tomato seedling today with backup seedlings that I had kept growing indoors. I now realize I put the tomatoes out too early. Night temps were still dipping into the 40s most nights, and even into the 30s a few nights. I had always thought that “after the last freeze date” [...]

The one original seedling that I planted early in March that was still left in the garden (I replaced all the others a couple of weeks ago) has done nothing. It’s coming out and will be replaced by a Black Krim, which was the most interesting variety I could find at my local nursery. I [...]

Squash is coming along nicely at day 35 since direct-seeding in the Earthbox. The Eight Ball variety is winning the race at this point–seems much more vigorous that the other varieties. Second is probably Multipik, followed by Zephyr. The cucumber I planted isn’t worth mentioning yet–very slow growing at this point. Now we just need [...]

I foolishly ignored obvious signs of some leaf-destroying predator on one of my bean plants and woke up today to find the plant sheared off at the base. So I dropped in another bean seed in its stead. This time I chose a Kentucky Wonder pole bean since this plant is near the fence. The [...]

Early squash fruits are dying as spinsters. It seems that the females are early bloomers. There have already been four squashes that have flowered and are now shrivelling away because not a single male flower has bloomed yet to provide the life-giving male pollen to these eager ladies. Painful to watch. But I think the [...]

Finally got some pollination going and a few squash are plumping up. Should be ready tomorrow I imagine. Concerned about what looks to be some powdery mildew perhaps forming on the 8 Ball squash. The other squash do not show signs of it. But that’s what destroyed all my squash last fall. It will spread [...]

The cucumber is finally starting to fruit. The li’l cukes are teensy tiny compared to the squash. The flowers are also much smaller. Finally getting some peppers forming too.

Harvested the first squash from the Earthbox today. One Multipik and one 8 Ball ready. Probably should have picked the 8 Ball yesterday–I think they are supposed to be picked when baseball size. This one is closer to a softball. So, first squash ready 51 days after planting the seeds in the Earthbox.

The bees have found my Earthbox! So far I have only seen bumblebees and not the garden-variety (heh heh) orangish bees. At least I think they are bumblebees–they’re black and yellow colored. Regardless, they are doing their thing. Here’s what you get if they don’t show up (or if you don’t hand pollinate):

That’s about all I can say for the tomatoes at this point. They aren’t doing a whole lot, but at least they aren’t dead! There are a couple of tiny cherry tomatoes on one plant, but that’s it. And lots of the flowers have fallen off, as you can see from the first picture below. [...]

Peppers are coming along well. All are producing except for the poblanos. Looks like I will have mini-jalapenos again. Was hoping for the big size peppers you see in the grocery stores these days–3 to 4 inches long. Next season I will have to seek out some seeds like that.

Woohooo, first ripe tomato. Appears to be a Sungold (after planting I lost my garden map so not sure which tomato is which). More babies forming on a few of the other plants.

Finally have a cucumber nearing readiness. This is a “spacemaster” cucumber, which has turned out to be a sprawling vine that has not lived up to its name. I had to add a trellis to the Earthbox to give it somewhere to meander. This is the first cucumber that has developed on it also, so [...]

Sliced into the first and likely only cucumber we will get off the plant. Looks and tastes like a cucumber! Pretty cool. The plant seems to have petered out, so doubt we’ll get more cukes off of this one.

Harvest update. Getting a few more cherries coming along. Both the Sungold and the White Currant are leading the pack (note, the links are to the sources of the seeds I grew these plants from). The Sungold’s are great, good size cherry tomatoes. Nice orange color. The White Currants are more yellow, are also tasty, [...]

The bell pepper in the Earthbox finally turned orange. Only the side towards the sun turned orange. The whole thing became orange a few days after picking though.

Decided that the two pepper plants I put down in the “real garden” were going nowhere, and the Earthbox peppers were going to satisfy our pepper needs, as well as far outpace the ones planted in the ground, so tore those up and replaced them with more green bean seeds today (6/4/10). I only planted [...]

Finally was able to harvest a couple of “real” tomatoes–i.e., not cherry tomatoes. These are Bush Early Girl. Not that big, but bigger than a cherry. Have not tasted one yet, first one is just now to full ripeness. Anyway, exciting to finally get a non-cherry tomato!

The 8-Ball, Zephyr and Multipik have petered out. The Spacemaster cucumber has gotten a second wind and has produced another cuke. It actually produces tons of cucumbers, but very few get pollinated on this plant. So, I planted three new squash seeds today to hopefully get some Fall summer squash. Trying something different this time. [...]

Surprisingly, the tomatoes are still going pretty well. The cherries I expected to keep producing through the August heat, but am surprised that the non-cherry varieties are not doing too poorly either. Am getting decent tomatoes off the Japanese Black Trifele and somewhat decent tomatoes from the Bush Early Girl. The JBTs are juicy and [...]

I popped a couple of the fall tomatoes into the ground today. Seeds were planted on 6/26. Removed the Black Krim that never did anything and replaced it with an Aunt Ginny’s Purple. Then added one more plant to the garden, a Cherokee Purple. Am leaving the cherry tomatoes and the Japanese Black Trifele because [...]

Thanks to this post by Austin Urban Gardens, I decided to plant two tomatoes in the pepper earthbox (on 8/30). Peppers were done. For some reason, it had not even occurred to me to pop my tomato seedlings in. I had planned on removing some of the in-ground spring tomatoes and replacing them, but the [...]

Redid EB1 (Earthbox One) with all fresh potting mix, 1lb dolomite, 3c organice fertilizer (2c GardenTone, then ran out and used 1c other organic I had). Planted 6 Black Seeded Simpsons, 2 Lollo Rossas.

Tomatoes are loving this weather. Today’s pickings:

Lettuce sprouting in Earthbox three days after planting the seeds.

More tomato action. Black Cherry tomatoes are getting bigger than I’ve seen yet–1 1/4″ diameter, 1/2 oz. That Bush Early Girl weighs in at 2 1/2 oz.

Typical Bush Early Girls picked this week. Averaging 2.6 oz.

Picked the first tomatoes from the two Earthbox plants today. I am now thinking these are Stupice and not Aunt Ginny’s Purple, as originally thought. I think they are too small to be Aunt Ginny’s.

Today’s harvest, 2.5+ lbs, mostly Bush Early Girl, with a few Japanese Black Trifele (the darker ones below), plus the usual group of cherries. The Bush Early Girl have proven to be quite productive. They ripen much faster than the other varieties I am growing.

Summary of last season’s tomato varieties: Sungold: Very good producer, lasted thru the summer, 3/4″ to 7/8″, orange cherries. A favorite. Aunt Carolyn says “good, sweet!”, and I have to concur. White Currant: good producer, by far the most delicious of the cherries. Super sweet, juicy, thumbs way up. Only downside is they are difficult [...]

EB1: removed fertilizer strip, added the EB non-organic fertilizer, added 1lb dolomite. Did not replace any of the soil. I am guessing this is the second season for this box maybe. Planted green bean seeds, clockwise starting at water tube: Roma II, Roma II, French Filet*, Provider, Blue Lake*, Contender (replanted 4/18), Royal Burgundy*, Pencil [...]

Got the garden ready for tomatoes. Info: Central soil area of garden measures 19′ x 2′ Added 2 1.5 cu. ft. bags of Ladybug Revitalizer Compost, 1 1.5 cu. ft. bag of Farm Style Compost. 8 lb. dolomite. 2lb 10oz of GardenTone organic fertilizer. Planted three tomatoes (the rest not quite big enough yet, plus [...]

First Earthbox squash picked today. Black Beauty zucchini weighing in at 280g. I fear my squash may not be long for this world, however, as the other day I spotted the dreaded squash vine borer moth buzzing around the plants, depositing its eggs of death all over the squash stems. I tried to scrape off [...]

First Earthbox Spacemaster Cucumber harvested today, weighing in at 12oz. Also got another Black Beauty Zucchini. Black Beauty is proving to be quite vigorous–growing much faster than the other squash I planted.

Harvested a partially ripe Black Krim tonight. Decided I’d better get it before some varmint did. Weighs in at 7.25 oz.  

Cut into the “Black Krim” I harvested the other night. Fully ripened. Was tasty. But I’m not sure it’s a Black Krim, after checking some images online. No “black” in this tomato at all. Mystery tomato. Compare to an actual Black Krim, found online:  

First Lemon Boy finally ripened up. Weighs in at just over 9oz. Wasn’t expecting them to get that large. Looks good, will be slicing into it this evening. Paul Robeson has been producing well, as well as Early Girl (although I got a bush variety of EG and it seems to be petering out. must [...]

Sliced in to the Lemon Boy last night. Was delicious. More tangy than the other varieties I am growing, which I like.

Plucked a 12 1/4 oz beauty from the Lemon Boy plant this morning. Really happy with the Lemon Boy performance. Will be planting this again. Big beautiful yellow/orange tomatoes.    

First time growing Black Prince. Pretty steady producer, but fruits are on the small side–around 3oz on average.

Found this on the ground in the garden this morning. The one and only fruit from the Orange Oxheart plant. Some critter ripped it off the plant before I could get to it Probably will not plant this variety again. Plant is large and healthy, but has only produced one fruit!

Got the 2012 tomatoes into the garden today. Varieties planted, from south to north: Sun Gold, White Currant (from seed), Early Girl, volunteer, Lemon Boy, Aunt Ginny’s Purple (from seed), Mortgage Lifter. The only new variety this year is Mortgage Lifter. We also have an unplanned volunteer, doing quite well with some baby fruits already [...]

Finally planted this year’s earthboxes. Did green beans in one, peppers in one and we’re trying strawberries in the third one, for the first time. Decided not to do squash this time, have not had much luck with it the last few times.

The tomato garden at four weeks. Still only a few green tomatoes, but plants are looking healthy. I have to assume that the volunteer plant that sprouted is a Sweet 100. That’s the only cherry tomato I planted last year.  

Only a few ripe cherries so far, but lots of green tomatoes and plants are happy.  

First non-cherry tomatoes were ripe enough to pick today. Two Early Girls and one Mortgage Lifter. May have jumped the gun too much on Mortgage Lifter, but I’m afraid that critters will steal them once the show any red.

Woke up to the horror of a ripe tomato half eaten and callously discarded.

All Early Girl except the lumpy one at the back, which is a Mortgage Lifter.

Barely have had time to think about tomatos this spring, but managed to get started this weekend. Amended the garden with the same stuff as last year: two bags of Natural Gardener Revitalizer compost, 8 lb dolomite, 3 lb of garden tone organic fertilizer. Got four plants in yesterday (4/7): Sungold, Sweet 100, Valencia Orange [...]

Grabbed a few more plants at Lowe’s today. No Early Girls at the local nurseries I checked, but Lowe’s had some. Final lineup from N to S (with nursery where I got the plant): Independence Day (Red Barn), Valencia Orange (Shoal Creek), Lemon Boy (Shoal Creek), Super Fantastic (Lowe’s), Early Girl (Lowe’s), Sweet 100 (Shoal [...]

Late planting of EB3, trying spinace in one row, kohlrabi in other row.  Planted 11/21/15.