Gardening jobs, week of January 18-23 2021

I have been working, working, working – so not much time for gardening, unfortunately. My time spent in the garden has been focused on keeping up the watering so everything lives, and picking the endless procession of tomatoes that just keep on marching into the kitchen (not complaining, just saying). I’m outside picking a bowl of tomatoes every morning before I feed the chooks.

I have discovered that either: two varieties of tomatoes ripen together and the other four varieties ripen a month later, or – and I think this is more likely – one end of my garden is warmer, encouraging the tomatoes down that end to ripen much more quickly. The tomatoes at the cooler end are fruiting prolifically but are only just now beginning to ripen, and at a much slower pace (one or two a day). The tomatoes at the warmer end are also fruiting prolifically but ripen at the pace of a bowlful a day.

Most gardening books suggest not growing tomatoes in the same place each season to prevent soil borne disease. Many recommend resting the soil for two seasons. I try to do this, but even my large(ish) veggie patch is not large enough to allow me to rest that much tomato growing space for two years. Obviously I can grow something else not in the solanaceae family (zucchini, for example), but I would like to be able to grow tomatoes in the warm spot again next year, given how successful it has been (best tomato season ever for me). I wonder if there is a way I can ‘speed up’ the resting period so I can plant there again next year. Any ideas, fellow gardeners?

I just have to humblebrag that I successfully grew cucumbers.

Hello, my pretties

These are White Mini cucumbers (Diggers Club). After multiple failed attempts cucumber growing attempts, these are the first I have been able to grow at this house. I literally danced when I picked these. The kids loved them. There are more on the way.

Although I have not had much time in the garden, a babysitting stint with my adorable niece gave me an excuse to step away from my computer and spend a bit of time outside. When I asked her what she wanted to do at my house, she replied “hold a chicken!” So we watered the garden, picked tomatoes, and she cuddled each of the four chickens in turn.

Gardening is much more fun with kids. Especially when they are as cute as a bug’s ear.

4 thoughts on “Gardening jobs, week of January 18-23 2021

  1. Interesting how one end of the garden is warmer. Have you actually checked it with a thermometer, or maybe even a light meter. Is there something there that reflects heat or light onto the plants? Just curious….

    1. The garden is surrounded on all sides by a large green fence. At the warmer end there is a chicken coop, which could reflect some warmth. The cooler end is slightly elevated, and behind it in the neighbour’s yard is a large gum tree. It doesn’t technically shade the garden, as it is all in full sun, but I am wondering if the tree brings the temperature down slightly. There are no trees surrounding the warmer end.

  2. I struggled SO much with viruses and spider mites growing tomatoes in the same place in 2020 as I did in 2019… I’ll personally never do it again- it was such a bummer year.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! Spider mites are terrible – they took out all my potted hydrangeas last year, just as they were about to bloom. Thanks for the heads up – I will take the lesson. It’s tough when you have limited space.

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