12 May Weekly Update

We’re a bit worried about our slicing tomatoes.  The plants just don’t look very healthy.  First the lower stems looked a sickly green with some yellowing so I removed them since the plants had enough upper stems and you eventually want to remove any stems with leaves that touch the ground.  But then the next set of stems up the trunk started looking the same way.  They don’t look diseased, just sickly.  So I went to research it in one of my gardening books and concluded that the most likely problem was a nutrient deficiency of some sort.  I spread Azomite (see last week’s post for info on Azomite) generously among all the tomato plants, not just the sickly slicing ones, and gave them all a good fish emulsion bath early in the week.    But on Saturday, we decided to go ahead and replace the worst looking Early Girls with some purchased starts.  Tomatoes are one of the main reasons we garden and we want to make sure we have plenty this summer!!  If the Better Boys aren’t looking a lot better by next weekend, we’ll likely replace them as well.

Asparagus & First Sugar Snap Peas

Asparagus & First Sugar Snap Peas



Sugar Snap & Snow Peas

Sugar Snap & Snow Peas

Mustard and Kale

Mustard and Kale

Harvests this week were: the first sugar snap peas and snow peas of the season!, kale and mustard (twice, for juicing), asparagus, and radishes.

The garlic is starting to make scapes.  We’ll soon have this once-a-year treat.  And several of the potatoes have flowered with many more blooms set and ready to flower soon.

Yukon gold potatoes

Yukon gold potatoes – so tall they’ve started to topple over

Other garden tasks accomplished this week was a good bit of hand weeding in various boxes, raking up and redistributing the mulch that washed down the center aisles during heavy rains, reseeding some of the various seeds we’ve sowed lately that didn’t sprout, giving everything (including our various fruit trees/bushes) a fish emulsion bath, and researching/fretting over how we’re going to convert the wood boxes on the slope to some sort of masonry later this year.  We want to make sure we really like what we end up with since it’ll likely be permanent, or at least not trivial to change!

We also dealt with all of last year’s garlic heads that were stored in the basement.  This year’s crop will be harvested next month and we still had *many* heads from last year (at least 35 or so), many of which weren’t really good anymore.  So we peeled all of the good/pretty decent cloves and processed them in the food processor along with some olive oil.  We then transferred the minced mixture to a pint-sized freezer container and put it in the freezer for use as we need it – the olive oil should help it keep from freezing all the way so we can scoop out what we need.  We plan to start saving most of our garlic harvests this way in the future since the heads start to deteriorate quite a bit after being stored in the basement for a few months.  We’ll save out only the heads that we expect to use over 4 or 5 months (plus our seed for the next crop).  And we’ll likely be growing less garlic in the future as well.  We went through it really fast one year but I think our cooking has changed a bit since then and we just don’t use as much garlic in our cooking nowadays.

Some of you may have noticed a change in the countertop colors of our pictures – we recently had new countertops installed and we’re very happy with the result.  Here’s a picture of our “new” kitchen.

Kitchen 1


Yellow & Patty pan Squash

Yellow & Patty pan Squash, sweet peppers in lower box

Tomatillo Lanterns

Tomatillo Lanterns – even the partially broken one on the right keeps trying!

Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar on Parsley

Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar on bolted Parsley

Cauliflower Plant

Cauliflower Plant

sad Better Boy tomatoes

sad Better Boy tomatoes

Zucchini starts

newly planted Zucchini starts

Blueberry Bush

Blueberry Bush with lots of blueberries forming!

happy Amish paste tomatoes

happy Amish paste tomatoes, potatoes in box behind

Fig trees

Fig trees

A fig, forming

A fig, forming

Cucumbers on Trellis with 1 bloom

Cucumbers on Trellis with 1 ground-level bloom

Cabbage-Cauliflower-Sugar Snap Pea box

Cabbage-Cauliflower-Sugar Snap Pea box


Broccoli in front yard box


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5 Responses to “12 May Weekly Update”

  1. marysveggiegarden Says:

    By any chance, do you have a lot of wood chips in the beds with the ailing tomatoes? The microbes that decompose wood chips use a lot of nitrogen which would result in yellowed sickly plants. I saw this happen in a garden where an old stump was ground up into the soil. We had to apply blood meal, which worked. (But blood meal tends to attract carnivore pests though it repels herbivores.)

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Well that’s a possibility, actually. The wood of the garden box itself is deteroriating a lot – it’s going to be one of the first we replace later this year with masonry. Maybe I just need to fertilize with nitrogen more frequently this season that I normally would. Thanks for the info!!

  2. kitsapfg Says:

    I was going to suggest some nitrogen and perhaps a little magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) for the tomatoes as well. Yellowing often is nitrogen and sometimes is magnesium deficiency. I hope the tomatoes do a comeback for you. Your garden is looking great and so is the kitchen! Totally jealous of that kitchen make over as mine is looking quite dated and tired. Got a kid in college and living on the other side of the US – so it will be a while before I can spend money to correct my own cabinets and countertops.

  3. Barbie Says:

    Looking great! Kitchen- AND garden! 😉

  4. zentMRS - Love in the Ktchen Says:

    Really looks wonderful!

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