I’m not used to pulling dried-out tomato plants out of the garden until September or even October, but three that were well past their prime got the boot today to make room for several pumpkins. I had intended to be out in the garden by 7:30 or 8 a.m. to beat the hot sun (forecast high was 97), but as usually happens on a Sunday morning, I was feeling a bit lazy. I finally got to work a little after 9 a.m., and the sun, she already was a wee bit warm.
My goal was to try to pull the netting out to save and reuse on the next batch of tomatoes, but after about 15 minutes, I gave up on that. I had planted three tomatoes bearing big fruit in the left center bed and four cherry tomato plants in the right center bed. But the Super Sweet 100 cherries had sprawled out on top of the bigger tomato plants. When I realized it was either save the netting or save the cherries, I opted for cutting the netting so I could more easily separate it from the cherries. After all, the cherries are still producing, and I haven’t had my fill of them yet! Didn’t want to take the chance of inflicting damage they wouldn’t be able to recover from, especially given the hot weather they’ve had to deal with.
The tomato vines also had invaded the peppers’ territory, so I had to be careful not to knock them around too much while removing the vines, too. Once I got all the vines out, it was just a matter of choosing the three best-looking pumpkin seedlings out of 10 that had been growing in containers on my patio for the last three weeks. The rest ended up in the pile of dead tomato vines, which will be added to another pile of garden waste. (Yes, I’m trying to make my own compost, even if I haven’t quite figured out how.) So, chosen pumpkin seedlings, you better perform!
It took about an hour to remove all the vines and transplant the pumpkins, and I was sweating like the proverbial pig by the time I was done. Fortunately, the other gardening chore I wanted to get done — transplanting young tomatoes and lettuce — could be done in the shade of my back patio.
I am so glad I sketched out in my gardening journal where I planted the different tomatoes in my little greenhouse of peat pellets, because there is no way I would have remembered correctly. This is really the first year that I have kept a journal in addition to blogging. And I’m glad I did. It’s great for reminding me when I last fed the flowers and vegetables, as well as which row of peat pellets the steak tomatoes are in!
I again had to choose just a handful of tomatoes to transplant into the pots. I don’t even think I’ll have room in the raised beds for all of the chosen eight, but we’ll see what happens. On the other hand, I transplanted all of the lettuce that came up in the peat pellets into a bigger pot. My plan is to keep it in this pot. I know it will be too hot the next month or so to put it in the garden, where it would get a lot of sun. Even if it did grow, it would be too bitter to eat. Again, we’ll see how it goes. What do I have to lose if it doesn’t grow? On the other hand, if it does, I’ll have fresh lettuce and tomatoes this fall!
So, for about two hours of work, I got quite a bit of gardening accomplished today. My raised beds look a little lopsided for the time being, but hopefully it won’t be long before the pumpkins fill in the space. And before we know it, it will be fall!