The Year The Tomatoes Died

tomato blight
Tomato Blight Disease

I hate to even write about this, but it’s the unfortunate story of tomato death. This depressed me so badly that at one time over the summer I decided I would never grow tomatoes again. But of course I will. I don’t give up that easily!

I don’t plant many tomato plants because I don’t have the space. I don’t eat that many tomatoes either, but I do look forward to picking my fresh, garden crop by August. I look forward to it all summer long, from the time the little tomato seedlings are put into the ground. At one time I counted 30 tomatoes on one plant, and I had 6 plants, so I expected a nice crop.

green tomatoes on the vine
When They Looked Good

It wasn’t meant to be. In the past I’ve never had a problem with my tomatoes growing nice and big and ripe. The “Celebrity” variety is my favorite, so I grow them.  I water them when it’s dry and I rotate my planting space. I give them fertilizer and watch for bugs and tomato worms. Everything was fine. Until it wasn’t. Suddenly, it seemed like overnight, I noticed that the leaves were looking funny. They were brown and wilting. They were curling up and dying near the bottom of the plants. I had managed to pick and eat a few of the early ripe fruits, but the others ended up looking like my first picture, above.  With brown spots and weird looking markings and colors, they were inedible.

red, ripe garden tomatoes
Garden Tomatoes

There is always next year. It seems so far away.

Raised Garden Bed – Getting Ready to Plant

raised garden bed
Simple Raised Bed of Cinder-Blocks

At last our snow is gone. It could snow again, but it won’t last if it does. We can seriously begin thinking about our gardens now in New Hampshire.

Last year I dragged these cement blocks up from the side of the house and created a raised bed. I ordered dirt from Agway and wheel-barrowed it over to fill the area. I had tomatoes and a zucchini plant in it and they did great.

I will have to begin thinking about what I want to grow and where I’ll plant it. Except for cold weather crops, like lettuce, parsley and peas, I won’t be able to plant until the end of May.

I added Bone Meal to the dirt in this raised bed, but I still need to order a new batch of good dirt too. Finances are a bit tight, and I won’t be buying hanging planters and such to beautify my yard, but certain things I must have to grow some (hopefully) good crops. I garden to eat healthy and save money. And I also enjoy it.

I got outside the other day, when the weather was nice, and took some photos of what is coming up in the yard. I’ll share once I get them off the camera and into an organized group for my blogs.

Gardening: Now it’s Moving Fast

backyard vegetable garden
Planted!

As I walk around the yard getting photos of what’s growing, I realize how fast things are changing.

The potatoes planted in the fabric pot are now huge. The zucchini and cucumber seedlings (they are in this photo) are now twice the size they were.  Many of the tomatoes now have little yellow flowers. And all the strawberries are loaded with unripened fruit.

That is how it’s suppose to be. Everything has to hurry up and grow – Fall is not far away! Really, the growing season in New England is so short. It’s been difficult for me to adjust to this fact after gardening year round in Florida.

But having a garden blog means updating could literally take place every day – with new photos! Sorry, can’t handle that schedule. As I get ready to write about something I photographed last week, I realize I’m already behind. Continue reading “Gardening: Now it’s Moving Fast”

Taking a Lesson From An Old Garden

backyard garden
A Ready Made Garden

I was lucky to have bought a house that had at one time housed a gardener. The previous owners had already started gardens in the sunniest spot. They had planted an asparagus garden, many beautiful bulbs of tulips and daffodils, peonies, coneflowers and more. They had set up arbors and built a gazebo off the large deck to enjoy the outdoors, bug free. It really was great.

Along the edge of the yard near the road was a row of big forsythias that bloomed bright yellow in spring. The side yard was bordered by big purple rhododendron shrubs. That yard was fun to garden in. I expanded and added my own flowering shrubs to the already lovely landscape. When I moved in I really just needed to do some maintenance – like lots of weeding – to make the yard sparkle.

Unfortunately, instead of growing old in my home, disaster struck and I only had two years to enjoy that place. But it taught me a lot about what will grow in this area and I’ve longed for my own yard again to duplicate what I used to have.

I just moved into my own place over this past summer, and although I did plant a few things – daylilies, tulip bulbs, peonies, small hydrangeas and a rhododendron, I know the yard will be sparse come summer.

It’s sad for me to look at the photos from my the yard at my old house, and when I think of all the work I put into the place, I can only hope that the people living there are enjoying it as much.

My hope now is to transform this barren yard (where I now live) into something beautiful. The land is not as good. The yard is fairly small and surrounded by trees, which means less sun, so it will be a challenge. We’ll see what happens.

How did I take this photo? The house had a big skylight and I stuck my camera out to get this shot of the yard. 😉

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