Very Important News

A frequent morning ritual for me involves taking a bag of compost to our garden, which is several blocks from our house, on my drive to work. I enjoy this little task. The garden plot is inevitably empty, and I enjoy the morning solitude with the plants. It also gives me a chance to check up regularly on how things are going

This morning, as I dropped my bag of peelings and celery leaves on the growing heap, I check our plants and found to my delight that we now have real, honest to goodness tomatoes growing. There is something wonderful about seeing those small green globes gleaming in the early sunlight.

The advent of tomatoes is just as well. Although our lettuce is doing nicely and our carrots are bushing in impressive but troubling ways (we definitely need to thin them this weekend), all is not well in the Oman plot. In particular, my attempt to create an artful and rustic looking trellis for the peas to climb as proved to be an abject failure. Our peas do not climb. Rather, they entangle themselves in a hopeless snarl of pea vines in the dirt beneath the trellis. It is a bit embarrassing. We are also having major failure to thrive issues with some of our watermelon plants and our lone jalapeno pepper. It can be a bit sad when you are reduced to telling yourself, “Well at least the mint is doing well!”

Hence, the tomatoes were a particularly welcome sight today.

14 comments for “Very Important News

  1. Jim F.
    June 23, 2005 at 11:38 am

    I’m jealous. It will be a while before we have tomatoes, green or otherwise.

  2. Aaron Brown
    June 23, 2005 at 12:33 pm

    “Our peas do not climb. Rather, they entangle themselves in a hopeless snarl of pea vines in the dirt beneath the trellis. It is a bit embarrassing.”

    A bit? Are you kidding? Have you no shame? I’m amazed you have the nerve to show your face in public.

    Aaron B

  3. Nate Oman
    June 23, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    Aaron: I work in a large K Street law firm. I NEVER show my face in public. I spend my days confined to my office reviewing documents and reading cases.

  4. June 23, 2005 at 2:46 pm

    Nate, given that you’re a lawyer, I’m surprised that you don’t altogether suffer from the curse of Cain: “[w]hen thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength” (Genesis 4:12). Maybe you’re coasting along on blessings accumulated in the preexistence.

  5. Floyd the Wonderdog
    June 23, 2005 at 3:11 pm

    You probably have bush peas rather than climbing peas. The bush type are my preference; they are much easier to grow in the garden, IMHO. You can support them by placing several small diameter branches and twigs in the ground among the peas. They can them support themselves on the twigs. The climbers have to be trained on the trellis.

    I hope your mint is in a container. It spreads and is quite tenacious. The ever-lovely Sister Wonderdog (Our family name was changed when we moved over from Germany. We felt that people wouldn’t be able to relate to Wunderhund.) wanted some mint for the baby’s colic (we found that mint and raspberry leaf teas work well for stomach upset). The mint soon spread and I finally had to use the nuclear option to clear it out (Roundup). We also have oregano and sage, both of which require attention to keep them from spreading. But the mint was the worst. You can control it by planting it in a pot and then planting the pot. But keep an eye on it otherwise it will take over the garden.

  6. Travis Anderson
    June 23, 2005 at 4:28 pm

    Even bush peas (which grow from 24-32 inches when well-fed and watered) should be supported to maximize sunlight exposure and to avoid powdery mildew, pests that thrive in moisture-rich shade (like snails, slugs, pill-bugs, etc), and similar problems. But if you don’t have enough trellises, you can reduce the bush/pole peas problem by planting predominantly bush peas but planting a few pole peas every few feet and placing a trellis over just the climbers. The pole peas will climb the trellis and the bush peas will string to the pole peas and to each other, thus allowing the trellis to support them all. Also, applying innoculent before planting will increase your yields on legumes, as it increases their unique abilty to fix atmospheric nitrogen.

  7. Suzanne A.
    June 23, 2005 at 10:32 pm

    Don’t forget to remove the suckers from those tomato plants. Here’s a picture to help you:

    You can look up pruning tomatoes on the web for more info.

  8. kris
    June 24, 2005 at 3:48 pm

    Suzanne A.

    Thank you for that link — improved tomato care is my primary objective in the garden this year and I have always found it somewhat confusing which growth should be pruned.

  9. June 24, 2005 at 5:14 pm

    Good news. I have started to train the peas up to the rustic trellis, and I have sighted some flowers. I will definitely check out the link about which tomato leaves to prune to speed up germination of the fruit. I also think our squash is doing great, just our watermelons are slow. We had this problem last year, which makes me think they are just slow plants. But the peppers are doing great, and I thinned the carrots just in time, so everybody should feel very cheerful about the garden. Especially you, Nate!

    By the way, the mint hasn’t even come close to taking over the garden. It would have to conquer the cilantro first, which is doing an admirable job of claiming the entire plot as its own.

  10. Kaimi
    June 24, 2005 at 5:18 pm

    With any luck, they’ll combine forces and you’ll have a plot of minty cilantro. Find a dish that you can use that in.

  11. The Wiz
    June 24, 2005 at 6:12 pm

    I thought we’d covered this. Cilantro is evil.

  12. Harold B. Curtis
    June 26, 2005 at 9:12 pm

    Peas and beans, tomatoes and spuds
    Sometimes they grow and sometimes they’re duds
    Often they flourish at times they may fail
    Sometimes you harvest sometimes you bail

    Bugs may infest blight may infect
    Down on your kness you often reject
    Water and hoe with sweat on the brow
    All in the hope of raising some chow

    See what can happen with one little seed
    Be what can happen with one little deed
    Dung with a good thought then watch it gorw
    Stung with a new hope now that you know

    The garden we need is the garden we weed
    The garden we get is the garden we let
    The garden we grow is the garden we sow
    The garden we eat in is the garden we eden

    Harold B Curtis

  13. August 11, 2005 at 3:39 am

    Good service

  14. ,
    September 29, 2005 at 8:19 am


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