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16 June 2012


Do you remove some or ALL of the flowerless limbs on the tomatoes? The one thing I'm good at in gardening is "editing." I can prune, usually beautifully, without killing anything. (A rose was my teacher.)

Most of the flowerless limbs stay; I remove the lowest few, just so there are no leaves hanging in the ground. The suckers are the shoots that sprout out at the crook where each branch meets the main stalk. These are the side shoots that flower. Last year I removed all of them; this year I will be a careful judge of which to remove and which not.

This is all in regard to 'indeterminate' tomatoes, by the way, the ones that will just keep vining along. 'Determinate' tomatoes are more of a bush, and somewhat self-limiting. I have little experience with these.

Tomatoes- I have always gone to a central stem, no suckers, on the wine grape theory that the right proportion of leaves to fruit yields best. May have been dealing with determinate tho. Lately I don't have the right place for them.

My pride this year was carrots and one butterhead that wintered over! One of the joys of Newport. Have been leaf harvesting the lettuce head, but time to pull it now. I harvested the carrots with Faye in February I think.

The missed opportunity was my rosemary BUSH (there's that vernacular again). Often I will gamble on wintering over; sometimes I win but rosemary will often get killed off here. This year I had a beauty going and I didn't want to risk it so I pulled it in and fed off it all winter. Then it got some kind of pest so I lost the whole thing. Out in the temperate chill it would have been fine!

Ah, but we all know the score when it comes to weather guessing.

I always manage to kill off my rosemary. I keep some in a pot in the garden through the summer, then bring it indoors for the winter and find new ways of killing it each year. Last fall, I decided to try moving it to the root cellar. Ha! Thought I'd outsmarted myself, as it was healthy right through the holidays...then the humidity spiked and it got some kind of mold.

I also keep mint in a pot in the garden. I started doing this to avoid putting it in the ground and having it take over. At the end of its first season, I just plucked it out of the pot and chucked it an a compost pile...only to find it sprouting fresh growth in the spring. So I hacked off a piece and repotted it and, well now it's a vicious cycle of mint.

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