Tuesday Garden Party-Slug, Snails and Rolly-Pollys oh my!
April 26, 2011 5 Comments
I feel Jamie’s pain over at www.anoregoncottage.com, because here in Humboldt County they are ridiculously prolific! They also hide in overgrown arugula and swiss chard all day long because of all the lovely shade such an overgrown garden provides. I started cleaning out our raised bed and probably found 15 snails and 10 slugs. I have been using Sluggo this year with some success, but did not think to put it out in the back, just mostly in the front yard where I had planted some flowers.
I went to a growing tomatoes in Humboldt County seminar at Pierson’s Building and Gardening Center in Eureka on Saturday morning. I figured it would be about 1 hour, well no it was actually 2 hours, but those 2 hours flew by! Steve Goto from www.gotomato.us.com was fascinating, funny and full of great information! Being on the Northern Coast where temperatures rarely even reach into the 70s in the summer makes growing tomatoes a real challenge. We tried 2 years ago and did not have much success. Last year we didn’t even try, but both my husband and I, after seeing the article about the seminar decided we would like to try again.
So much interesting information and an organic method to try in our pots. We put the pots on the south side of our home, which is the warmest since it is also about 9 feet from a fence between us and our neighbors. However, since we are having a new patio poured today (yippee, yippee, yippee!), we are also going to lay black ground cover fabric and get a new truckload of gravel to make our side yard once again look presentable without all the weeds, etc that grows after 23 years of doing nothing over there. Plus that is where the bobcat came in to grade the patio area and where the cement truck thing will be going:
Here is the set up patio area:
Okay back to tomato growing, Steve recommends Joe and Bob’s organic products and introduced us to grafted tomatoes. So we are trying grafted tomatoes grown organically and see how it goes. I admit I have used Miracle Grow for years and have had beautiful flowers with it and may continue until I have used up the large box from Costco purchased last year, but I am going to start moving towards organic and see how it goes.
For the pots (even though I have used Miracle Grow in them previously) you start with 1 oz of Optimize, follow with 1 cup of Maximize and 1 cup of Biosomix. Add your soil admendments (in my case composted chicken manure and some composted garden and grass clippings that has been growing and composting for 23 years (we use it every year though, we just don’t have formal composting bins…just a huge pile on the side of our yard that is hidden really from the back yard view, you have to go around the side of the house to see it…., anyhoo then plant your grafted tomato up to the graft line. If you are using regular tomato plants purchased from a nursery you can take off the side stems and any flowers and plant it with just a bit of the tomato plant sticking out. He says that no plant is really any better than another if your soil is prepared correctly, they should all do well. In other words if all that is left are plants with yellow leaves, etc. Not to worry, buy it anyway, pull off the leaves and flowers, put it in your prepared soil and there you go!
Here are my pots and the products:
The Optmizer you use just a little. This is how much I used for all 3 pots:
This is a container from ricotta cheese that I measured the 3 oz into:
Here is a prepared pot with all 3 products:
Here are the grafted tomato plants:
They were on sale for $9.99 for the seminar. They will be well worth it if we actually get some tomatoes off of them! I am so looking forward to my first garden season where I don’t have a job and can spend as much time as I want in the garden. I will have to be careful not to overdo too much though!