Produce for sale from the Tomato Lady-Friday August 21

Jannine's bean tee pee

Hi folks.  I know many of you locals follow my blog. I have 125 tomato plants and 3o heirloom varieties this year.  For some unknown reason my tomatoes are taking their time turning red (or orange or striped or black or purple). This is weird as I would have thought that they would all be kicking ass by now and I would be at the Farmers Market. The weather has been nice and warm, the rain wonderful and the tomatoes look great-just still green. Ah mother nature! Whata ya going do? I’ve learned years ago to just surrender to her. So…

Since I don’t have enough tomatoes ready (I need boxes and boxes of them) for the Farmer’s Market this Saturday, I do have some heirloom tomatoes to sell plus I have LOTS of other heirloom veggies—Shishito peppers, wonderful varieties of french and Italian green beans—Rattlesnake beans, Italian Romano beans, Trionfo Violetto beans, Royal Burgundy beans and some french filets, tasty sweet cucumbers and fantastic huge ruby red chard that melts in your mouth when steamed and drizzled with a fine balsamic vinaigrette.

I will be selling them from 2 -4 pm this Friday August 21 at our studio:

Liquid Light Glass
926 Baca Street #3
Santa Fe, NM
Call me if you have questions. 660-4986

I will be starting at the Santa Fe Farmer’s market Saturday August 29th from 7 am-1 pm. But don’t be late as I will sell out probably by 11 am. You can find me inside the building-just look for my ‘TOMATO LADY’ SIGN above my booth.

So come catch up with me and get some fantastic veggies for yourself this Friday without the parking hassles! Hope to see you here at the studio!

Is it a weed?

I just read an article from a fellow gardener in France about the love-hate relationship we gardeners have with self-sowing weeds. The ones that come up every year or so it seems. I had to chuckle-in Provence they have many ‘weeds’ that pop up everywhere.  So it got me started to thinking about my ‘weeds’ that come up in the garden every season.

What’s the definition of a weed? Answer: Any plant growing in the wrong location for us. And what’s this love-hate thing?

For example here are some edible weeds:

common_purslane_portulaca_oleracea_001

Purslane-Last year I let wild purslane grow wherever it wanted and even ate a bit of it in my salads as it has higher Omega-3 acids than salmon does! And a gardener friend of mine named Poki from Gaia gardens here in Santa Fe even has a great purslane pesto he brought to the Farmer’s Market and it was yummy. (I’m going to have to get the recipe.) So there was the love thing but then it started growing everywhere (everywhere I didn’t want it) and soon was flowering. I thought oh-oh I better pull it before it sets seeds and so I did. Way to much for me to eat but luckily my goats and chickens love it as a treat.

?????????

White Horehound-I finally ID a plant that is growing all over-both at my place and in Santa Fe. It is White Horehound which is actually a herb that suppose to have beneficial aspects for lung and bronchial problems by loosening phlegm. Some people make cough drops out of them and some use the dried leaves to make a tea.  They actually sell the seeds in Baker Heirloom Seeds but around my place it grows like a weed. I use to pull it out because it is not a particularly attractive plant but since I became a beekeeper, I noticed the all bees are wild about it with its small white flowers so now I leave it bee for them.

closeup of white horehoundI do control it somewhat by pulling the plant right after the bees are done with it but before it sets the big seed heads. Interesting the US Drug Administration won’t allow the American cough drop manufacturers to use horehound in their cough drops but Europe has used it in their cough drops forever and successfully. Seems it isn’t a ‘proven’ herb for the US but you can still buy European cough drops with it in them at the store-they’re called Riccola and they’re from Switzerland and ya know what? When I had pneumonia a few years ago and was coughing my brains out, it was the ONLY cough drop that stopped the horrible coughing and I didn’t even know about horehound then. Wake up America!

14borage_closeup

Borage-Next ‘weed’ was my borage. It’s not really a weed but a edible flower. I started 2 plants and put them in my strawberry patch as I read it is a great companion plant for strawberries-and so it is-there’s the love thing. The strawberries are thriving but the borage has reseeded so much I have to pull some of them out or they would take over the patch. You can also eat the borage flowers. They go well on salads and have a cucumber taste and the flower is really, really beautiful and the honeybees love them too. I think I’m going to move them to an outside garden area where I don’t care if it reseeds.

220px-Taraxacum_officinale_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-135 Dandelions are always considered a weed and yet I read many people put the leaves in salads and that they are super healthy for us. I just keep cutting the leaves off (my goats love these too) and make sure I don’t let it reseed.

cow pen daisy

Cow Pen Daisy-Now this next one isn’t edible for us but for the bees. Ever see that sunflower/daisy type of plant with grey-green leaves? It grows here in the summer. It’s actually called Cowpen Daisy or Golden Crownbeard and has great yellow flowers that look like small sunflowers. It’s name comes from it growing in a lot of cow pens or corrals where the soil has been disturbed. I like the flowers but the only problem for me is its stinky when you disturb it. I let grow if it wants to as I discovered it is a wonderful bee plant. I went to pull them out of our corral a few years ago (before Koko the horse came) and discovered the bees all over them so I left them (great, one less weed to pull!). Then later I found out that the flowers provide bees food in the late summer/fall so now I happily co-exist with them.

And then there’s Kochia-Kochia scoparia. So rampant this year and out of control for many of us living in the country. Again I wouldn’t eat it but I hear we can-its suppose to taste like a salty green. Imported from Eurasia eons ago-opps! Imagine if I could sell it at the Farmer’s Market! I’d be a millionaire! But I’ll tell you who does love it-my horse Koko and my goats! I read it was used for food for livestock as it is high in protein for them so I let the horse and goats out and mow (eat) it down periodically. I also have to literally mow or pull it as well before it reseeds. I have smothered it on my paths under about 3 inches of horse manure when it has just germinated or better yet before it germinates in early summer. This ‘smothering’ keeps the light out and it needs light to germinate and grow. But right now it has grown too big, so let those goats out, if you got any!

I like to let plants grow and reseed if possible as not much else can grow here without extraordinary effort although this year with all this fabulous rain we’ve got, everything is growing-especially ‘weeds’.

Eldorado vegetable pest lecture

tomato hornworm revealed

Tomato Hornworm revealed-such a good camouflage artist!

Gave several garden lectures this week. The first lecture was on pests in the garden at this time of year out in the Eldorado Community Garden on Monday August 3. What a lovely garden! I hadn’t been out there for several years and it has expanded and is very beautiful right now (especially with all these rains).

There were lots of questions on gophers, squirrels, aphids, tomato hornworms, cabbage loopers, grasshoppers and other insect pests that are around now and organic control of them. We talked about all these pests and it’s amazing that any plants survive!

Attached are the handouts I gave out at the lecture:

CLass pests pics

ORGANIC INSECTICIDE CONTROLS

ORGANIC DISEASE CONTROLS

Here is some more info:

HOW TO CONTROL:

gopherstrap ’em. Sorry but it’s too hard to grow crops here anyways and to see an 18 yr old apple tree decimated from gophers is a travesty. Gophers are very territorial so you might not have as many as you think. Usually there are only between 2-4 gophers on a property.

squirrels-sprinkle fox urine granules around your garden (not coyote urine granules or human urine as one person asked)

aphidsAZAMAX-a new organic product available only at Newmans.  AzaMax is made from special Azadirachtin Technical extracted using patented extraction technology from the Neem tree but is not Neem oil.  The first week of Azamax applications will pretty much stop the reproduction of spider mites, aphids, or other pests.  You need to reapply Azamax to your plants every 7-14 days for a few times. Helps disrupt eating and mating.  You will then see dead aphids on your plants but they will not be eating them so you need to rinse off before eating your crops. Do not spray in middle of day when it’s hot as it can burn your plants. In fact, it’s good to spray this and Neem in the evening before dark. That way the plants won’t get burned and the bees have gone back to their hive (you don’t want a direct hit on bees) and by morning when it’s dry, it’s fine for bees to be around, just not when it’s wet. I can’t wait to try this on some kale that has them now. A landscaper friend who uses it in her gardens, showed me the dead aphids on her plum tree and it worked. Wish I had it back when the aphids were bad on the fruit trees earlier this year!

Tomato hornworms-handpick or if you have a heavy infestation, use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Just call it Bt when you ask for it at the nurseries.  It wrecks havoc with their digestive system. Is harmless to all other animals but deadly for caterpillars.

Cabbage loopers-a caterpillar that eats greens, lettuce, cole crops, kale, etc. Use Bt for all caterpillar problems.

Grasshoppers-use NOLO Bait or Semaspore. Same thing, different manufacturers. The problem is most people wait till they are inundated with grasshoppers and then say NOLO bait doesn’t work. Not true. You just need to start much earlier in the season because it takes about 3 weeks+ for it to work and it is not as effective once the baby hopper grow up. Plus you need to refrigerate NOLO. If you have lots of adult grasshoppers now, put row cover over your crops to act as a physical barrier between the hopper and your plants. I noticed last year when I had hoppers that they were gone in 3 weeks and I heard they won’t be as bad the next year as they did not lay eggs and this must be true as I’ve only seen one or two this year. Not harmful to other animals, bees, mammals or birds.

Home Grown New Mexico Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour this Sunday July 26

In case you were wondering why I haven’t written on my site for a while it’s because I’ve been crazy busy
in my garden getting ready for the 2015 Home Grown New Mexico’s Kitchen Garden & Coop tour. I’m on the tour with 4 other great places this Sunday July 26 from 9 am -3 pm!  Come check us out! Read on for details of how to attend this great event! All this info is also listed on Homegrownnewmexico.org


2015 HGNM KItchen Garden Tour_ad _green

Sunday, July 26—OUR MAJOR FUNDRAISING EVENT!
Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour
Time: 9 am-3 pm
Cost: $25. children under 12 free. You can pre-pay below or pay at the tour at any of the homes. Cash, Check or credit cards accepted.
Locations: see below

The 5th Annual
Kitchen Garden and Coop Tour
Sunday, July 26, 2015 from 9 am to 3 pm

See five kitchen gardens in Santa Fe. Pick up ideas that you can use at your place or just enjoy these beautiful, edible and functional landscapes.

The properties on the tour this year will feature many gardening ideas—beautiful vegetable gardens, herb gardens, fruit and nut trees, backyard chicken coops, goats, beehives, composting,  green houses, a neighborhood community garden, edible landscapes and rainwater harvesting systems.  Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer gardening questions and support the event. Pre-purchase tickets here on the eventbrite button or buy them at the tour at whatever house you first go to.

Eventbrite - 5th Annual Kitchen Garden and Coop Tour

5 Properties on tour-get the Home Grown tour_map (revised Jul 18)
#1 • Lisa Sarenduc, Suitable Digs
712 Chicoma Vista
Santa Fe, NM

#2 • Amelia Moody
1951 Osage Dr
Santa Fe, NM

#3 • Deb Farson
2215 Paseo de los Chamisos
Santa Fe, NM

#4 • Bert & Mari Tallant
2389 Camino Pintores
Santa Fe, NM

#5 • Jannine Cabossel, ‘The Tomato Lady’
56 Coyote Crossing
Santa Fe, NM

Garden Tour Bios
Lisa Sarenduc-owner of
Suitable Digs. This property has unique green vacation lodgings on her sustainable property where she lives. Her property features a greenhouse, fruit and nut trees, raised vegetable and berry garden, greywater system, a dome greenhouse with fig trees, another greenhouse with olive trees, a large rainwater catchment system, 1.5 acres of native grasses and flowers lining her driveway using key line design, a swimming pond and is completely powered by solar energy.

Amelia Moody has been gardening at her home in Santa Fe for 10 years. Her lovely garden is continually evolving, as she acquires “gift plants” from her friends. She has mature fruit trees and bed with mixed plantings of vegetables, flowers, medicinal plants and cacti, keeping a constant supply of flowers pollinated by her own honeybees. A giant Saguaro Cactus skeleton dominates her back yard. She also catches water from her roof, storing it underground in a 1000gal tank. Chickens will supply her with eggs through the year. A well tended compost pile rounds out her very balanced landscape.

Deb Farson lives in a townhome with her cat Charley in town. She has been a master gardener for 5 years (in fact, she is the president of the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Association). She has been a Master Composter since 2002. Her property has a small footprint, but she has been able to pack in a lot of sustainability. Her perennials are xeric and include many native plants and shrubs in beds, pots and planters. She connects with the National Weather Service daily – measuring precipitation in Santa Fe. She catches rain from her roof to water her landscape – including raised vegetable beds. She fosters community – cooperating with neighbors in a truly neighborhood community garden. She crafts some of the best compost in town with the help of her neighbors, who contribute their food scraps all year round and get tomatoes in the summer in return.

Bert Tallant and his wife Mari have been gardening in Santa Fe for over 25 years. Their garden showcases many of the sustainable features that can be accomplished in an urban setting. They converted almost half of their property into a vegetable garden. In the compact garden, they grow a substantial portion of their food for the year, including tomatoes, chile, corn, squash and raspberries – lots of raspberries. Bert has experimented w/ espaliered apple trees along the walls that enclose the garden. They use water captured from their roof and piped to the garden underground. A newly captured swarm of honeybees buzz about pollinating and making honey. Eggs are gathered daily from their chickens. They make their own high quality compost gathering materials from neighbors and the city.

Jannine Cabossel-The Tomato Lady
Jannine can be found selling her heirloom tomatoes at the Santa Fe’s Farmer’s Market in the summer and features her artisan farm on the tour this year. She strives toward sustainability. Her 6.5 acre property includes 3000 sq ft of raised vegetable gardens that supply her with food year round, garden art and flowers that feed her soul, over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, fruit trees, strawberries, grapes and raspberries, 2 busy beehives, many drought tolerant, bee friendly gardens, chickens that give her eggs daily, Koko the horse and her buddies-the goats, a terraced herb garden, an unheated greenhouse full of tomatoes now and greens in the winter, a cold frame for fall/spring gardening, composting systems and even a resting hut fondly called the Tea House. Be prepared to wander and get lost on this lovely property that will surely inspire gardeners.

Holy Cow! Hail the size of quarters and bigger!

hail

Wednesday we got two huge storms where hail was between the size of quarters and ping-pong balls in some places. I’ve never seen hail that big here in Santa Fe. Sorry for the blurry picture but our hands were shaking! Lots of damage was done in many people’s gardens, destroying or severely damaging many vegetables and fruits. Whole leaves were torn off or plants shredded. Most of mine were spared as I had the vegetable plants covered with row cover, and it took the hit instead of the plants.

Believe it or not some plants will come back and be ok for those of you hit hard. We will be a couple of weeks behind but the season is not necessarily over. Check your plants and if the center of it where new growth comes from is intact, it will probably grow back so don’t be so quick to pull it. I will wait for about a week to see if they show signs of new growth. If they do, I will trim back the damaged foliage but not before. Remember their root systems were not hurt so they have a good chance to recover.

Meanwhile I would spray a fungicide on them as they are weakened and more susceptible to disease, especially fungal diseases like early blight and powdery mildew with all this wet weather. You could use Neem, OR Copper spray OR Serenade to help ward off fungal diseases. All are organic.

Identifying Tomato Curly Top Virus (CTV)-more info

Photo credits: curly top disease - photo courtesy of http://ucanr.org/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=3352

Curly Top Virus (CTV) on tomatoes
Last year, the Beet Leafhopper which transmits ‘Curly Top Tomato Virus’ was rampant in our gardens and devastated many of our tomato plants. I lost only 4 plants out of 74 to it but only because I take extraordinary measures to protect them. Here is some information on the beet leafhopper., how to identify it, symptoms and how to protect your plants.

The Beet Leafhopper flies in on the winds in early June through July, jump on the tomato plants and taste them. It is a big problem in the Southwest and inland in California where it is hot. They don’t even like to eat tomato plants but sample them, transmitting the disease in the process, then fly off to visit other plants.

Identifying Beet Leafhoppers
The beet leafhopper is very small-about 1/8 inch long, pale green to light brownish green and has wings that look like a tent when folded up vs spread out like a moth. See photo on left. They come when conditions are dry, hot and windy. Sound familiar? This is typical June weather here in the greater Santa Fe area.

I notice they leave after the monsoons come in July when it is cooler and wetter. You will know if they are in your garden as they come in and when you walk around your garden, you’ll see jumping little green bugs that fly off when you walk by. Then they leave—flying to the next garden. Because of this, you can’t really spray anything to get them because they hop so fast and only stay in the garden a short time—here today, gone tomorrow. By the time you notice something is wrong with your tomato plant, they are long gone. It takes about 2 weeks for symptoms to show up.

Symptoms

closup of leaves of curly top virus

Your tomato plant leaves will start to curl and the underside of the leaves and veins will turn a purplish color as pictured above.

 

curly top virus_helthy plant

Tomato Curly Top Virus-beginning stages and advanced stages


The leaves then start to wilt and the plant will look stunted. You might think it needs water but it doesn’t, it is sick and won’t recover. ‘Curly-Top Virus’ is only transmitted from bug to plant and is NOT transmitted from plant to plant hence you will see a healthy plant next to a sick plant. The pictures above show 2 plants with curly top. The first one is beginning to be sick with curly leaves and the veins will turn purple.  The second plant in the picture is advanced.

Now there are three cases where you may think you have curly top virus but may or may not have it.

Denver Downs Farm, Anderson, SC;  High temperature on black plastic; lower leaves only.

Physiological Leaf Roll-Photo courtesy Clemson University

The first condition that may not be Tomato Curly top Virus is Physiological Leaf Roll that can happen on some tomatoes and could be caused by various factors including stress and that is not necessarily curly top-if you plant has rolled leaves but no purple veins as shown above, it possibly has physiological leaf roll and look for why it may be stressed. It is getting enough water, too much water, too much nitrogen? Also drought, pruning, root damage and transplant shock can all be reasons for leaf roll. For more info on this condition go here.

purple tomato_purlple leaves

Phosphorus deficiency in tomatoes happen when the weather is still cold-not in June.

The second condition is early in the season, sometimes the leaves turn purple when it is still cold outside. This is a phosphorus deficiency. This never happens in June or later when it is warm but more in May if you plant early and it is still cold outside.

The third condition (no pic) is if you are growing a purple or black variety of tomato your plant may have purple veins so don’t pull it unless it start to looks sick with the curly leaves and looks like it needs water.

Remedies
There is NO CURE for this virus and if your tomato (or pepper for that matter) shows signs of the disease, you should pull the plant. You could leave the plant in BUT if another wave of leafhoppers come by and a healthy leafhopper bites your sick plant, it only takes 10 minutes in 90°F weather for it to be able to transmit the disease to one of your healthy plants. The best thing to do is pull any sick plant and dispose of it. I don’t compost ANY tomato plant that shows disease.

Here are some remedies:
• Leafhoppers do not like shade and if your plants are partly shaded, that may help keep them off but since most of us grow tomatoes in full sun that might be difficult.

Create a physical barrier with row cover

Put row cover over tomato plants

• The main thing I do is create a physical barrier between the bugs and the plants.  I now cover all tomato plants with row cover until the bugs pass. Wrap the row cover around your tomato cage and put a piece on top of the cage BEFORE they come.

• Lastly you could put out some tomatoes later in the season after the bugs leave but you’ll have to put in early season varieties so you can still harvest before the season ends. I buy gallon size at that point so as not to be too far behind. A couple of years ago when I was out at the Santa Fe Community Garden, I noticed many rows of sick tomato plants but one row of perfectly healthy plants and when I asked about them, it turned out they were put out about a month later than the rest of them and by then the leafhoppers were gone.

Dry, sunny, windy weather are perfect conditions for the leafhoppers so look out this summer-conditions are ripe again!

Santoro lettuce-a great butterhead variety

IMG_5764

This year, one of the lettuces I grew is called Santoro, a type of butterhead lettuce that is heat-resistant, cold resistant, has a wonderful taste and grows really big if given the chance. I got the seeds from Cooks Garden seed catalog. I started them inside the house on Jan 29, transplanted them into 2″ pots on Feb 14 and transplanted them again into the greenhouse in mid April.  I read somewhere Santoro lettuce can produce 12″ heads if you give them the room. So I spaced them really far apart to see if they could get that big. They say if you crowd big varieties they will never reach their maximum size. In the picture above I’ve picked the outer leaves to eat and wanted to see if they would grow back. The heads on the right haven’t been touched yet. As you can see I picked pretty hard. They grew back almost to the same size as the ones that weren’t picked.

IMG_5763

A couple of weeks later-Check out the size of these heads-a full 12 inches across. They are still growing in the greenhouse but now I’m picking the whole head  (instead of just the outer leaves) as I had to make way for the tomatoes that will grow in there. In fact I already have all 18 tomato plants (in wall of waters) inside the greenhouse as of May 13. I know it will get too hot for lettuces inside the greenhouse this summer so I’m starting to pull them to eat.

santoro lettuce_17 inches

May 31-I just picked this last head of Santoro lettuce yesterday (shown above between the tomatoes in the wall of waters) and it hadn’t bolted yet even though the temperatures in the greenhouse have gotten over 80 degrees. It’s handled 19 degrees to over 80 degrees! It reached 17 inches across! Hasn’t gotten bitter and is still soft and wonderful to eat. I’ve never had such great lettuce as this year, not only with this lettuce but with all of them in the greenhouse. Seems I’ve figured out how to be successful with them. I’ve done a lot of research on them from Nov-Dec to find some great varieties that were cold tolerant and now I’ve researched out what varieties of lettuce are heat tolerant, hoping to grow them in the shade this summer here in Santa Fe without bolting. Most of us don’t even try to grow lettuce in the summer as it is pretty warm here. I will list the heat tolerant varieties of lettuce in the next post and do an experiment with some of them outside in the garden.