My tomato plants are covered with row cover now but soon they will come off.
Hang in there! According to the weather apps, we are almost into the monsoon season here in Santa Fe. Historically it starts around the second week of July-let’s hope so. I for one am looking forward to it-we need the rain plus I would like to see my plants.
So be patient if you have your tomato plants covered with row cover. Some of you may be tempted to take them off early but we’ve waited this long and we are almost there.
The row cover is providing protection for your plants by acting as a physical barrier between your plants and the beet leafhopper that carries a deadly virus called Curly Top Virus (CTV) if it bites your tomato plants. Some of you haven’t done this and you may be lucky or not. You will know in about 3 weeks. But the good news is the bug either leaves or gets suppressed when the monsoons come in earnest and only then do I take off the row cover. I wait till it’s gone. Growing tomatoes should not be this hard, but it is here in the southwest. The northeast coast has their Late Blight (which is worse) and we have CTV.
I’ll post when I take the row cover off the plants and we can actually enjoy watching them grow and produce tomatoes!
Even a snake needs water apparently. This bull snake was visiting the water for the bees. It was huge-around 5 feet long. I just read that bull snakes and gopher snakes are actually the same snake and do need water!
I would encourage everyone to water their veggie crops 2x a day here in Santa Fe while we are having this extreme heat wave. The heat is really taking a toll and many plants are stressed to the max right now. Do not fertilize anything in this heat as that might add to their stress. Instead you might water with sea weed and SuperThrive or Vit. B which are good for plant stress. Don’t plant any seeds right now while the heat is on, rather wait till it is cooler and the soil can be kept moister.
Also adding row cover or shade cloth over plants should help. If you have any fencing, you could cut a piece and open it over your bed and put the shade cloth or row cover on top of that which the plants will love even more as the cloths will not rub on them but if not just put some medium weight row cover over them which won’t weigh too heavily. I would not use heavy weight row cover as it will not breathe and the row cover should not be tight over them.
Once we are over this period, you could go back to watering 1x a day and take off the row cover once the monsoons come-hopefully in the next few weeks but leave the row cover just to the side of the bed in case we get a hail storm, then I put it back over the bed again. This is of course assuming we get the monsoons!
Still trying to finish up the veggie garden. I better hurry or the season will be over! Still need to transplant some cabbages and amaranth that Alessandra and Chris gave me and some chard. Going to Italy for 2 weeks when I should have been planting put me behind but it was worth it–L’Italia è così bella!
Today I planted 4 Blackberry plants on the garden fence nearest the greenhouse for those of you who know my garden. Triple Crown is the variety and I got them at Newman’s Nursery. Triple Crown is a thornless variety that I first saw in the Master Gardeners Herb Garden that does very well here in Santa Fe. The ones I bought were in 2 gallon containers and cost $15 each which is a bargain and they are in great shape.
Part of the main veggie garden is being devoted more and more to perennial fruit as I have the room. Years ago I planted Himrod grapes, Victoria rhubarb and June-bearing strawberries and added more strawberries this year. All are doing well. In addition, this spring I planted a 30 foot row of Polana raspberries and now these Triple Crown blackberries.
I planted the blackberries this morning before the heat hit. I added some soil amendments and polymer crystals to help keep the water in the the root zone, made a well, put in the drip system with extra emitters as they like water and gave them seaweed and Vitamin-B mix to help with transplant and heat stress. Then I put straw around them to help keep water from evaporating and row cover over them to cut back the sun and heat on the new plants. I’m super excited to be putting in so many berries and can’t wait till next year when I hope I get some to EAT!
June 22, 2018
Liquid Light Glass • 926 Baca Street #3 Santa Fe, NM • 505.820.2222
Since I am a glassblower professionally, I wanted to share an art opening that Elodie Holmes & Enrico Emboli are having this Friday at our studio, Liquid Light Glass. Elodie & Enrico have done a collaboration of glass and bronze art. I think it is Elodie’s best show yet. Please come and enjoy this wonderful art. Here is a sneak preview from the new show. Don’t miss this one–it is fantastic.
‘Afterlife Passage’ 12.5″ x 26″ x 6” hot sculpted gold leafed glass, bronze, wood, steel.
Beans from Italy coming up nicely under row cover in a bamboo teepee
After a wonderful trip to Italy, I’m now back in the garden trying to get it finished. Seems I got a lot of dry beans in Tuscany at a Florence Farmers Market and have planted 4 different varieties-Fagioli Zolfini, Fagioli Piatellini Nuova, Fagioli con L’Occhio (a black-eyed pea) and Borlotti. These are dry bush beans. I love dry beans as I just have to plant them and after they are up, give them water and you don’t pick them till the end of the season after they dry. Not too many bugs bother them either at my place. They make great soups and stews in winter. So looks like this is the year of the bean.
But I have planted many other interesting crops this year as well. Other new veggies/fruits include the Bradford watermelon, Tahiti Butternut, a yellow zucchini called Rugosa Fruilana, Craupadine beets and my Fuggle hops and artichoke came back from last year and are doing well. Also 15 bare root raspberries I planted this spring are all up and doing nicely-the variety is Polona-I got them from Nourse nurseries online. My dream is to have so many raspberries I get sick of eating them (never!) And I’m starting a new thornless blackberry (Triple Crown) area in the garden. I got some beautiful 2 gal plants from Newmans for only $15.
And of course I have more tomatoes than I need but have cut down drastically since I am not at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. This year I’m growing more dwarf tomatoes than regular tomatoes and some of them are trials for Craig Lehouiller. All my tomatoes are caged and have row cover wrapped around them to protect them from the Beet leafhopper which passes a deadly virus to them here in the southwest called Curly Top Virus. The row cover is also great for protection from hail storms. It will come off when the monsoons arrive. Hope they do well and can’t wait to taste them. I haven’t eaten a tomato since last November when my crop finished as I won’t eat store-bought tomatoes. Guess I’m a tomato snob.
I’ve actually cut down the garden by 30% this year due to our drought. Pray for rain (no hail please!)
Here are some pictures from our Chianti Wine trip in Tuscany. Went to several vineyards and small towns on the Chianti Wine Trail. Beautiful countryside and great wine!