Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The driveway garden

The potted plants in the driveway are thriving. The squash plant has been putting forth beautiful blooms every day, and at last some little squash are starting to form. (You can just barely see one at the base of the flower in the picture.) Every day they have grown visibly, which is fun.

The tomatoes in pots are much happier than the few that I planted in the ground in the backyard. Planting tomatoes in pots wouldn't be my first choice, if I had more sun in back. But there are some advantages. It's fairly easy to make sure that they get a steady supply of moisture, which tomatoes like. And it's easy to provide good soil - I used half finished compost and half potting soil for mine. Fresh soil means there's less likelihood of fungal diseases that affect tomatoes. These can remain in regular garden soil over a period of several years, once tomato plants have been infected. The recommendation for in-ground gardens is to plant in different locations from year to year, but that can be hard to do with a small yard.

One downside of pots is that tomato plants get so big! They always sneak up on you too. One day they're well-behaved little things, and suddenly they're sprawling giants. Kind of like kids, I guess. I'm using tomato ladders to support mine, which is working fairly well. Next year maybe I'll test some more docile patio-sized plants to see if I can find some tasty varieties. But for now, I've got the real thing - 3 varieties of heirloom indeterminate tomatoes that keep growing like Jack's beanstalk!

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