Tomato Disaster

**Warning, this post contains images of tomato carnage, if you are squeamish, look away.**

We’ve had a lot of rain this year.  Very strange for normally drought ridden Georgia.  I thought this was good since I didn’t have to water the garden very often.  What my lazy self didn’t realize is that too much rain is really bad for tomatoes.  We’ve lost a ton to splits, had almost all of the plants (and cages) knocked down in heave storms, and I think we have leaf blight killing the plants.  We’ve started picking any with a tinge of red and started preserving them thinking they won’t last very long in the garden.

DSCN8650

DSCN8649

DSCN8647

*sigh*  At least I’ve learned a lot of what not to do next year.

Advertisements

Preparing for Winter Gardening

I’ve been having quite a battle with the grass that has been growing where I now have my garden.  Now that’s a weed!  I figured I should prepare the space for my winter garden a little better.  So today, I put down a layer of cardboard boxes to start to kill the grass now.  Some people use black plastic that you can buy in the store, but I didn’t want to use plastic plus we had these boxes left over from our recent move.

DSCN8449

What are you doing to prepare for winter gardening now?

Eeek a Ghost! Pepper…

The hero has been wanting to grow ghost pepper, also known as naga bhut jolokia peppers, for a long time.  We both love spicy food and ghost peppers are supposed to be the spiciest peppers in the world according to the scoville scale which measures spiciness.  We looked for them online and only found kind of sketchy websites that sold them.  We had made a contact with a local farmer for next year, but we wanted some asap.

So today we went to Randy’s Nursery in Lawrenceville.  They specialize in exotic plants and water gardens.  We had mainly just wanted to look around and see what we could see, but we also decided to ask about ghost pepper plants.  They not only had them, they had a whole shelf of them.  They also had a great selection of other hot peppers.  We now have a go to place for hot pepper plants.

Anyways, we bought a ghost pepper plant and planted it in the yard.  We’ll see how it grows.

DSCN7803

Athens Farmer’s Market Scores

So it’s still fairly early in the farmer’s market season, there’s only a few things that are ready for harvest right now.  But we went to the Athens Farmer’s Market and got some yummy stuff.  It was packed with people both selling and buying.  We even ran into a friend of the minion and his parents there.  There was a stall selling plants and they had some Habanero and other hot peppers, but no ghost pepper.  He said they used to sell them but there wasn’t enough demand.  He also gave us his card and said to contact their farm and they might be able to grow them for us in the future.  The hero has been looking for ghost pepper plants for a while now, he really wants to grow the hottest pepper in the world.

What we did find there were some carrots, ruby chard, and a loaf of seeded bread.

DSCN7579

We ate some of the bread on the way home and I had some of the chard in a smoothie.  So far everything has been great.

When we got home we checked on our own garden and finally harvested a few of our cayenne peppers.  They’re still green, but we’re excited about growing our own food and we wanted to encourage the plant to make more.  The hero chopped one up and put it in leftover chili he was having for lunch.  The minion and I tried a tiny bite of them, but they weren’t hot at all.  The minion spit her piece out.

DSCN7589

Sweet, Sweet Sugar Snap Peas

My dad’s garden had yielded lots of sugar snap peas.  Sugar snap peas are a great early crop, he planted the seeds in April and they have been enjoying the peas for a few weeks now.

DSCN7531

I plan on doing this next year because I love these things!  The minion and I love to snack on them raw, but you can also cook them.  Either way you need to snap the ends off and string them.  You can eat the pods on these however.

DSCN7562

Throw them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes or until they are the desired texture for you.  You can season them after you take them out of the microwave but they really don’t need anything, they have a lot of sweet, earthy flavor on their own.

Bunnies Love Sweet Potatos

Their leaves anyways.  If you recall, I had a bit of a battle on my hands over my sweet potato plants as the bunnies who live in my backyard kept eating them.  Apparently my dad has had the same problem with his sweet potatoes.  He had them in a cage from the start but apparently his cage was too small and the bunnies were eating a neat little circle where they could get to the plant through the cage.  Here’s a photo of some of the damaged stems, they are all around the outer rim of the plant.

DSCN7521

Anyways, he changed to a larger cage and now the bunnies truly can’t get to them.

DSCN7519

Beware if you plant sweet potatoes, the bunnies are coming.

Giant Grape Tomatos

Grape tomatoes are bigger than I though they would be.  Not the actual tomato, but the plant.  I am growing a Juliet Roma Grape Tomato plant in my garden this year and it is trying to take over.  I didn’t know this but cherry and grape tomato plants get bigger than regular tomato plants.

DSCN7472

There is a cage around it, you just can’t really see it because the plant is OVERGROWN!  I told my dad that I was pruning it a bit on one side where it was trying to take over a pepper plant and he told me that you are really ‘supposed’ to prune tomatoes and  that I can grow new plants from the branches that I prune off.  I’m not going to start to prune all my tomatoes, but I did replant one of the branches I pruned off the next time.  Then I decided on a whim to try to prune it ‘properly’  Just to see what happens.

DSCN7475

I don’t have any idea if it will make a difference or even if I will be able to keep up with it.  Or hey, even if the branch will re-root, but it’s worth a shot.