Monday, October 31, 2011
Tomato Mahal 2011
Well, tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums are IN and have survived two nights and a very cold below 4 degree night last night. Behold the Tomato Mahal 2011. Yes I know, every year there is a new structure. But as we also know, tomatoes are VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS around here. So why the tunnel? Well, the community garden is just on the edge of a frost hollow. So, night time temperatures are always a couple of degrees cooler and that my friends means there is always a risk of frost.......AND, since the bush fires, the garden is exposed to the PARCHING ONCian westerly / north westerly winds. So the tunnels protect my little babies from the frost and the wind.
I am particularly happy with the seedlings this year. The earlier ones look a bit longer (taller?) than one might like, but that is OK with marties because you can plant them very deep and they will shoot roots from the sides. I think there was a light issue while they were upstairs in the mezzanine level. I have been experimenting with a biological product from VRM the company I do some work for. I LOVE these guys. I LOVE learning about soil biology. It does my head in but I LOVE it. Anyway the product I have been using is called XLR8 Ca (link will download brochure) and it is especially designed to help make calcium available to plants. Which means they are tougher and hardier and stronger and less sappy and less irresistible to the 44578902987 insects pests and diseases that like to pounce on weak seedlings.
And lets face it, pretty much anything bad that happens to tomatoes (blossom end rot, fungus, wilt etc) happens because of problems with calcium deficiency or uptake issues. Well, Calcium and other micro-nutrient issues like Boron. Oh, and except for the strange affliction that suddenly comes upon one's tomato, pumpkin and eggplant seedlings especially when they are outside in the sun "hardening up" for which I think the technical term is "duckus proximinatus". Yep, that is BAD. But only seems to affect the plants on the edge of the benches.......
Now they are all in, I will start using VRMs XLR8 P for phosphorous uptake, and possibly the nitrogen one as well, to help boost flowering and fruiting.
This poppy thought you might like to admire her........Poppies self sew down at the community garden. We have the most amazing colours. They pop up in the weirdest places but they are lovely. You just have to remember not to weed them all out when they are little.
And here are some vista bella apples. These are a very early variety.