Thursday, May 27, 2010

Garden Visitor, Tomato Supports and Megablooms

garden gnome 2
I came home the other day to find a visitor in my garden. I guess Marc decided that we needed someone to watch over the veggies 24/7 since the chipmunks took it upon themselves to devour all of my strawberries.

garlic scapes
The garlic scapes have arrived...well at least a couple of them. I've never eaten scapes before and am curious as to how they will taste. I'm thinking of preparing them grilling them.

tomato supports
In other news, I finally got around to putting up a support for my super early tomatoes. One of the plants had keeled over from yesterday's winds so I had to get the trellis up ASAP. I used 6 ft steel poles (7 ft would have been better) and strung them horizontally with some 16 gauge wire.

tomato supports 2
The first wire was hung about 10 inches from the ground. The tomato plants were then attached to the wire using plastic reusable tomato clips sold by Johnny's Selected Seed. As the plants grow, I will add additional tiers of wiring spaced about 15 inches apart. (To see a video about this tomato trellising setup, click here.)

tomato megabloom
As I was attaching my Cherokee Purple tomato to the trellis, I noticed my first megabloom. It should make for an interesting looking tomato.

sungold tomato
And it looks like the first tomatoes this year will be Sungold. I can't wait to taste them!

garden gnome
I hope my new friend decides to stay for a while. I'm not superstitious but when it comes to gardening, I need all of the luck that I can get!


  1. Cute garden gnome! The garlic scapes look yummy. I grow softneck varieties so I don't get scapes much. I have a lot of tomatoes blooming at the moment, but I don't think any are on the CP yet. I will be watching for the mega blooms though.

  2. You're garden looks great!! Yummy....tomatoes soon!! I'm waiting for it to stop raining here in the Pacific NW. My veggies are drowning! =0(

  3. What a sneaky little gnome! I'm sure he'll bring your garden luck. ;-)

    Chipmunks are so adorable (my dad fed them nuts through the screen door of their kitchen for yeeaaarrrss), but when it comes to eating the crop? Un-uh! No mercy for the lil buggers (and my dad feeds them no longer after they destroyed the ground below their brick walkway).

    Oooh! Grilling garlic scapes sounds wonderful! I've only ever heard of them made into a pesto... Let us know how they taste.

  4. Sorry about your strawberries. I hope that your gnome does a good job watching over your garden.

    I am using the same support system for my tomatoes this year. Have you used this system before? I have read that it works well. I guess we will see.

  5. Tomato plants are looking great. I also have a few flowers, but no fruit yet.
    Your trellis system was also one of ideas that I was considering. Tomatoes I’m growing get to be very heavy and big, so I’m not sure would this kind of support be enough. Last year I had wooden poles and they were falling down as a result of heavy fruits.

    I’m growing garlic this year for the first time. It’s good to see what I can expect soon.

  6. Maybe it's Marc's way of telling you he booked a trip on! Hehe, love the gnome, hopefully he will guard against would-be garden marauders! Your tomato setup looks similar to the "Florida Weave" system I used last year. It seems alot of us are getting those mega-blooms this year, hopefully that is a sign it will be a good tomato year!

  7. Your tomatoes are looking great, Thomas! Soon the fencing will be covered with tomato vines. Will you be pruning these? I planted some tomatoes yesterday evening when the winds calmed down and am hoping to plant the rest today.

    I too noticed that my garlic had scapes beginning to grow. They are early for me this year. Last year I didn't have garlic scapes until mid-July.

  8. GrafixMuse - Yes, I've been removing a few suckers but am not gonna go too crazy about it this summer. Cynthia from Love Apple Farm has a theory that more leaves means more photosynthesis, which then means a more productive plant that makes sweeter fruit. Our summers are so short here that I'd like to give my tomato plants every opportunity to make as much food for themselves as possible.

  9. Erin- you are too funny.

    Thomas- I am with you on the suckers. I am going to pinch them back, not off this year.

    Everything looks great! I must go discover the news of all these megablooms, or whatever it is I keep reading about.

  10. My husband just surprised me with a new gallon size water bottle for when I am gardening! I LOVE gifts that surround around my garden. Let us know if the gnome brings you luck...I'll hint to my husband that I need one of those too:)

  11. Erin - I wish Marc was booking us a somewhere tropical!

  12. Nice garden gnome Thomas : ) Your garden looks fabulous...My Cherokee Purples are also starting to bud...I can't wait to try them!Thanks again for the seed.

  13. I don't have any blooms on my tomatoes or scapes on my garlic quite yet. I keep looking for the scapes thinking with the warm weather they should be early this year. Usually I'd get them a week or two from now. Your gnome is so cute.

  14. A gnome, Oh Em Gee...

    Gorgeous pictures.

    I love scapes (jealous) in a simple risotto, or cool soup.

  15. The gnome is cool! I have a concrete one with a mushroom in the basement, should really get it outdoors some day. I noticed my garlic was starting to flower too, seems kind of early this year.

  16. I envy your garden! The plants looked so well taken care of! And you have a cute little guard there!

  17. And I thought the gnome meant that Travelocity had signed a lucrative sponsorship deal!!

  18. I love your gnome, so if you get fed up of him or he doesn't guard your crops well enough ...just send him over here and I'll foster him for you! :)

    Your garden is looking wonderful and thanks for the tip about eating garlic scapes never occured to me that we could eat them!

  19. Nice trellising system! I've stir-fried garlic scapes with other veggies and been very happy. I hope the gnome serves you well...I had to resort to more serious strategies for my New Hampshire chipmunks.

  20. Here are some ideas of what we've been doing with our garlic scapes:

    Love the gnome! (and your blog - I've been checking in regularly for many months but this is my first time commenting),

  21. Thomas ... the scapes keep well in the fridge ... even into early August.

    Here is a recipe to try

  22. Yes, we are having great weather...hope it keeps up! The red sails lettuce looks yummy, glad to hear it's tasting good too. And everyone needs a gnome (or cats :) to keep those chippers away.