The Garden Experiment: week 5


The cherry tomatoes take off, and Kent hopes every day that they'll start turning red. Every day before we go outside to water the plants, he says, "Go see! Tomatoes turn REEEEEDDDDD!"

Who knew Japanese eggplants made such gorgeous flowers?

Not to be outdone, the bell pepper produces a flower as well.

What was that about the tomatoes outgrowing their cages?

Kent's sunflower is even outgrowing the tomato cages.

The orange flowers I planted in the little garden are doing really well — I just love them, but I can't seem to remember what they're called. The coleus and dianthus in this garden are thriving as well, and Kent and I *both* know the names of those. At least I'm not a total loser.

I am so excited about how this is going, and I'm already scheming for next year. I think we're going to have to buy more lumber so our raised bed can have a twin, because there are a lot of vegetables (and watermelons!) that are calling out to me...

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Everything looks awesome! I love that Kent is excited to see the tomatoes turn red. I've heard that for picky kids who won't eat vegetables, gardening is a great way to get them to eat veggies because they see the whole process and are involved in it. (Though I know you've said he's somewhat picky, I can't remember if he eats veggies ok or not. Still though, it can't hurt!) We're gradually adding more to our garden, I need to update my blog with photos. (well, I need to update it in the first place!)

As for tomatoes outgrowing - you can supplement with stakes on the main stem(s), and/or switch the cages out for a taller one (before the plants get so big that you can't lift the cage off - or maybe they're already too big?). I am a fan of the tri-fold cages (which store flat). Also, someone else in our garden plot had a unique solution - they turned the cage upside down so it was just resting on the ground, and the stakes that usually go into the ground could provide additional support when the plant gets tall. What a way to think outside the box (or cage! HA!). Steve said it might turn over as the plant begins to lean on it though, which is a good point. Some other form of securing the cage would be necessary.

I'm so excited that you love gardening! Isn't it awesome? :-)

OH -- I just remembered that I never answered your e-mail about the best way to pick basil. Will do that right now...
Can we fry the green tomatoes yet?
Heh, Ann, do you guys not have a place where you can get green tomatoes? Our local produce place has them a lot, as do some of the farmers at the Saturday market. Good luck hunting some down! If you want to know how to fry them, just email me and let me know. It's easy.

Lauren, thanks for the tomato advice! I may check out the bigger cages at Lowe's this weekend, or look for some that fold, or I might just leave them as they are this year and see what happens. As for Kent eating veggies, no, he does not. Gardening *might* help, but I'm not holding out any hope-- I'm looking at it more as a way for us to worship the soil together, get to know our neighborhood bugs, and learn about patience. =) If he becomes a tomato or eggplant eater, that will be a pleasant but definitely unexpected side effect!
Erica, I'm amazed at how quickly everything grows down there in the warmer weather! Our tomato plants are still babies. :-(
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