Friday, July 8, 2011

Cutting back.

Since it seems my big strong husband has been somewhat incapacitated recently with his back I've taken to really cutting back in the garden. Literally. I'm trying to keep the summer mess from getting out of control. Not to forget the mess that I am still cleaning up from the unauthorized use of my sprayer. *AHEM* but we won't talk about who was responsible for that.

We've also had a really nasty wind storm recently that knocked out my tomatoes, again. All but the ones in the orange trees suffered some damage. I lost around 30 immature fruit that would never ripen and are too small to make fried green tomatoes out of. My poor Key Lime tree (potted) got knocked all over the yard and even the pepper plants were banged up and are missing a few limbs and fruit now too. So the 'cutting back' theme is really being taken to heart right now.

The last 2 days I have spent limbing up any tomato branches that had snapped and while I was doing that I decided to go ahead and take any non producing ones out, too. It's much tidier in the garden now. In Florida most tomatoes will not set during our summers and so it is prudent to restart our plants for fall to get the best harvests. I did find that I still have 3 plants that are still setting fruit nicely. So now it is decision time and I must decide what would be best for the garden and for my family. We of course would LIKE to continue to have the tomatoes out there growing. However, they all have septoria and since the typical summer rains (monsoons each afternoon) and extreme humidity have now set in, it's likely they will all succumb to one type of disease or another given enough time. There is also the idea that while the new baby 'mater plants are growing inside the house and the patio that space in the garden will be open for other uses. A quick maturing crop obviously - but something could go there.

I also trimmed up the tomatillo plant. I say plant. It's really plants. I plant 2 together. Otherwise I would have to wait FAR longer than my patience can hold out for mature fruit. I whacked at that sucker until I got 2 trash bags filled with trimmings. It's still a good 3' tall and 3' in each direction. But it isn't 6 feet in each direction any more. And unlike the tomato plants I didn't lose very much unripe fruit. I cut loads of blossoms off - potential fruit, but not set fruit. This should allow the fruit that has set to mature faster, and the beans that the tomatillo was encroaching on to grow a little better as well. It will also hopefully discourage the stupid stink bugs from having a feast in there. BLECH!

This weekend it is supposed to keep to the monsoon pattern so not very likely that much will get done out there, but I am hoping to get the strawberry bed cleared, get in a  late patch of peanuts and continue to work on the blueberry shrub area. If I can manage just those things I'd be a happy camper, but my list of "TO DO" is getting much longer these days and my time is getting shorter. I think it might be time to bribe the children.

'Till next time!



  1. Since I am the lone keeper of the garden, every year I swear I'm cutting back, as it gets harder and harder for me to keep it up. But I don't. I just keep swearing ;-)

  2. Wow Barbie, it sounds like you're handling a very difficult situation well. I say that as I look out my window at our 3rd major rainstorm since Saturday and worry about our garden too. We're getting to much heavy rain. Still in working bit-by-bit and making one tough decision after the next, you seem to be doing a great job. Thanks for posting.

  3. Hang in there - bribery does sound like a good thing! lol It's hard to get everything done yourself when you usually have someone else helping you. I hope your husband's back gets well soon and that you get the majority of the necessary chores done.

  4. Oh no! I hope your hubby gets better soon and that you get to work full steam your garden again.

  5. Hang in there. Sorry for the recent setbacks but keep at it! I hope your hubby heals soon!

  6. Take a deep breath. One job at a time. You are doing very well coping with everything. Hope hubby back be well soon.