Political Commentary

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: Troy Farm Plant Sale; Warm Weather Plant Sale at Eagle Heights; Actively Aerated Compost Tea; Tomatoes; More Free Bean Seeds

Hello Gardeners,

TROY FARM PLANT SALE – On Saturday, May 12, Troy Farm will be selling certified organic garden plants. The sale will be from 10am – 2pm, at 502 Troy Drive on Madison’s north side (in the parking lot at the intersection of Troy Drive and Lerdahl Road). There will be 20 types and 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs. 4-Packs will be $2.50 per plant or $8 per pack. 6-packs will be $1.50 per plant or $8 per pack. Here’s a link to a full list of plants and descriptions: http://www.communitygroundworks.org/sites/default/files/2018%20Troy%20Plant%20Sale.pdf

WARM WEATHER PLANT SALE: Garden to Be will return to Eagle Heights for the second plant sale of the season on Sunday, May 20, from 11am – 2pm. Plants to be sold will include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basils, cucumbers, zucchini, some squashes/pumpkins, melons, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuces, and parsley. I’ll get you a more complete list closer to the date.

AACT – On Saturday, May 12, 9am – 11:30 am at Eagle Heights, Gary K will offer his actively aerated compost tea for free to gardeners. This tea, mixed with water, will add helpful microorganisms to your garden and rejuvenate your soil. Bring an empty gallon container for it. Gary will be happy to share his recipe, so you can make your own.

TOMATOES – Almost everyone in our gardens plants tomatoes. But there are hundreds of varieties - how do you know what kind to plant? Well, to begin with, tomatoes are either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomato plants are developed to stop growing once they start setting fruit.  This means generally that determinate tomato plants give you earlier tomatoes. Also, all the tomatoes on a plant tend to ripen at pretty much the same time. Indeterminate plants will continue to grow larger until frost or diseases kill them, and they will produce tomatoes over a longer season.
Think about how much space you have – some tomato plants are compact, and some can get quite big. Think about color – tomatoes can be red, yellow, orange, black, or green. Or striped. Decide whether you want modern hybrids, or old heirloom varieties. Once you get past all that, think about what kind of tomatoes you use. Cherry tomatoes for salads? Paste tomatoes for sauce? Large round tomatoes for bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches? (or tofu, lettuce and tomato? I know – it’s not the same.)

Whatever varieties you choose, give your tomato plants your sunniest spot, and best soil. Mulch well, and water frequently if it’s dry. Here’s a link to a website with a lot of information: https://www.tomatofest.com/tomato-questions.html

MORE BEAN SEEDS – It seems a little early, but the long-range forecast is showing continued warm weather for the next few weeks. So it’s time now to plant beans. We have a box of bean seeds from 2014, which I will be putting out on the share shelves at both gardens in the next few days. Bean seeds typically last three years, but these should still germinate pretty well, if you plant them thickly. Help yourself.

Happy Gardening,

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