Wednesday, July 25, 2012

know that green "powder" that stains your hands when picking?

Cluster of Whopper Tomatoes

 Have you ever been working in your tomato plants on a hot, humid day and realized that your fingers are covered with a kind of yellow-green powder?  Some of us are even a bit allergic to the residue of tomato plants.

I've encountered it for years and never really thought much about it - the slightly sticky powdery stuff comes off the tomato leaf hairs - and then I found this interesting article (thanks to Seeds from Italy's newsletter).

Here's the scoop on what that stuff is!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where are all my right-hand garden gloves?

Okay, I give.

Where are all my right-handed gardening gloves?

Am I the only person who grabs gloves on the way out to the garden only to discover that I have only half of each pair in my possession?

Oh, I know what has happened .... I've pulled one glove off to answer the cellphone in my pocket, or to grab a small bit of something or to clean my glasses....... but what the @#$%*  did I DO WITH IT after that?????

What happens to your gloves?  Am I the only fool who consistently ends up with half of six pairs by the end of the season???  <sigh> Somehow my ramshackle gardening never matches my internal image of myself as The Lady Gardener of our small corner of paradise. ----->

FYI, the gloves in the photo are absolutely The Best Gloves Ever.  Seriously.  Treat yourself at (or your local retailer if they carry them) and grab several pairs.  They are Atlas Nitrile Garden Gloves NT370.  I'll try to put a link to the Amazon match on the Inspired Garden Reads widget over on the left of the blog page, just scroll through the books. (I'm not the best at this). You really want to read all those books anyway, I'm just telling you.....they are invaluable and, yes, inspiring!

You can also order the gloves less expensively through some of the Amazon retail associates and probably dozens of other retailers.  So order away.....

THEN, when you end up with extra right-handed gloves at the end of the season.... send them to me !!  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Green or Black Gardening Tools? Really?

Who on earth had the bright idea of making gardening tools green?
Obviously, this designer was no gardener.
Do you think I can find my favorite black handled trowel?
Where ever it landed in the piles of weeds and dirt......
Or my nifty green handled pruners?????

I mean really.  My Fiskars pruners get used all the time, not even really because I love them the most although they are decent pruners.
Nah.  It's because they have RED handles and I can FIND them.

You can bet that if I'm wading into underbrush, armed with those trusty long-handled loppers, and they have GREEN handles.... I'm a-gonna lose those loppers before the brush whacking is done. I'll set them down in a sea of whacked branches and then... and then....


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Will You Love Me Even If I Neglect You?

Now is the summer of our discontent... paraphrasing Will Shakespeare.  After months of being neglected by yours truly, who was completely distracted by a lovely lime green bicycle and a good cause.... my garden is tallying up its wins and losses.  Any and all annuals are toast - with the startling exception of the Italian pepper plants.  Who knew those would be the tough guys?

Oh, and the self-seeded zinnias.  Rangy, disorganized and oh, so cheerful!  Bless 'em!

ALL the tomato plants died except one 'Sun Sugar' that was grown in a pot as an eventual present for a dear friend.  The tomatoes, cherry and heirloom and romas, were planted directly into new garden bed areas that were apparently full of blight. We've always planted into raised beds because of the horrible clay soil - and I skipped it this spring.  Bad move.  No tomatoes. I can hardly believe it.  My reputation is ruined.  Phooey.

Do I try replanting in this heat - or simply devote my dollars to supporting our local farm stands?  I know, I know - any other tomatoes are never, ever quite as good as those from your own garden.  But still.....

The blueberry bushes rejoiced in the mild spring and early summer and the regular downpours offset any neglect on my part.  Lovely bushes... great harvest. No, no, I don't weigh things.  We got lots.  Handfuls, bucketfuls, enough for us and family and friends. 

Finally, with very little encouragement, the bushes are developing some size.  We miss the huge - 10' and larger - rabbiteye bushes that we removed years ago, but these youngsters are starting to come along.    Notice that they are doing so without weed killer, mulch or any other favors on our part.  Rabbiteyes (Vaccinium ashei) - you can't beat 'em!