Category:UT FA R
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Home page of Rosemary Fasselin
Garden location: Salt Lake City, Utah
- Main Garden Interests
- My goal is to have a beautiful but productive garden. I try to mix flowers with fruits and vegetables to keep things aesthetically pleasing and useful at the same time. Tomatoes are my number one favorite vegetable and I like tomatoes to have a powerful flavor. As such, I lean towards tomatoes with more acid than not. Because my husband is not much of a vegetable eater, I try to grow things he likes so we can incorporate them as ingredients in our cooking. He enjoys picking things from the garden and eating or cooking with them, so that's encouraging. Herbs are a must to help with this.
- I try to grow a variety of tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, peppers, squash, melons, cucumbers, peas, beans, and carrots each year.
- We have a soil that is very high in clay so I try to add more and more organic material each year. So far (we've only live at the house for 3 years), this has included tilling in mulch, turning in manure with a shovel, and adding mulch in the hole for each plant. We also cover the entire garden with a mulch/compost each summer that works its way into the ground with a little help from my shovel in the autumn.
- I try to dig holes that are a minimum of 1 foot in diameter or twice the size of the current pot (whichever is bigger) for each plant. I pour in some mulch, use my shovel to mix it with the clay junk, add the plant, and voila!
- I don't have many seeds, but I'm happy to trade with or buy from anyone who is interested. I've only just begun my collection and so far I'm focused on two contries of my heritage -- Greece and Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). I'd be interested in any kind of seeds, especially tomatoes from these regions.
2011 Grow List
- Scarlet Runner
- Brussel Sprouts
- Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas
- Light Green, Autumn
- Celebrity F1
- Czech's Excellent Yellow
- George's Greek Beefsteak
- Greek Domata
- Julia Child
- Marianna's Peace
- Medvezhiya Lapa/Spiridonovskie seed mix (from Tatiana)
- 20110517 Tuesday -- Seedling Update
- Everything was planted too early inside. So I've learned that I'm going to start just about everything OUTSIDE rather than try to get a jump on things. It's just too painful to watch the poor things struggle to survive.
- I lost some squashes, a couple cucumbers, a pumpkin and other things. I've transplanted everything except the tomato seedlings which only came up last weekend, the two basils (the seedlings are growing slow, but look strong), the shiso which is looking okay but growing slowly, a pumpkin and a squash for my sister, and the eggplants which only just came up this weekend. The broccoli seedlings have been outside since early April and they're growing strong, but slowly. The weather has just been too cold!
- Beans were planted a couple weeks ago and peas a week before that -- both have come up and are starting to grow more mature leaves. Lemon cucumbers were transplanted two weeks ago and look okay; the Japanese cucumber seeds planted outside have yet to show. The zucchini seeds planted outside popped out last week and look healthy. The artichokes and brussel sprouts do not seem to have transplanted well but I'll keep my eyes on them.
- Two of my six patches of lettuce have come up and what was it that I mixed in with them? I can't remember... a couple of those areas are coming up, though! I planted two canteloupe seedlings a couple of days ago and they seem to be pleased with the cooler weather. The Celebrity tomatoes look great, but they are a couple months old and very healthy to begin with.
- The one thing I'm still waiting on (other than the Japanese cucumbers) is the Sprite melon. I had several of them inside but they died so I just put some seeds out a week and a half ago to see what they'll do.
- I'll have to post some pictures soon.
- 20110531 Tuesday -- Difficult weather
- The weather in Salt Lake has been very difficult this year. It rained all weekend while we were camping down south and there was snow on the ground yesterday morning. It melted fast, but the fact is that the excess water of the last 2-2.5 months has killed a lot of smaller plants. The canteloupes that I planted a couple weeks ago are essentially dead. The pumpkins and squash have all died except one which is still in a pot, hating it. Naturally, the broccolli and peas and beans are all doing well, if not growing slowly. The brussel sprouts and artichoke seedlings didn't make it but I DID notice a little shoot trying to grow on one of the asparagus roots. I had all but thrown in the towel on those!
- The tomato seedlings are all doing great. They've all got at least 2 sets of leaves on them and although they are small, they look healthy. I've been trying to keep them inside if it's raining and then on days like today (sunny), I move them out. The peppers also look good (and small) and I can tell the difference between them based on their leaf shape. My herbs (outside) are all doing really well; the oregano is in especially good shape which is a drastic change from the past two years (it seemed practically dead).
- The lettuce and arugala (??) are still growing and the calendula is looking like it's ready for me to relocate a bunch of it to other parts of the yard. My elephant garlic is growing but only very slowly and I've decided that I can't tell the difference between chives and wild garlic from Canada! The dill volunteers all look great although I have yet to see one tomato volunteer from last year. Still no sign from the sprite melons or Japanese cucumbers; I hope to see them both soon!
- The weather looks like it might hold for the week but who knows, really? I'm afraid my seedlings in the house will die eventually, preferring to be in the "wild" but I'm also very hesitant to loose them this late in the season by putting them out and having them rot in rain. Especially since I fear that it's going to get really hot, really quickly. What an unforgiving season this has been so far! I'm used to living in this desert where everything is more dry than most parts of the world -- this tropical weather feels totally beyond my skill level.
- 20110531 Tuesday -- Post Script
- I just learned that the Spoon variety cross pollinates very easily and since I'd like to save seeds from my tomatoes, I can't plant these seedlings close to the other tomatoes. As such, I may have to give them to my mom for planting in a pot or two.
- 20110623 Thursday
- The first day of summer has come and gone and there has been some, but not a huge amount of progress in my jardin. The biggest signs of growth have come from my dward grey peas that have the most beautiful little blooms on them -- I ordered them because they were relatively inexpensive and I always some nitrogen fixing, but they've been pleasant suprise! I'd say they're almost 4 feet high which is well beyond what their package states as their height. They're very bushy, which suprised me and taught me for next year to plant them further apart, but other than that, I'm very pleased.
- I also noticed two or three blossams on my scarlet runner peas, so I'm excited to keep them growing and blooming. I have put some tomatoes in the garden but will need to pass the rest on to my mother for pot planting. In my garden, I have two Celebrity F1 plants, a Julia Child, a Marianna's Peace, a George's Greek Beefsteak, and two Greek Domatas. The Spoon, Czech's Excellent Yellow, Medvezhiya Lapa, Spiridonovskie and an additional Greek Domata will all be going to my mom's house.
- The best news I have to offer is that the heat has finally started to turn on. Last week was mostly in the 80s (F) and even though we had a whole day of heavy rain on Sunday, today got up to 92F and the rest of the week is supposed to follow after. I think the artichokes and eggplants are finally get the weather they deserve! While they grow, I'll continue to harvest my dill, sage, oregano, rosemary, and parsley. And salad greens, of course! Still waiting on basil, brussel sprouts, asparagus (though there have been a few skinny little sprouts), and broccoli. Here's to wonderful growth!!
- 20110629 Wednesday
- There's good news and there's bad news.
- The bad news is that two of my tomato plants have what looks to be early blight -- Julia Child and Marianna's Peace both had brown spots on them when I looked on Monday evening. Yesterday after work, I sprayed them with a baking soda mixture and then removed the infected leaves, though it pained me to do so. They're still so small, I hope they can kick this problem. I've never had any sort of pests, illness, or growing problems with my tomatoes before, so this is a new feeling for me. I really hope they pull through.
- The good news is that I picked and ate my first pea last night. It's the dwarf sugar pea I described last time (up to my eyes and still growing and blooming) and the peas are delicious. My husband, who hates peas because his mom used to insist he eat the canned product she put on his plate, took a bite and said, "that's not what peas taste like... not the peas I've eaten." So I'd say that's a win for me and my garden!
- Also, I gave a few tomatoes to my mom -- Greek Domata, Spoon, and Czech's Excellent Yellow. I'll follow up with her to see how they're growing. The Medvezhiya Lapa/Spiridonovskie mix found a home in my garden and seems to be doing fine.
- 20110701 Wednesday
- Saw the first green tomatoes appear today; they're on the Celebrity F1 plants and they're smaller than dimes. I'm excited to finally see some actual production.
- 20110725 Moday
- So far, the tomatoes are all still green, but I have some baby Spoons which appeared four days ago. I also picked two cucumbers this weekend -- it only took them about a week to go from "visible" to "edible". These are the Suyo cucumbers. Other than that, I noticed that something is eating my beans before they have a chance to appear. The plants have been blooming like mad for over a month but I have yet to see one bean. Well, that's because something is eating them off down to the stem before the flowers turn into beans. Could be grasshoppers, could be those little green caterpillers... anyone have any idea how to get rid of this terrible pest?
- One sad thing that I noticed yesterday is that the wild penstamon that I transplanted from nature into my garden suddenly took a turn for the worst. Looks like it was getting far too much water. So I dug it up and put it in a clay pot with a bunch of sand. I hope it makes it, but I'm doubtful. I really wish it had at least had a chance to go to seed, but it was in the middle of blooming so I'm probably out of luck.
- Oh, and mom says the tomatoes I gave her are growing great guns. I'll be sure to ask her to keep track of when the tomatoes actually set and how long it takes until she's eating them.
- 20110801 Monday
- I walked through the garden on Wednesday evening and all but one tomato plant have tomatoes on them! The Celebrity F1s are getting bigger and bigger, but still very green. I still haven't seen any beans, thanks to what ever critter is eating them, but the flowers are pretty. There's another eggplant that's almost ready for picking and it looks like the broccolli is getting ready to explode.
- I planted some more dill a few weeks ago and it's popped up, but still very small. It's inspired me to consider replanting the beans. We'll see. The weather here has been very strange -- hot and humid all weekend and today it just poured and poured rain. I figure this is good for the cucumbers and melons, since they usually don't get enough water in my yard, but the tomatoes may or may not ripen if it stays so cool! Anyways, things are looking good.