Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Tomato Support Idea

I was looking for ideas for supporting my tomato plants.  The internet is the obvious source. Only last year I came to know that supports for tomato plants are absolutely necessary, when I actually grew 'on purpose'.  Earlier, these volunteer seedlings would sprout at odd places, esp. where the kitchen waste was deposited.  But the plant was ignored.  It would touch the ground and it would rot.  When I saw other gardeners on the internet grow tomato so effectively, I thought of giving it a shot having planned the new garden, [serious garden!] for 2013.  Many beautiful ideas are available. But my formula is to use what is on hand, as much as possible. 

My friend had given me a number of hanging pot frames.  I was not using many of them.  When I was hanging around in the Yarden scratching the head for some way to use them, a brilliant idea flashed.  I had recently took out from the pile a few iron rods from construction left over material.  I wanted to make a plant support with it.  The idea now was to fasten these hanging pot frames to this iron rod which serves as a tomato frame.  I pushed in the two ends of the rod into the ground.  

I had made a 'vine support pole' more than ten years ago, from a PVC pipe and many junked pens. This was lying around unused. I now fastened some hanging pot frames to this passing the pipe through the centre so that there is space around the pole for the plants to spread leaves.  I fastened 3 of them about 15 inches apart. Since the plant had already grown 4 feet tall, I carefully inserted the very tender plants that were 'workable' through the spaces.  It should work well. 

Watching out for the next few weeks how they grow, now having more light.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fish Eye View of Yarden

A new fish eye lens has been added to the paraphernalia.  Anything new asks for experimentation trials. Went around the Yarden with Canon 550d with this attachment. It is funny with the corners but it covers a lot of angle. The human face will be funnier when taken from a closer range. 

standing at the front door, I saw this. 

Went to the opposite end at the front gate. The rock-wall on the right where pots are kept was built by me some months ago. On the left, the stone trough with water lily, hibiscus, podranea can be seen. Almond tree and Fiddlewood tree, scooter shed... mail box at the gate....

Sitting on the pondside bench I saw what you are seeing now.  But did you also notice my knees? To the right would be my Yarden. 

Entrance to my Eden. Bird bath, trellis gate [repurposed], offset of the house on the left. 

Standing there, turning back...pond on the left, house on the right. All three trees are in this.  Aegle marmelos, Fiddlewood and Almond. Now you see why I cannot have any other plants there.  But the banana and papaya plants are near the Aegle, beyond the pond.

My Eden is flanked by the two tiled sheds you see in this.  The fish had flown higher and settled on top the adjacent new house. The street from where much nuisance is caused is on the left.  It was a morning and so there are hardly anyone. Garbage was out of the frame. 

Let us enter the Eden Space.  Full view! The fish sees both sheds on either side! 

Took this shot standing the tomato plant on the left, out of view. 

Going back further.... 

Cosmos Picotee colours in one frame.

Another view. The passage is on far left, "outside" the Eden area. 

This is from the other end at the trellis gate. Passage on the left now. 

Green door... the garden tool shed I built myself.  You will see it soon in my Junk blog. Standing at the back door side, I see what you see.  Hope you were able to locate my Eden from here!! Do not get distracted by the contents in the shed that is glaring at you!! :)

When I am not found anywhere outside, I may be in here.

Or most likely to be here. The reclining chair on the left is calling me!

August Updates - Colours!

After the July rains, how fast plants have grown!  The last I posted was 12 days ago.  Now let us see how the Yarden looks like.  Tomatoes are yielding nicely.  A small harvest.  But there is one wax tomato posing in this basket.

Tomato plant is obscured by the Morning Glory from this angle taken from the offset of the house. The bicycle wheel is ready to take the vine which is supposed to grow up the wall. I have relocated Antigonon tubers, but they do not seem to be showing signs of recovery.  Some other flowering vine will be planted if Antigonon fails.  Profuse flowering of the pink MG.  Never expected this would do so vigorously. 

The Holmskioldia is in full bloom, a treat to the Sunbirds and Tailorbirds. The jaquemontia when it grows up just about where the orange spray bottle is hung, it will add some blue.

The yellow now.  First time I'm growing Gaillardia.  My local friend Ramaswamy gave his extra seedlings.  I gave him Evening Primrose and Butterfly Weed.

That morning glory again, closer view.

Yet again, posing for my own camera. Ten seconds to click the button and stand like that.  See garden colours. Purple Thunbergia, reddish tomatoes, Holmskioldia reds, Pinks, Gaillardia yelow and different shades of Picotee Cosmos.  It will take some time for the Gladioli to bloom. The plants are obscured by tomatoes from this angle..... the camera was on the rain barrel.  

Star Jasmines are in bloom at this time. It is beside our front door. We call it 'jaaji' in Kannada.

For the arch at the pond-side bench, I made space for Clitoria double purple. I had to move the stone bench a little further.  It had been placed there in a hurry some months ago. Slowly things are happening.  

On the left of that arch, I have this.  The Jaquemontia will climb up the arch and the butterfly weed should form a bush.  This is the Clitoria.  The pot on the bench you saw has it.  I will maintain this short by pruning. 

See the old grinding stones.  I have 6 of them.  This is the bed left of the bench.

I have to see how well I will be able to control the Evening Primrose.  Growing fast!  Texas Star Hibiscus died. In the pot is a set of Tuber Rose extra bulbils.  Others are in the Gladioli bed.  Thithonia seedlings are coming up in the pots. Will be moved away. 

Next to Gaillardia, I have planted Zinnias. Right bottom you see Nicotiana mutabilis - 2 out of four plants seen.

I throw away my clay pots only when they cannot hold any plant.  If the bottom half is good, I continue to use them by carefully chipping off the portions where the pots break.  So, shallow pots are enough for smaller bulbs of Rain Lilies.  Here are the pink variety. 

With a hope of getting Senecio confusus [Mexican Flamevine] I set about two nurseries. One was closed.  Proceeded farther to another only to be disappointed. But to make the child in me not to cry for that, I bought Pentas and Verbana, both supposed to attract butterflies. But where is the space in the Yarden?  I decided to plant the Pentas in two pots.  Verbena waits for its ground until Sunday next. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A new small garden bed

Running short of space for garden plant beds, I had started to look around for other possible areas.  The new Jaquemontia needed to grow beside the wall or an arch.  So I had chosen the one beside the pond, but the ground was occupied by something I could not decide where to keep them.  They were the small stones/gravel, mostly quartz, unearthed while making other beds in the front yard. I had stored them in an unused tyre planter.  I removed the stones into cement sacs and tucked them under the bench in the scooter shed. When the mind is calm, fresh ideas flash. Click on picture [taken in May] and see area circled in red. 

This is the closer view of the same area after I made the changes and also planted the seedlings in the new bed. 

The Jaquemontia should climb up the arch with its lovely little blue flowers. I thought this is the best place to grow Asclepias tuberosa [butterfly weed], sent by Dee from the USA. It should give orange blooms and is expected to grow up to 3 feet.  I read in some site that 3 have to be planted together for a striking effect.  I planted four.  In between, I planted two Evening Primrose seedlings which were extra.  So if all goes well, there will be blue, pink and orange.  Dreaming!  

Also see the table. The stand is from my old neighbour.  The tabletop is a junked concrete lid that was once covering the opening of the tank. I also used the sanitary pipes and two grinding stones beside the low stone slab bench.   Not in the frame is a little Mango plant which I intend to grow only up to medium height mainly for its leaves that would be required for the festivals. My friend Krishna Rao gave me this idea of self-sufficiency w.r.t. mango leaves. It is still small as of now. 

Today, I prepared a nylon wire support for the Jaquemontia climber in other two places. In one place, I drove a nail to the wall  one ft. from the ground, tied the wire to it and connected it in a 'V' to the wire fence on the compound wall.