14 August 2013

This Week in the Garden: Epsom Salt Uses and Experiments

 A few of the heirloom basil plants were ready to prune this week.  Oh, how large the leaves were!  And how delicious with tomatoes from my  brother's girlfriend's family's farm.  I know, a lot of possessives.  But delicious nonetheless.  Now instead of two stems putting out leaves, there will be four stems putting out leaves.

I'm excited to see my second planting of Slo Bolt Cilantro from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds beginning to look a lot like cilantro.  Did you get a little holiday tune going through your head when you read those words?  I did when typing them.  Feel free to sing it out loud, even in August.  We were wishing the little guys were a little bigger just now for our haystacks (essentially a stacked taco salad), but we'll have to be patient a while longer.

 Since this is the first year I've ever grown the heirloom Tomatillo Verde, or any tomatillo, every part of their growth has been an exciting adventure for me.  The way they grew about an inch a day for a while.  The way they started putting out blossoms.  And now the way they're putting out the papers that surround the fruits.  Some of the bigger ones look like balloons or Chinese lanterns hanging from the plant.  So festive!  I will absolutely be growing these again.

Given the growing concerns about honey bee depletion, as even TIME Magazine reports here (August 9, 2013), I confess that I get excited about every honey bee I find in my tomatillo patch.  I didn't catch any in the photos for you today, but I smile to myself every time I see a few enjoying these beautiful tomatillo blossoms, or the tomato blossoms in my small mostly-heirloom garden-corner of the world.

The tomatillo plants are waist-high on me now.  Remember when I was measuring them against my fingers?

One of the biggest "balloons".  Can't help but smile at the sight.  {SMILE.}

The tomato blossoms on all the plants have been coming on for more than a week now.  You can see in this photo that some are fading and making way for the fruits to come on.  Gleaning ideas from several garden web sites, we decided to try an epsom salt boost for the tomatoes and peppers.  As I researched it, the average recommendation is one tablespoon of epsom salts to one gallon of water, which is then applied either to the ground or to the leaves as a foliar spray.  We did a spray/watering combo.  As I understand it, this adds usable magnesium to the soil and helps the plant produce more blossoms with more and bigger fruits.  I'll let you know how it goes for us!

Just part of the path--Love Lies Bleeding, summer squash, beets, and Japanese White Eggs showing.

The squash, zucchini, and green bean corner of the garden.

For perspective, a shot of the whole garden, since I haven't shared one for a while.  The marigolds have gone crazy and are producing tons of flowers per plant.  Yay.  :)

1 comment:

  1. "Oh-some" as our friend Jen S would write! ;-) and yes, I was singing the carol in my head!

    I love your garden & the photos, sooo exciting! Well, I'm going to write you an email, because commenting here is not as easy ;-) ( and besides it's public)


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