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You may have seen some people tout that the best way to grow tomatoes is to strip off the lower leaves. The reasoning is that stripping the leaves allows better airflow so you can fit more plants in a smaller area. We don’t do that. It just seems like a bunch of extra work. Plus, a different way of doing something? Eww. No. That’s called “change.”

So I was a bit surprised when I saw that a lot of the lower leaves of the Striped German tomato row were stripped. The crew says it’s for plant health, but I think they were just trying to make it possible for me to find the tomatoes.

(Plant health is reasonable too, I guess. This time of year is tough in the tunnels because we need to close them up for warmth, but closing them up reduces airflow. And this time of year the air still has enough moisture in it that there is a significant risk of disease or pests taking hold when there isn’t sufficient airflow. But I’m sticking with they just stripped the leaves for my visual benefit because I am just that important.)

The leafy greens were especially vivid this morning. Looking at the pictures on the computer, I had to go back and look through my phone and make sure I hadn’t accidentally used a filter or something. Because dang, that green is BRIGHT!

But nope. Those colors are 100% natural.

Even the red leaf lettuce looked less like dirt than usual.

(Ignore the algae on the walls. That’s um… uh… us allowing all plants the opportunity of freedom of expression. Yeah. That sounds plausible. It’s certainly not because water got trapped in the rolled-up sides all summer and we haven’t cleaned them off yet.)

We’re trying out different ways to grow tulips so we can have them when we want – early (January) and late (May). So we’ve got the normal in the ground outside, in the ground in an unheated tunnel, in crates, and one-more-method-which-I-don’t-remember-even-though-it-was-talked-about-ad-nauseam-at-the-meeting.

The thought behind growing tulips in crates is crates would allow us to adjust the growth rate. If we want to speed the growth up, we’ll put the crates in a heated tunnel. If we want to slow the growth down, we’ll put the crates out in the cold outside. That’s the hope anyways. We’ll see what actually happens.

The yellow thing in front is a seeder. It makes it so much easier to seed when you’ve got to put thousands of seed in, such as with radishes and spinach. You just make all the adjustments required, pour the seeds in, and just walk (in a straight line; the straight line part is pretty hard in my opinion). The seeder will dig a little trough, drop a seed in, and cover it back up. And that’s it. As a dedicated hands-and-knees gardener, I want one. It’s not practical for a small garden. But I want one.
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Happy Eating!


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