I'm picking strawberries from the home garden, what a treat! The cabbage and potatoes are growing very well. I haven't seen any cabbage worms this spring and just a few potato beetles so far. I think the chickens we acquired last year may be responsible for the reduction in the worms and beetles.
As you see in the photo above the tomato plants have been planted and mulched with leaves we collected last fall. I used a stake and weave method of trellising for the Health Kick tomato plants seen in the foreground and wire cages on the First Prize tomato plants. Because the Health Kick tomatoes are a determinate variety and probably will not grow more than 4 feet tall the stake and weave method works very well for them. The First Prize tomatoes, however, are indeterminate and have the potential to grow 6 feet or more. The wire cages give them room to spread and to grow tall. If you have followed my blog you already know that the First Prize plants were growing in 5 gallon pots before being transplanted to the garden. This gave them a head start and as you can see in the center photo above they already have tomatoes on them. In the photo on the right you see I have placed a piece of black plastic on the ground and secured it by placing soil on the edges and on a few places in the center. The plastic controls weeds well for plants with a spreading habit. The Missouri Gold Canteloupe, Rattlesnake Watermelon and Neck Pumpkins which I planted on the plastic also like the heat generated by the black plastic.
In the photo on the left you see a cucumber plant in the foreground surrounded by a wire cage to allow the plant to climb. In the next two photos see how you can grow your own sweet potato plants. I take sweet potatoes from last year's garden that have stored well in a cool area (not cold) of our house and place them in a trench in my garden and cover with compost and organic soil mix. In a few weeks I will be able to gather sweet potato plants from them for planting in my garden. I have placed markers to identify the four different varieties that I have planted, Beauregard, Red Wine Velvet, Maryland 810 and a blue sweet potato.
Tenderette Green Beans are beginning to emerge in their garden row. This week I also planted pepper, squash, corn and eggplant plants. Flea Beetles have already discovered the eggplant. I will watch them to see if there is enough damage to require my intervention.