Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Planting Tomatoes and More Herbs (2011 Garden Update #2)

I'm currently attending BlogHer Food while the garden grows!

Here's another update on the 2011 garden, which is finally shaping up.  I started planting herbs a few weeks ago, and then it seemed like it rained for days in Salt Lake.  That meant  I was really scrambling earlier this week to get my tomatoes, vegetables, and the rest of the herbs planted before I left town for BlogHerFood in Atlanta.  Thanks to my brother-in-law Clayton and my nephew Jake who helped with the garden prep so I could get everything planted!  After I finished planting I took far more photos than any faithful reader would want to see in one post (!) so today I'll show you the tomatoes and the rest of the herbs and I'll focus on the vegetables next week.

The top photo is the Brandywine Tomato plant that Clayton started for me in his greenhouse.  If you haven't had Brandwines, they're a very large tomato, perfect for tomato sandwiches because just one slice covers a piece of bread.  Brandywines and Green Zebras are my two favorite tomatoes for flavor.  (Brandywines get really huge so you need to plan for that when you're planting them and choosing a tomato cage.)

One of the great things about my new drip sprinkling system is that you can lift it completely off the beds for tilling or planting.  Jake helped me weed the beds, I got some bags of steer manure, and Clayton dug it in by hand (what a guy, thanks Clayton!)

I also added steer manure to the soil in the tomato beds next to my deck.  This dirt has a lot of clay, and it was really hard to dig, so double thanks to Clayton for these.

The tomato variety I've grown the longest is the Celebrity tomato.  This grows well in Utah and is a good mid-sized red tomato.  I planted two of these next to the deck.  (Links to gardening sites are just for information about that plant variety and not an endorsement of the site.)

Every year I plant a couple of Roma Tomatoes especially to use for making slow roasted tomatoes and my favorite Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce.  

I  love cherry tomatoes for salads like this one, but I don't like teeny little cherry tomatoes so I picked a variety called Large Red Cherry Tomato.  Trust me, one cherry tomato plant is plenty!

And once again this year I planted three Green Zebra Tomatoes, one of my favorite tomatoes for drizzling with basil vinaigrette!
I had to dig out my French Tarragon plants when I re-did the sprinklers, so I planted that again in the same spot.  I've come to love this flavor!

At the other end of that box is basil.  I always start with a few plants, and then plant basil seeds all around them.  This year I planted Lettuce Leaf Basil seeds, to get basil with really large leaves.

I also planted a couple more sage plants (although one would have been plenty, this plant reminds me of my Grandmother Denny and I love the smell of it!)

And finally, the herb I am really excited about this year is Boxwood Basil, which I heard about when Pioneer Woman talked about it on Twitter.  (Thanks Ree!)  I love the idea of a little bush with leaves of basil, so I planted two of these.

You can see more about my garden from other years by using the Gardening tab at the top of the page or use the label 2011 Garden Updates to see all the updates from this year.  And if you're growing a vegetable garden at your house, please let us know in the comments about what you have planted!
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8 comments:

  1. Looks like your garden is coming together nicely Kalyn. Good luck. A month ago I planted my favorite tomatoes, early girls!

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  2. Nancy, your tomatoes must be way ahead of mine after a whole month!

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  3. Kayln - sounds like we like some of the same maters - I have Brandy's (Red and yellow) and green zebra's. We grow mostly paste tomatoes to use for sauces and canning thanks to the less water. I've experimented with most of the favorites and have settled on Quimbaya and Kada, both available as seeds from Totally Tomatoes. For me they are bigger and more productive than Roma's.

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  4. Big dude, I'll have to remember to check here next year to try some of those paste tomatoes you mentioned!

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  5. My tomatoes have been in for a month here in E. Tennessee. I planted San Manzanos for canning, a couple zebras, and some heirlooms, which we love for tomato sandwiches. :)

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  6. Your garden looks great, Kalyn! Thanks for the reminder that I want to grow some of those green zebra tomatoes - maybe next year.

    That boxwood basil looks like what I call bush basil. I grew it about 15 years ago and really liked it - they're cute little hedgehog-sized bushes of itty bitty basil leaves. They're fun and would look great with a whole row of them lining a bed, but you're definitely better off with the lettuce leaf for pesto! ;)

    Just a tip - you may want to pinch off that tomato flower I see in one of the photos, as well as any others. That will allow the plants to expend their energy growing and developing a nice root system before they focus on fruiting. The same goes for other plants like peppers. And don't worry, the flowers will come back in profusion! :)

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  7. Dibear, I'm jealous of your San Marzanos. I've never found that plant in Utah and I can't get organized enough to start them from seeds.

    Susan, I didn't know that about the tomato flowers!

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  8. You should seek out some padron seeds. I desperate to plant some but have to wait until spring now. Very jealous that you are entering spring.

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