Mandie’s doing fine

Busy, but fine.   And look at these conch peas!!!   (To think she was worried about a few little old aphids…crazy talk!)   Her carrots are flourishing as well.   Probably because they make great companions, right?   Makes sense to me.  Like a successful marriage — compatibility is everything.  Much like companion planting.  So pay attention to who likes who in the garden and your plants will thrive!  Even if you do become a bit busy to pay much attention (or send your blogger friend photos on a timely basis).

The tomatoes are blooming, too, though we have a lesson in staking.  The picture below represents what a nice, healthy well-staked tomato plant should look like.  See how strong and upright it stands?

Now here you see what happens when the staking process isn’t done adequately (no offense to Mandie — I’m sure the dog did it.) and the tomato plant is splitting apart.  Still surviving mind you, as Mother Nature can be a tough old broad, but struggling.  It’s very possible this plant will break apart, leaving Mandie with some dead branches. 

But she can save the tomatoes! 

I learned last fall that tomatoes can be harvested when full and green, then left to ripen on a windowsill.  Before the unusually cold weather we had, I was forced to collect all the fruit I could and discovered, out of a wagon-full, nearly half of them made it to sauce. 

So take heart:  even if you miss prime picking time, or plan to be out of town when expected ripening occurs, pick them and place them by the window.  You’ll have ripe tomatoes upon your return.  Remember:  summer is vacation time so this is likely to happen often.

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