Thursday, May 30, 2024

And so it goes: Good dog, and pruning tomatoes

As I said in yesterday’s blog, I did not take anything to the garden to put strawberries in, because I told Cliff to tie me into a chair if I mentioned strawberries.  The berries are few, and mostly small.  And we’ve had plenty of them.  However, as I was hoeing weeds around my sweet potato vines this morning, I happened to look toward the berries, and there was a bright red strawberry calling me.  I immediately took off the stem and stuck it into my mouth, dirt and all.  I’m sure I ended up eating over a cupful, but this time there was no sugar on them, so it was a healthy treat.  Windows were open and I could hear Cliff talking in the house.  I knew it would be with his sister, Charlene, because most Thursdays she calls and talks to him all the way to work.  I found a handful of delicious berries and took them to him.  I was nice enough to give his berries a bath, before putting them in front of him, though.  

Cliff reminded me I haven’t planted any okra yet, so I may get that done today.  I really want to plant a couple short rows of corn soon.  The two hills of corn will suffice for maybe six to eight meals, but I like having some in the freezer.

I’ve talked about how the garden hasn’t really done so well in a lot of places.  A week ago most of the cantaloupe plants looked rather puny, and I wasn’t expecting anything would come of them.  Three days ago I glanced over there and they are vining out in fine style, so maybe I’m in luck.

Gabe is seven years old I think… maybe eight in August.  I don’t want to get up and look at his papers, but it’s somewhere in there.  And he is finally turned into a “good boy”.  I can go the garden now, and if he disappears, he will come running when he hears me.  He seems to try to stay closer to me than he used to.  Also, he seems to have gotten over his gland problem that made him smell bad so often.  Knock on wood!  I haven’t had to give him a bath in almost a month.

I have never pruned indeterminate tomatoes back when I had those varieties, but I thought it would be fun to get two indeterminate plants, Big Boy and Better Boy, and try pruning them.  There’s no wire around them; we tie the plants to a metal post as they grow.  Actually, Cliff does the tying because I make a mess of it.  Here’s the Big Boy; it will be tied again today, a foot higher.  I am managing the pruning part of it.  My husband’s only part in it is the tying.

The Better Boy is right beside it, partly in the picture.  I haven’t tried to raise Big Boy tomatoes for at least thirty years because it started having blight so early that the plant was dead before I could eat a tomato from it.  In the sixties through the seventies  I had never heard of or seen blight on tomatoes.  Then came 1980, and I’ve had it ever since.  So far, so good, this year.

I’m anxious to see how this works out.  



  1. I am amazed by your garden endeavors and all the veggies and fruits you can grow. My strawberries rarely make it inside but I don't have very many. Gabe is THAT OLD? It seems like you just got him.

    1. I checked: This coming August 2 will be his seventh birthday. He has lots of time ahead of him.

  2. I never have thought to plant sweet corn this late. Maybe after peas this year, I might try some.

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  4. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Sister Helen bought seeds to see if that might help with blight! Galla Creek


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