Today’s Eco-Saturday entry is mostly excited chatter, with one good tip at the end for drought-proofing tomatoes.
First, the excitement: It’s Planting Day!
This year, we had another bit of excitement to go with the usual joy of getting the garden into the ground:
We spent the morning picking up a nuc hive from an ol’ boy down at Dexter. I’ll explain about nucs in a future post. Right now, I want to talk about the bees’ move-in day.
When honeybees feel at home in a new hive, they signal that to each other by sticking their butts in the air and doing a little dance.
Before I could finish transferring the frames from the nuc box to the girls’ new hive, they’d started doing the “yay, we’re home!” dance. If Miley Cyrus hadn’t clearly demonstrated why white girls shouldn’t twerk, I might have been tempted to join them, because with their arrival, I finally felt completely at home in my house, too.
More excitement: We left the lid off during a rainstorm to give it a good soaking, so the compost bin has finally heated up. I think it’s a little nitrogen-heavy — it smelled like ammonia when I opened it today — but that should change as the quail litter, which is mostly carbon, starts to break down.
The next couple of pictures are herbs I planted near the pond.
They don’t look like much yet, but here are a couple of our tomato plants:
If you want your tomatoes to be virtually drought-proof, here is the secret:
Dig until you hit hardpan, then keep digging until you’ve gone all the way through it. Fill up the hole with compost and plant your tomato seedling in it. This allows the roots of the plant to go deep enough to reach moisture, even during a drought.
You can grow decent tomatoes without this step, but if you’ve got time to do it, you’ll love the results. I had the best-looking plants and biggest tomato crops of my life when I used this method in Belleville, and my dad, who taught me this trick, used it to grow 24-foot vines with spectacular yields the year I was born. I think I’ve got a picture of that garden around here somewhere. If I can find it, I’ll post it. It’s glorious.
Hope your Saturday was as awesome as mine.
P.S.: I know I still owe you Vegan Friday. I got sidetracked last night and didn’t get it posted, but it’ll be worth the wait, I promise.
P.P.S.: Edited to correct a detail about the bees’ weird little dance.