Reporting in, after a long silence !!

Seven weeks without an update to this blog (excluding yesterday’s Labor Day post). Honestly, I didn’t stop “CAREing” but, frankly, I’ve been depressed and discouraged. I had such high hopes for an organic veggie garden. I dreamed of homegrown lettuce from my Garden Tower, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for my salads. The weather has been miserable in Southeast Texas!! (I’ve documented the temperatures in my blog Three Quarters And Counting.)

Letter C aqua blue, large
coming

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Letter A in bold red
around

after

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Letter R big and bold rust color
ruthless

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Letter E bold color
environment

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Revisit to “Nothing ventured, nothing gained !!”

~~~ New picture at the end. Original post on June 17th, 2016. ~~~

This link to Friday the 13th post about A peek at my tomato garden.

Here’s an item I admirebut can’t afford!! So I work with “stuff” already in my possession.

It is a gamble; will the burlap bag planter survive another season?? Last year, the tomato plant suffered and died!! This year, I have lots of tomato seeds and need several planters. I’m starting this message on March 18th and will take pictures as time passes.

Picture, top left: The planter in 2015.

Burlap planter in 2015Repaired handle

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Caster dolly attached to burlap planterStyrofoam "peanuts" in the bottom

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Adding soil to tomato planterSeeds planted

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Two tiny sproutsTomato plant in burlap planter

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Displaying growth on May 22Lots of blooms

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Above: Look how much it grew in nine days. Furthermore, consider the growth in just two months.

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Wilted tomato plant June 17th: The thermometer registered ninety-seven degrees when I took this picture. However, the “feels like” temperature is a minimum of ten degrees higher!! Fingers crossedThe plant is wilted and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will survive. ~~ Exactly three months since I planted the seeds.

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Despite the heat, plant is doing wellTomato plant in early September<<< July 5th: It’s looking good–despite the blistering heat!! Sept. 5th: This… has fought a good fight and won the battle. The best choice (imho) for my area. >>>

C-A-R-E-ing about Labor Day !!

Happy Labor Day honoring American workers

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The original meaning of the day seems lost as people think of BBQ, three-day-weekend, etc., etc. I’m of “the old school” and try to appropriately remember the holiday. **This** holiday, thousands of families along the East coast are struggling with the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine. No trip to the beach, no picnic, no BBQ–destruction far and wide.

Recently the news media was reporting fires in Western states, and flooding in Louisiana. A couple of days ago, an earthquake in Oklahoma. Our weather has been “horrific” this past year.

Here in Southeast Texas, the Summer heat and humidity has been almost unbearable!! My attempt at veggie gardening in my Garden Tower was a failure. Likewise, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers died in their planters. The labors of this American worker were in vain!! (lol) It is my prayer that “Labor Day” marks the beginning of a pleasant Fall so I can plant a Fall and Winter garden. (I’ve ordered a green house to shelter my Garden Tower.)

How To Use Epsom Salt For Sweeter Tastier Tomatoes

I published an earlier blog message regarding the use of Epsom Salt. Some of this information may be identical but there might be a tidbit that is new. I’m always looking for helpful hints to improve my garden.

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How To Use Epsom Salt For Sweeter Tastier Tomatoes

epsom-salt-sweeter-tastier-tomatoes-07302015You’ve probably heard of using Epsom Salts for personal hygiene. However, epsom salt and tomato plants may be something new. It’s true, epsom salt can also be used in the garden!

What Is Epsom Salt?
First of all, Epsom salt is not salt. It is NOT something you can put on your food! It’s actually a compound called magnesium sulfate that occurs naturally. The name Epsom is a nod to a saline spring found in a part of England by the same name.

Magnesium sulfate is known for providing wonderful benefits when growing tomatoes, functioning as a plant fertilizer.

Incorporate Epsom Salt And Tomato Plants From The Start
#1 For Potted Tomato Plants
Dissolve around 2 tablespoons of epsom salt in 1 gallon of water. Use the solution to water your plants. No need to do this every day though! Instead, use the solution once a month and switch to regular watering for the rest of the days.

#2 When First Planting Tomato Seedlings
When first planting seedlings in the garden, take 1 cup of Epsom salt and sprinkle it liberally over the plot. Ideally, 1 cup of Epsom salt will cover roughly 100 square feet. Make sure you distribute it evenly.

When you’re done, work the epsom salt into the soil. This makes it easier for your tomato plants to obtain nutrients from the soil, building stronger root and burst into healthy blooms.

#3 Tomato Plant Maintenance
Generally, you’ll know if your tomato plants are suffering with a magnesium deficiency as the leaves start to become yellow. Do not wait for this to happen! As your tomato plants mature, add a bit of Epsom salt to the soil.

The ideal ratio is 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height. If your tomato plant is two feet in height, you’ll be feeding it two tablespoons of Epsom salt at least twice a month!

Once on the 15th and another on the 30th would be perfect. For other plants, the general rule is once every six weeks. Opt for the less frequent method and observe how your plants react.

Warning: DO NOT over use!

#4 Applying Epsom Salt As A Soil Drench OR A Foliar Spray
Drenching with Epsom salt improves the overall health of tomato plants by giving them a good dose of magnesium. If your tomato plants need a boost, dissolve about one or two tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water. Drench at the base of the tomato or pepper plants and allow the water-salt solution to soak into the ground. Repeat throughout the season as necessary.

Apply as a foliar spray using the same 1 or 2 tablespoons in a gallon of water, every 2 weeks for a boost.

What To Expect When Applying Epsom Salt On Tomatoes
With the proper application, your tomato plants, you can expect the following results:

Tomato plants are less prone to problems like blossom end rot
The tomatoes bear fruits longer
Ripening color is redder than usual and more attractive
Larger tomato fruits
The tomatoes are sweet and incredibly juicy
Better seed germination

Of course, Epsom salts may also be used for other plants and not just tomatoes. More on Epsom Salt Garden “Cheats”!

Read: Tomato Q & A Here

Other crops that benefit from Epsom salt include: pepper plants, rose bushes, and the vegetable garden.

Understand that different plants have different care needs so you’ll have to do some research based on the crop you intend to grow.

Tomato with two thumbs up