Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: tomatoes

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Okra Spring Garden Update

Jalapeno peppers

The garden got off to a late start this year. In March we received so much rain the seeds rotted in the ground. It seemed like every couple of days we were getting a cold front.

All of this means the 2018 spring garden is running a month behind. Instead of the peppers producing in May, they are producing in June. Which is no big deal because once the peppers start producing, they will continue until the first frost.

Instead of the okra being planted at the first of May, it was planted at the end of May. I was hoping to get some rain to help the okra germinate, but we did not get rain for a month.

Eventually, I decided to plant the okra and water the seeds with a sump pump that sits in a creek. Everything worked out and the seeds germinated. Once the okra started to come up, it is making solid progress.

Tomatoes and Tomato Cages

Ending the Chicken Manure as Fertilizer Experiment

Tomatoes grown with chicken manure experiment

One gardening experiment for 2018 was to take a field that had not been used for a couple of years, till in chicken manure using a garden tiller, then plant the crops.

How well would the crops grow? Would some types of crops do better than others?

After watching the experiment for close to two months, I think I have my answers. The experiment for this year has drawn to a close and 13-13-13 fertilizer was spread along the garden rows.

However, I feel part of the experiment should be repeated in the spring of 2019. The weather here in Southeast Texas was very wet between March – April, then very dry from April – May.

When the rain stopped in April, it stopped. It was like GOD turned off the water valve. We have not gotten a drop of rain in close to a month.

Starting the Chicken Manure Fertilizer Experiment

Transplanted Tomatoes and Planted Okra

Tomato and pepper plants in a home garden

The tomatoes that were planted a couple of months ago were root bound and had to be transplanted. While the tomatoes were being transplanted, I went ahead and planted the okra seeds we had germinated

Related article – How to germinate okra.

For those of you who do not know what root bound means; simply put, the pot is too small for the plant. The roots need more room than what the pot provides. The solution is to either transplant the plant into a larger pot, or plant the plant in the ground.

There were other issues:

  • The roots were getting too hot.
  • The pot was not holding enough moisture for the plants to grow.

Transplanting Tomatoes

TAMALE PIE

TAMALE PIE

2 cups cornmeal

5 cups water (boiling)

2 tablespoons fat

1 teaspoon salt

1 onion

2 cups tomatoes

2 cups cooked or raw meat cut in small pieces

¼ cup green peppers

To the cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt, add boiling water. Cook one-half hour. Brown onion in fat, add meat.

Add salt, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, the tomatoes and green peppers.

Grease baking dish, put in layer of cornmeal mush, add seasoned meat, and cover with mush.

Bake one-half hour.

LENTILS WITH RICE AND TOMATOES

¾ cup lentils

1 cup rice

1 quart tomatoes

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon bay leaf

¼ teaspoon sage

Soak lentils over night; drain; add one quart fresh water and one teaspoon of salt. Cook slowly until tender. Add other ingredients. Steam or bake for 45 minutes.

VEGETABLE SOUP

1 qt. boiling water

½ cup carrots

½ cup cabbage

1 cup potatoes

1 cup tomato juice and pulp

1 tablespoon minced onion

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons fat

4 cloves

1 bayleaf

2 teaspoons salt

4 peppercorns

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat onion, pepper, salt, bayleaf and peppercorns with tomatoes for 20 minutes. Strain. To juice and pulp add other ingredients and cook slowly 1 hour. Add parsley just before serving.

TOMATO GUMBO

Bones and gristle from chicken or turkey

2 qts. cold water

1 cup okra

1 tablespoon chopped pimento

1½ teaspoons salt

½ cup rice

2 tablespoons fat

1½ cups tomatoes

¼ cup chopped parsley

Soak bones and gristle in the cold water 1 hour. Then boil slowly 1 hour, in same water. Strain out the bones and gristle and add other ingredients to the liquor. Boil this mixture slowly ¾ hour and serve.

Raised bed cucumbers squash and lettuce

Example of a raised bed garden with cucumbers, squash, lettuce, squash and zucchini. I would like to thank Awakeaware1016 over at the forum for post posting this video and thread.

My suggestions

The green onions, lettuce and cucumbers are ok to plant together – all of them have a high nitrogen requirement.

Looks like you will run out of room with the squash. Allow at least 2 – 3 feet on each side of the squash plants for growth. With the right soil and fertilizer, those squash plants are going to get pretty big.

Squash needs a well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13.

The raised bed is nice. What I suggest, next year build a raised bed based on fertilizer requirements.

Lettuce, onions and cucumbers go in one bed – all of them can use high nitrogen fertilizer, such as 21-0-0 or something like 16-6-12.

Tomatoes, squash and zucchini would go in the second bed – all of them use a balanced fertilizer, such as a slow release mature and something like 13-13-13.

Just about anything with large leafs is going to need more nitrogen then say tomatoes.

Keep this in mind when you plant your garden, lets take 13-13-13 as an example.

first 13 – nitrogen, promotes stalk and leaf production, such as corn, greens and spinach

second 13 – phosphate, promotes root production, such as potatoes

third 13 – potash, promotes pod production, such as peas, beans, squash.

Cucumbers require nitrogen to prevent them from getting a pointy end.

Looks like your project is off to a good start and keep up the good work.

Post your comments in this forum thread – My victory garden and first YouTube video 2012

Growing Tomatoes

stink bug on grape tomato

Tomatoes– one of the the topics I love and hate at the same time. If you see some tomato seed at the local store – go ahead and buy some. If nothing else, you can say you have some tomato seed stocked up.

Tomatoes are rich in nutrients, they can be eaten raw, and their easy to preserve in jars.

One of the problems with tomatoes – the bugs love them as much as your do. When the tomatoes start to ripen, if their not picked before they turn red, the bugs will have a field day. So pick the tomato right when you see a little bit of red on it, and then put it on a window seal to finish ripening.

Tomatoes do well in a slow release organic fertilizer, like in rabbit, cow or horse manure. Some of my best results with tomatoes have been from either horse manure or miracle grow organic potting soil, and some 13-13-13 fertilizer. One year I spread a bunch of dried horse manure in a raised bead, mixed in some 13-13-13 and I had more tomatoes then my family and I could eat.

Stocking Up On Survival Garden Seeds

snap beans survivalist garden

As the local stores get their garden seeds in, it’s time to take an inventory and start stocking up. A well rounded survivalist seed stockpile should include the types of food that the family will eat. And, most important, the types of seeds that will grow in a certain geographical area.

The bags that the seeds are stored in should be marked with the type of seed and the date when the seeds were bought. The date is very important so that the seed stocks can be rotated out every 2 – 3 years.

Examples of different types of seeds and plants:

Potatoes

Potatoes are usually planted from cuttings from a mature potato. When the “eyes” start to sprout on the potato, take a knife, cut a good section of the potato off (along with the eye).

Types of potatoes like red skin or Irish are high producers.

Squash and Zucchini

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018