Tamarix and Tomatoes

Last year I finally found a nursery that sold Tamarix (also spelt Tamatack). I purchased the Pink Blossom Tamarix Tree. If you look back into previous blogs from last summer you will see what the tree looked like when I purchased it. Regular feeding and watering the tree seemed to be growing a little. During the winter the tree lost all of its plumage, which is normal. In the spring I honestly was not sure that the winter had been too harsh for it as it showed no activity of life. I actually took a picture and returned to Connon Nursery in Waterdown to inquire if in fact the tree was dead. They assured me that the tree is generally slow in starting to grow in the spring, and I should wait a couple more weeks. Almost on cue the tree started to show new growth and buds. Since then I have tried to monitor the new growth and remove any previous branches that did not seem to show signs of returning. I have used Fish Bone Meal to improve the root growth, and regular fertilizer to keep the nutrients in the soil. The main trunk showed signs that an animal (I suspect rabbit) eating the bark. As a result I put a metal guard around the trunk to protect it. Growth has been steady and some of the plumage has turned pink. The branches themselves are slender and hang down, I think in the fall I will trim these back somewhat to try to give the tree a better fullness.

In one of my many plant hunts this spring I was at LaRose Bakery near my house, they are very well known for their breads, pastries, and meats, but they also open a very diverse garden centre. I purchased some of my peppers there. While looking at their perennials, I saw that they had Tamarix bushes, can anyone say impulse purchase!!! Got one, then went back and got another. They bushes had the same dilemma as the tree, they were a tasty snack for one of the many wildlife visitors we have in our yard. I again put a small metal guard around the bushes and voila, both have responded admirably. I am going to trim the ends of the longer branches on these as well to hopefully get the bushes to get fuller as well as the tree. Once these mature, they will add a nice feature to the backyard for many years to come (ed.note: fingers crossed). as you can see, the bush that gets more sun seems to be growing much more rapidly.

Last year I had my tomatoes in pots on their own, but this year I decided to put them in the raised garden I built for this year. I only planted 2 plants, a regular tomato and a cherry tomato. Good decision on only planting the 2 plants as they have exceeded my expectations. Both plants have yielded a large number of tomatoes already and don’t seem to be slowing down. I am literally cutting off branches daily to try to keep them a manageable size. I know I have been far more diligent in adding nutrients, turning the soil and monitoring the water much better than last year. For sure the tomatoes seem to enjoy the added attention. Not sure what I will write about in my next blog yet, may be the planters I set up this year, or maybe the pickling I have tried. I have a couple of jars of peppers, beets, and eggs. All of them are nearly ready for tasting. If I live, I hope to be able to give my thoughts on my introduction to pickling.

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