How does our garden grow? | NevadaAppeal.com

How does our garden grow?

Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer

Photos by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Sam Bauman checks on the Appeal plot at the community garden Thursday afternoon.

So how’s the Nevada Appeal plot at the Carson City Community Gardens on Beverly Drive coming along?

Basically, it’s a mixed bag. With Brown Thumb himself tending to the 4-by-15-foot plot, things have been somewhat haphazard. A week at Glacier National Park in northern Montana and a couple of weekends in the Bay Area, along with having guests to take hiking and all, the garden got nudged into the background.

Happily, more experienced hands helped out, creating dikes around the plants to retain the water. Some mysterious good fairy came along and put vertical baskets over some of the tomato plants.

And the mulch donated to the gardens does wonders in keeping things moist.

During the hot spell, daily watering was necessary, and when Roop Street was closed it required roundabout driving to get to the garden. The tree from the adjoining home has a tendency to overreach itself, blocking the sunlight, but a few snips of the garden scissors took care of that.

Despite it all, the garden is flourishing. At least the tomatoes are – they have practically taken over things. These were purchased from different sources already potted and growing. The two from the lady at the booth at the Fridays @ Third Street have far outperformed those from Lowe’s, although the latter is catching up.

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Just a few ripe red ones thus far, but the bushes are loaded with green balls. The few that have ripened were delicious. And it was easy to tell them from the store-bought ones – the knife cuts them easily, while the store brass balls needed sawing.

The big problem with the tomatoes was keeping them under control. Right now they are sprawling out into the aisles, a no-no at the Community Gardens (my neighbor’s squash tendrils are also all over the place).

The Chinese pea pods were a disaster. Lots of small vines, but none of the nice, shiny green pods like in the markets.

The eggplant, which flourished last summer on the home patio is, if not fatally stricken, certainly not going to produce more than one black bulb. The tomatoes shaded it from the sun. Ditto the peppers (one lonely red one about the size of a billiard ball).

But the muscelun popped right up and has been furnishing greens for a month. And the cucumbers are alive and spreading. A couple have already been used in salads, and they are firmer, tastier and more fun than store-bought ones.

Weeds are omnipresent, but once identified as such easily handled. Somehow, a couple of rogue tomato plants appeared at the foot of the garden, where the hot pepper seeds were duds. The leeks are high and seem to be healthy, but not ready yet. Same for the scallions.

The hot spell has been blamed for the tomatoes not going red, but they’re ready to pop any day now.

So, green grows the garden. The Brown Thumb is showing signs of turning green. Bring on those pumpkins and squash next spring!

– Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.