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What’s Growing With Tom: Week 13

Welcome back, Northern Michigan!

The humidity is gone, it feels great and there’s a nice cool breeze.

Joel Clifton from Morgan Composting joins us this week to answer a few questions we’ve received from you. 

One big question: Watering the garden. When is the best time? Morning, afternoon, evening, night?  The best time to water is in the morning–first thing.  That gives enough time for the leaves to dry off.  The second best time is mid-afternoon because you would hopefully have enough warm weather to dry off the leaves before nightfall. You don’t want to water at night because it can bring in disease or spread disease. Ideally, the best way to water is not overhead but through drip irrigation or a soaker hose.

Tomato pruning is the next question. “I’ve trimmed several times but they are growing like crazy. What do I do?” Well this is a type of tomato called an indeterminate variety, which means this thing will continue to grow as tall as it can up until frost.  A good maintenance pruning would be to prune off the suckers. Every time there is a leaf coming off the main stem there is going to be a little branch that pops out–that is called a sucker and you want to just simply clip that with your fingernail or pruners.  Get rid of that because you want the plant to put more energy into ripening your fruit than on creating more branches and leaves.  So right now we have a bunch of nice little tomatoes down here getting ready to go, but energy is going to be much higher to get to these guys. So this is the perfect time of year, clipping pruning, you can prune tomatoes pretty drastically without doing damage to them.

Our last question and it’s not a surprise. “How do I prevent animals from eating my garden without using a huge fence?” We have a few different options. Consider a mechanical device you connect to a water hose that has a motion sensor on it, so as soon as critter walks into your garden it will spray water at them and they run away. There are other products containing a variety of scents and flavorings to deter the animals from eating the plants. They all can work for you garden.

For the next two weeks, we’ll be going over how the garden is and what needs to be done to make it healthier.


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