Around the House
In the Garden
Recycling and Reuse
Roses in the Shade
Garden Catalogues: online & print
Roses & Deer
Landscaping and Property Values
Recycling & Reuse
here for a link to the P.A.L. Foundation.
Their Tree Recycling Yard is committed to recycling salvaged and reclaimed
trees ("urban logs") into their highest uses for commercial,
artistic, and educational purposes. They do have guidelines for
the minimum size of material they can work with. When I spoke to one of
their staff, he said that 12 feet was the minimum length, and that the
diameter of the small end of the log had to be at least 16 inches. This
pretty much restricts their interest to the main trunks of fallen trees.
accept a variety of softwoods and hardwoods. The
P.A.L. Foundation does not cut down trees, but they do work closely with
local arborists who may remove trees in the course of their work.
Reduction for Landscapers
Each year in Alameda County, professional lanscapers send 140,000 tons
of yard waste to landfills.You can do something to reduce this figure.
Click here for
links to information on composting, chip green waste, planting
to reduce the need for pruning and watering, "grasscycling,"
There have been whole books written on the arcana of growing tomatoes. Below
are several links to websites with useful information. My favorite is the
link the first one, the Taunton Press* website.
This is where you will learn about the "Missouri" pruning technique.
First, a few tips from my own experience:
1) Be sure that you know whether your tomato varieties are of the "determinate"
or "indeterminate" type: their pruning requirements are completely different.
A determinate variety grows to a certain size only, and then stops - like
a bush. Little or no pruning is needed. Indeterminate varieties are more
like vines in that they just keep getting taller throughout the growing
season. There are myriad ideas as to pruning indeterminate varieties.
2) Where garden space is limited, growing indeterminate varieties against
a fence saves room. Space plants at about 18 inches apart. This involves
pruning each plant to one or two growing stalks and keeping the stalk(s)
tied up. The "Missouri" pruning technique is one of the ways to do this.
Expect the tomatoes to grow to six feet or more.
3) Don't plant tomatoes in the same spot year after year. I grow tomatoes
and Romano Beans**against a fence and switch
their locations back and forth each year.
4) Don't have the tomatoes on a drip irrigation system. Too much water diminishes
their flavor. Instead, water them deeply but infrequently. It's ok if, between
waterings, the leaves just begin to show that the plants want water.
5) Don't keep tomatoes in the refrigerator. This ruins their flavor.
Here is the link to the article, "Pruning
Tomatoes" from the Taunton Press's magazine, Kitchen Gardener.
Here is a link to the GardenWeb forum, "Growing
Tomatoes." If you are not familiar with internet-based forums,
they are places online, organized around specific topics, where you can
post questions or exchange ideas with other readers of the forum. GardenWeb
maintains an amazing array forums, covering
every imaginable garden topic.
You can't have links to garden matters without including a link to Sunset
is their take on growing tomatoes.
Last, here is a link to another article from Kitchen Gardener, "Growing
Tasty Beefsteak Tomatoes."
Taunton Press publishes absolutely first-rate magazines, including
Fine Woodworking, Fine Homebuilding, Fine Gardening, Fine Cooking,
and Threads (on sewing). The tomato-pruning article is from a magazine
they used to publish called Kitchen Gardener. Unfortunately this
magazine has been discontinued you can still get back issues of most of
the 33 issues they printed.
** This is the only variety of green bean I grow.
If you try them you will see why. They come in two plant types. The "bush
bean" type is analogous to determinate varieties of tomatoes in that they
get to a certain size and stop. The "pole bean" type are climbers, like
indeterminate tomatoes. Here are three links: #1,
An odd thing when you grow beans is that you can check the plants
for beans again and again and not find any. Then, one day you go out and
the plant is loaded with beans. To keep the plant producing more beans,
keep the ripe beans picked. If too many beans reach the dried-out phase,
the plant will stop producing.
Added June 2002