Skip to content

Tomato Patch Plantin’ Time Again

It’s time to plant the tomato patch. The plan has been to set them out in the late afternoon, and water them well. This lessens transplant shock. Ours are bare-root from the cold frame, and will need a bit of tender loving care.

Until afternoon, though, I guess I’ll get the ground ready for winter squash. I plan to put melons and peppers in this field, too. The soil is perfect, loosened with crimson clover, compost and the chisel plow. It shatters and doesn’t form clods.

While harrowing the squash patch I decided to go ahead and harrow the melon and pepper patch. The whole field came out smooth and ready for seed.

While making the furrows to plant in I decided I might as well make all the rows, to get the whole field laid out. 22 rows later we were ready to drop seed.

The pepper patch went out the window first. They can go in another field that’s not quiet ready yet. The winter wheat cover crop there hasn’t broken down enough and needs another week. But the pepper plants can wait a week too, so we planted squash where the peppers where planned to go.

Bonbon is a buttercup, or turban squash. It has a big button on the blossom end. They like to sprawl and climb, so they get to go in the first row and will hang on the fence. We filled the second row up with Fairy, a butternut type that is a darker orange. The third row is sunshine, a 2004 winner of the AAS award. All-American Selections are noted for high quality. Sunshine is a kabocha type, bright orange with smooth, creamy flesh. Small wonder, a spaghetti squash, went in the fourth row.

After the first four rows, which only go 350 feet, the rest of the rows go the whole length of the field, 700 feet. We put butternuts in every other row, for four rows. In between the first two rows of butternuts we planted Blue Lake green beans. The other rows got October beans and Black Turtle beans in between. We’ll harvest the beans just as the vines reach over to them. Butternuts like extra space, so we give it to them, while getting a crop of beans, too.

A few more rows of butternuts and then it is on to the smaller, winter squashes. Carnival is a colorful acorn type, and Table Queen is the standard, green acorn squash. Sweet Dumpling and Delicatta are popular small winter squashes, and we’ll have plenty of all of them.

As you’ve probably guessed, the planned watermelon patch will have to go elsewhere, too. We planted the whole field. And we worked until dark. The tomato plants will have to wait another day.