The Garden Gets Planted!

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Garden PlanitngWe jumped the gun this year and planted the Ciao Italia garden BEFORE Memorial Day. The weather has been warm and the forecasts looked good so we thought we could give the plants a head start. We've got the usual mix of Italian veggies including cipolline onions, those tiny saucer-like ones that are great roasted or marinated. I put in leeks this year hoping they would do better than in the past and I added a row of garlic. I used a neat plastic tool to help me make the holes in the soil to receive the plants. I also bought clear plastic row covers with vents that allow better sunlight and water to enter, plus you can see the plants without having to lift off the gauzy like row covers.

If you are planting tomatoes remember to remove the very bottom leaves of the plant and plant the tomatoes deep; at least half of the stem portion that's above the soil line should go below ground at planting time. This is ONLY true for tomatoes, which are unique in that they develop auxiliary roots all along that buried stem. You only need a couple of inches showing above ground. Deeply planted tomatoes can find more water during dry spells, absorb food better and will give you much more vigorous plants. I for one am patiently waiting for the first ripe tomato and dreaming of my favorite summer sandwich, tomato on cibatta with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil!

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