Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.
Ineke de Wit of Woodland brought in the holidays with living wreaths.
“I wanted to show what can be done with a home-grown topiary for Christmas,” she said. “This one was grown on a circular wire frame from ivy cuttings. I used several of these with lights to decorate the house for Christmas.”
If you’d like to try this for next year, start now.
“Now is a good time to take ivy cuttings to start planning for next year and to grow them on a frame,” de Wit added. “Without the lights, they make nice plants for any time through the year, and do well outdoors.”
On another front, last week’s Thanksgiving tomatoes prompted more questions from curious gardeners: How did they do it? And did those vines survive December’s heavy frost?
Meg and Dennis Bryerton shared some specifics: “We plant a variety of tomatoes, but the Celebrity and Better Boy last the longest for us into the fall,” Meg said. “The plants looked horrible but they kept on producing.
“We plant three plants to a hole of good composted soil,” she noted. “This seems to shade and support each other nicely.”
Other secrets to success?
“This year, we used Osmocote (time-release fertilizer) in each hole, the only non-organic application to the garden,” she said. “We had a century-old cottonwood tree removed from the backyard this August and the sun came into the garden first thing in the morning and that may have helped along with our diligent covering and uncovering of the plants each evening and morning.”
Alas, tomato vines don’t last forever — even with tender-loving care and frost covers.
“Our last harvestable crop was the one ... just before Thanksgiving,” Bryerton noted. “The plants were still loaded with green tomatoes but went off with the frost.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR GARDEN ADVENTURES
Do you have a gardening photo, tip or story to share? Or do you want to publicize a community garden event or activity? Post your news via our virtual SacBee Garden at www.facebook.com/SacBeeGarden. Also, email your submissions to email@example.com (put “SacBee Garden” in the subject line). Or mail it to: SacBee Garden, Home & Garden, Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA