Archive for Gardening

The Legendary Tomato Release Day at Goose Cove Gardens

Just planted tomato plant

First time I heard this phrase “tomato release day” I was “what the heck does that mean”. In my mind I visualized tomato plants running on their roots (feet) with their branches swaying back and forth, as if they were set free from captivity….kind of like an “end of the world” scene from a movie. I was at Goose Cove Gardens in Gloucester and I was inquiring when the tomato plants would be ready for purchase. Tomato plants like warm weather, the hotter the better! Planting them earlier then consistent warm (60+) temps (day & night) does them no favors. Interestingly, you can plant them earlier, but they will produce no more tomatoes than when planted later!

Happy Tomato Plant

They pretty much just sit in the ground and shiver :) Barbara Dombrowski (and husband Hilary), the owner(s) and operator(s ) (janitor..to CEO) of Goose Cove Gardens for over 20 years does her best to insure the success of her customers and impart her plant wisdom to all of us Cape Ann gardeners.  One of the ways she has done this is by making sure we don’t plant her products at the wrong time. Goose Cove Gardens grows organically and features a fabulous supply of heirloom tomato plants. This philosophy has resulted in the famed “Tomato Release Day” at Goose Cove Gardens. Tomato Release Day is the Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it is very busy, yes the small parking lot is jammed, yes it is the best time to plant your tomato plants on Cape Ann and yes there are plants left to buy on Thursday! Not around the week before Memorial Day or too busy? Not only does Barbara do an excellent job of meeting demand, she does another tomato release day two weeks later!

Garden tomatoes

Goose Cove Gardens…the calm before the storm, I mean spring!

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I love to grow things (flowers, vegatables, turfgrass) and will take every opportunity to be surrounded by green things. One of my favorite places (any season) to visit on Cape Ann is Goose Cove Gardens on Gee Ave. in Gloucester.  Barbara and Hilary Dombrowski the owners, operators, founders, ceo, cfo, brains, brawn, field hands…you name it (!) exude their passion for growing plants organically every time I visit.  We have had many a conversation over the fabulous qualities of our locally produced fish fertilizer, Neptunes Harvest to Barbaras own Goose Cove Gardens’ compost tea for plants. This very early spring I paid them a visit and Barbara gave me a tour of just some of what goes on at Goose Cove Gardens long before people like you and I show up to get our annual supply of flowers and vegetables.  When Goose Cove Gardens opens on Saturday, April 16, 2011 the efforts of all their planning and work will be on display for all.  How ever, if you would like a sneak preview…

Compost crock for recycling in the kitchen

Compost crock

Redoubling our recycling efforts on many fronts, we are depositing food scraps in this beautiful crock and adding them to our compost pile.  I’m always looking for ways to add nutrition  to our tomatoe garden soil and this is another source for the compost.  Did you know that the soil “critters” (microbes) like sugar as much as we do?   In fact, I feed our plants molasses (watered down) several times a summer to make sure the soil bacteria are very happy while they do their thing… I’ve also come to appreciate the fact I’m not running our expensive Gloucester water because we are using the  garbage disposal so much less frequently, as we recycle our food scraps.  Lisa Vincent of simplydaisy custom made (!) this crock.  So, this next level of recycling is like handling a work of art every day.  And no it doesn’t smell… we empty it every 1 or 2 days and bon appetit to the compost pile!