This morning I was out toiling over the soil as my neighbors walked dogs and strolled to the cafe for a Sunday coffee. Why do I torture myself turning the earth by hand, double-digging the rows, getting far sweatier and dirtier than in any gym workout? For the answer you'll have to read my 2009 post "How do you like them tomatoes?"
As usual, I used John Jeavons' method of double-digging the ground, then I added some regular compost. I alternate by year between organic chicken manure and garden compost. Next up, a trip to Portland Nursery to get some tomato starts, a couple cucumber plants, three basils and a variety of hot pepper plants. Maybe I'll plant a couple squash as well -- although the family gets pretty tired of zucchini early on.
Remind me to take some photos of the tomato varieties I plant. That way, at the end of the year, when the garden is lush and tangled, I can still figure out whether the hefty tomatoes are Germans or Better Boys. I'm starting about a week later than normal, but with the late cold spring (it was 34 degrees F on Mt. Hood when we camped at Timothy Lake on Memorial Day weekend) I figure it's not that much of a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, if you've already got your garden planted, or you prefer to read rather than dig, I suggest checking out William Alexander's "The $64 Tomato" (here's my book review).
Also, if you're not int