Sage Hill Farms and Vintage Store

July Gardens = Tomatoes and More Tomatoes

We (gardeners) work hard all spring to put into place a bountiful promise of all things “veggie" and blooming……..from time to time some things will simply fail to produce, but not often.

The following is not offered as a complaint, instead as a compliment to the resilience and determination of this thing called ‘a garden'.

Spring, this year, was wet and cool…too wet and too cool for planting until much later than we were set for. So, planting time was delayed and the beginning crops were slow to get momentum in growing, but they did, with the first warm spell they caught up and took off with a “catch me if you can start.”

Fast forward to June…hot and dry…dry to the point of drought conditions.

With the help of watering more than we care to, it all survived and was looking beyond beautiful.

We are now in July and the rains finally came, and came, and came, still raining some almost every day. A nasty storm decided to play house in my tomato and pepper beds…blew over cages leaving the vines (loaded with young fruit) laying on the ground, uprooted the peppers, (also loaded with fruit)…I thought we had lost many, but, being the determined sort myself…I replanted the peppers into the ground and packed them well with new soil…alive and well and producing like a pepper should.

While some of the tomato vines had to be left on the ground for fear of breaking, it has not slowed them down in production.

Then…we discovered Blossom End Rot on the Roma’s (a must have for making Red Sauce) after much watching and treating the soil with lime…that is less and less each day.

The Japanese Beetle came this year…thankfully they ate the roses and left…we will get a second blooming from those (I see signs and I trust).

Among all the trials of 2012 gardening…we still feel blessed. Since 2003 this is our first year to have these kinds of issues, and considering I can’t harvest fast enough to keep up with the new production each day…..A great big “Wow” to the stability of a ‘Garden.”


When watering, as tempting as it is to spray the entire plant…please don’t, this only invites insects and many pathogens thrive on wet plants, causing disease and damage to the plant…maybe even death. If you don’t use soaker hoses, then keep the hose close to the ground and water only the soil. It’s also a good idea to water at least a foot away from the plant base; the water will travel to the plant and the roots will reach for the water - building a strong root system will give your plants a much better stronghold against all the negatives that might come calling.

The Show Must Go On

--Even after bloom time is over!

Zinnias, daisies, blanket flower, irises and day lilies…all provide amazing bloom beauty for most of the summer…lilies and iris being the first to go. You can still have amazing color and shape with grasses and perennial plants that stand out once blooms have faded.

Japanese Blood grass, potato vine, coleus, and the smoke tree can really serve to fill the void left by the waning bloomers.

And…don’t forget vegetable plants as fillers in the flower gardens…parsley, sage, thyme, and many others are beautiful and add extra zing to any look.

Whats Available at Sage Hill?

For the locals…..fresh herbs of many varieties, tomatoes, peppers, (hot and sweet) and cucumbers. Bush beans a bit later.

We always have a large selection of dried herbs, blended seasonings, herbal tisanes and blended teas.

Visit our website and let me know if I can be of service.

Herbs pack a powerful benefit to our health!

Used correctly and on a regular basis, each time you include herbs in your meal planning you are adding an element of protection to the immune system…which is the be-all for good health.

Get to know herbs if you don’t already…a better friend you will never make.

Happy and healthy summer~

Bea and Mike Kunz
Sage Hill Herb Farm
32 Old Petersburg Pike
Petersburg, Tennessee-37144