Summer's Here at the Alma & Broadway Garden

Hello fellow gardeners,

We're entering the sweet zone for summer gardening, when everything we planted in spring is fruiting and blossoming and growing like crazy. Snow peas, greens, even those first tomatoes are making their way from the garden to our plates. It's a feast!

Here are a few garden updates for July:

WATER

Thank you for being so on top of letting us know when the water system needs attention. As a reminder, there is a spare nozzle in the garden shed. If you're comfortable doing so, we encourage you to make use of this spare and change out the dud.

Let's make sure the valve has been turned to OFF when we're done watering.

GROWING TIPS: TOMATO CARE 101 + AN EPIC JAM RECIPE

Tomato plants are one of the highest yielding crops in the garden––here are three tricks to getting that yield even higher.

1. Cut back extra leaves. Thinning excess foliage will open up better air flow for eventual fruit, as well as concentrate the plant's energy toward flower (and fruit) production. I thin my vine variety tomatoes two to three times in a growing season, and focus on removing those lower leaves.

2. Remove suckers. These are the shoot-like growths that emerge from the 'joints' of each branch (where the horizontal branch meets the vertical stalk). Cutting off suckers sends your plant's energy into the 'leader' (the topmost new growth) as well as fruit production. I remove suckers once a week during peak growing times like now.

3. Pollination assistance. Here's a technique I hadn't thought of, brought to you by the ever-trusty Michigan Gardener. Fan club anyone?

And finally, because we're coming into tomato season, here's an absolutely whopping tomato jam recipe sure to put Heinz out of business:
 

Hope you're enjoying summer so far!