More Thinning and Trellising

Oct 13, 2016
Thinning Beets
Celeste Longacre


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Thinning Vegetables 2

Thinning vegetables in the garden is a chore that lasts for most of the growing season.

As the plants grow, there is a continued need to give them space. In the beginning, it can be difficult to take the smaller plant especially when looking for something to put in the cooking pot. However, the little guys will never get to be as big as the bigger ones so it’s imperative to thin out the spindly ones.

Again, I do this slowly as insects can decide to munch away on the plants and I want to have choices when it comes to these important decisions. Now that the vegetables are getting to an edible size, thinning is quite fun.

I still only take the little ones unless I am looking for something to put into a meal. Here’s photos of my parsnips before and after thinning.

Here’s more photos of the basil before and after thinning.

I am continuing to thin the beets.


I also like to grow everything that I can up. My husband, Bob, and I created our garden from a completely infertile sucker forest. When we arrived here, there were tons of saplings about 4 inches in diameter and 10 feet tall. There were spaces that were difficult to walk through. So, Bob had to cut down the trees and pull the stumps. Then, I had to pickaxe the roots out of the upcoming bed and bring in organic matter to build the soil. Our first garden was four feet by six feet. So, having had to work hard for every inch of space, I make the same work hard for me.

Trellising Cucumbers

I grow cucumbers on a twine trellis. I place a garden stake at each end of the bed and tie a pipe to the top with wire. Then, I tie string near the ground from one stake to the other. Next, I place string from the top pipe to the bottom string about every four inches along. As the cucumbers grow, I tie them to these vertical strings.

Tomato Cages and Ties

I also grow the tomatoes up. I have some very nice tomato cages that I place around the plants when I put them in the ground. I only allow three main stems to grow from each individual plant. The suckers I remove as you can see from the next two pictures.

I have found that tying tomatoes with twine can be damaging to the plant’s stem. So I tie them up with strips of cotton cloth. I find some inexpensive, unbleached cotton muslin and I spend a bit of time cutting it into strips. This supports the tomatoes without cutting into them.

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at for details.

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my garden tips that have worked for yrs

I tie my tomato plants up with panty hose or knee hose. I have people that give them to me since they know I use them alot or I find them cheap at mission or goodwill stores. I cut them into strips and they stretch great. Another thing I swear by is to put 1 Tablespoon Epsom salt in a gallon of water shake & mix it up well. Then put it in a LG spray bottle and I spray my garden plants about every day. Peppers & tom love it. They get the magnesium sulfate which makes a strong plant cell wall which helps with photosynthesis. My pepper plantsthat grew to 4 ft tall and taller. Last yr my tom plant grew to 6 ft tall and they all produced alot of fruits.
lots of fruits! I also fertilize my plants weekly with

Still use panty hose & they get taken out of garden at end of season with the plant stakes.
Put 1 Tablespoon Epsom salts in a gallon water & shake to dissolve. Fill a spray bottle and spray plants especially peppers & tom every day. They love it. Helps grow stronger plants. Last yr peppers grew 4 ft tall & indeterminate tom plants grew over 6ft. They produce lots of fruits too. I got smart too & bought a pump sprayer bottle since I have lots of plants to spray and is soooooo much easier on my hands/fingers! I also use crushed egg shells around my cabbage and other low to the ground plants to keep slugs/snails away. They don't like to crawl across this rough scratchy surface. I use dawn dish soap in my other spray bottle of water for my insecticide. I fertilize my plants with miracle grow weekly to tom & peppers. Last year lots of gardens were lost from too much rain. I continued my routine despite this cos rain was washing nutrients out of the soil. I had a great harvest. I did battle japanese beetles but using the dish soap in a bowl and hand picking paid off. I won the beetles did not!!! Yeah! I also plant lots of marigolds in garden and right beside my tom & peppers. I planted them and it keeps tom worms away and makes a pretty garden too. So this year I have planted them as border flowers all around the garden. I also plant bee & butterfly loving flowers so they can help pollinate. My garden is my summer hobby. Then I have fun canning and freezing my bounty. Sure is healthier then what is bought and tastes yummy in the winter. Oh yes, it's very beneficial & cost effective to have a rain barrel. I catch my own rain water to water all summer long cos I start in early spring bottling up the spring rains in gallon jugs that I collect over winter. The good Lord will provide!

I've always used old panty

I've always used old panty hose for softness and flexibility; however, it doesn't compost well. Cotton is a nice compromise since it does both.



try old panty hose. my

try old panty hose. my grandmother taught me that 30 years ago and it always works. it is my wife that has issues with it.

LOL, ask her for the old ones

LOL, ask her for the old ones next time!


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