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Derek Freiman

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost Summer!

derek freiman
Derek Freiman on Flickr now!

Boy it is so nice these days.  I have spent 3 days last week and 2 days this week working outside in the garden.  Life is a lot more balanced when we are working with the Earth, in the garden.

I have been cleaning things up lately, removing old branches I used to use for garden bed walls.  Now, I have accumulated a lot of scrap 2x4's and other pieces that I'm crafting into sturdy garden beds.  It is so much nicer when things are neat and straight.  The aesthetics in the garden are important to me.

What have you planted so far?

For me in my personal garden, it has been beets, bok choy, carrots, potatoes (last week), fava beans, peas and romaine.  The favas and peas have been in the ground nearly 3 weeks and just starting to come up.  It's been cold recently, so I think that's why it took longer than usual.

Most of the time, they'd come up in 2 weeks.

Anyway, back off to work and helping others get their gardens growing!!

Best, Derek Freiman

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My First Video - Overwintering Veggies!

I put together this pretty basic video to show some of my overwintering vegetables. Most of these things were planted last October, got started and did great over the winter!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tomato Transplanting

I found this video: and I thought I'd share it with you.

derek freiman tomatoesMany people get scared of transplanting tomatoes.  It's super easy - the key is just to harden them off a few days outside when it warms up into the 60's by day and at least mid 40's by night.

When you transplant them, do it like the video suggests - if' you've been growing them indoors for a while (like I do) you'll probably notice the stem's have gotten pretty long and need support.  So, you overcome this by planting deeply.

Don't be scared, just trust your instincts and contact me if you have any questions!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peas And Fave Beans Planted!

Well, with the weather clearing a bit here in the Northwest, it was a real good day to log some hours in the garden.  Just a reminder that you can still get in on the Derek Freiman garden package for 2013.

Okay, now, back to the events of the day - with photos!

I spent a few hours cleaning things up and weeding before I could plant.

derek freiman - fava
Like marking my territory!

derek freiman garden - fava planting

This is where I planted each of the fava beans today - each one was planted about 2' apart.

I know it is hard to tell from this photo, but the bed is 45' long.

The nice thing about planting fava beans is that they come up pretty quick.  IF you plant them in March, you can harvest by July 1 if not sooner, depending on the weather.  Then you can put them up - freezing is best.

Then follow them with another summer crop, depending on when these come out, I will be able to come back with squash, pumpkin, or basil - something like that.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Finally Got the Tomatoes Going

Just a quick update - I finally got 20 tomato plants started a couple weeks ago.  Most of the seeds came up and are already leaning toward the sunshine out my big picture window in the living room.

I'm cutting back on the # I grow this year because i've been busy with other projects.

The plan is to grow two parallel rows of 10 plants each for a total of 20 altogether.  I'm looking for a better way to support them, anyone got any ideas?

Trellis is too bulky and the old tomato cages just get overgrown so quickly.  I thought I saw something in Organic Gardening about aluminum trellis's?

Feedback would be great!
derek freiman - trellis for tomatoes
The old trellis - won't be using this baby any more!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Growing Upside Down Tomatoes

I regret I did not take pictures when growing upside down tomatoes a few years ago, but I will provide you with very detailed instructions - and this is a lot easier than you might think!


Get your tomato plant started in the ground and growing OUTSIDE and wait until it is about 12-18" tall.  It just needs to be sturdy enough to survive a normal TRANSPLANT without being too big.


Find a 1 or 2 gallon sized plastic container (2 works better) and slice an "X" slit in the bottom of it.  You want to create an opening that's about 5" wide so that you can easily slip the tomatoes roots through it from the bottom.  DON'T CUT THE BOTTOM OUT OF THE CONTAINER.


Dig underneath the tomato plant in your garden as if you were doing a normal transplant, making sure to allow enough room to get the roots as fully as you can.  Carefully shake some of the clunky dirt off the roots, enough so that you will be able to insert them through the slit you've made in the bottom of the container.


Place the container upside down and with your one hand, lift the plastic X slit up so that you have enough room to insert the tomatoes ROOTS in the bottom of the container.

What you're going to want to do is seat the tomato deeply through the X slit so that a significant part of the stem (perhaps half of it) is inside the container.  NOTE:  The tomato will now be upside down inside your container.


To close and secure the bottom of the container, I just tape it up with some duct tape (of course you made need to cut a tiny bit of plastic at this point so the root has a little breathing room - I recommend a 1-2" circle or square area.

Derek Freiman Garden - upside down tomato
When you get really good at this, you won't need to cut a big slit.  As you can see in the photo above, I cut about a 2" hole and did not need to tape anything up.


Now flip your container so that it is right side up.  Continue to hold and stabilize the plant and its roots, so it does not shift around too much as you begin to add your dirt and/or compost to the container.

Carefully add your soil mixture.  Add more than you think you need, as it will naturally compress after you water it.


Hang your plant as indicated in the photo in a sunny location.

(This is just an example, if this had been an actual tomato, the plant would be hanging down at of the bottom, with the top of the plant nearest the ground.)


Do this immediately as you would after any transplant.  Add additional dirt if needed.

Your plant should take root just fine and you will water like any other tomato in the garden sitting the right way.


You'll be amazed how strong the plant will be, it will actually grow back up toward the sun (only to be weighted down later by tomatoes).

Appreciate any questions and once again, sorry I don't have the actual pics with the tomato.  That computer crashed with my older photos!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Derek Freiman Garden Work

I thought I'd make this post a bit more on the pictorial side of things, while we wait for things to get going here in the Northwest this season.

First of all, I want to remind everyone about the Derek Freiman consulting packages available for the fast approaching 2013 season.

derek freiman consulting - eggplant pic

Last year was the first year we grew eggplants at my place.  I had to start them indoors using a heating pad in January.  Each plant was gorgeous and produced about 20 small eggplants during the course of the season.  We harvested from about August to October.

derek freiman gardening - flower in the peas
This photo shows how a rose bush was helping to support my peas that were growing up the fence.  I thought it was really beautiful to see the two of these plants co-mingling.

derek freiman - starts

These are some great looking basil starts that wound up in one of my many jars of tomato sauce.

If these pics inspire you, get out in the garden and get to work!

Look forward to seeing you outside!


derek freiman