Monday, April 30, 2012





I have tomatoes in all stages of development. I even have six plants already in the ground. These last four guys need to get into the ground pretty dang soon.  When I put them out to harden off yesterday I had to pinch off what looked like teeny tiny little flowers starting to develop.  I'll pinch off the lower branches and bury them deep this weekend.  With any luck ( and the use of Wall O Water, glass jars filled with water, and a plastic cover) they'll survive, thrive, and I'll have an early harvest of tomatoes in late June!

Look at the legs on that one!

(Don't worry, it got transplanted into a bigger pot yesterday and all that length is buried.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Showers

The first tulip in my yard has finally popped.  I have dozens around the yard that are budding, but the only one open so far is in a pot.  Hopefully by the weekend the rest will be open.

We have two azaleas in front of our house, but only one is flowering.  The other units next to us don’t have blooms, either.  

Lots is happening in the garden.  I have yet to harvest anything tasty, but we’re getting there.  The first things planted in the garden, radishes, carrots, leeks and beets in the cold frame, are all coming up.  The radishes are getting true leaves and (I hope) starting to beef up.  You can’t see in the picture, but the other three are really coming up too!!  The beets are so cute with their little red stems.  These leeks will eventually have to be transplanted so they can spread and grow, but they’re doing quite well in the cold frame for now.  The weather was nice enough last weekend that I have been leaving the top open. 

 The three kale seedlings I transplanted are thriving in the relatively cool, damp corner.  A few leaves have been munched on, but that’s to be expected I guess. 

The broccoli may be doing a bit better than the kale.  Whether due to more sunshine or just being stronger plants?  Who knows.

Along the back fence, the same place where I failed last year, I have radishes and carrots growing.  Beets, too.  Fingers are crossed as many times as possible that the addition of compost and early planting will let me actually harvest something from here.  The radishes are already up, and I think the beets may be making an appearance any day now.  I only planted half of the plot because it just seemed like so many radishes at the time, but now that I’ve thought about it, I can eat about a bajillion radishes at one seating, so filling the rest of the bed might be a good idea.  Squash will fill the area in June after the carrots and beets are hopefully mature, so I should have plenty of time for another sowing of delicious peppery radishes.

My staggered planting of peas has been an interesting experiment, one I will have to try again.  I planted two varieties of peas from last year on George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 23), and a new variety from Territorial Seeds a few weeks later.  It took longer for the bush peas and the Territorial peas to germinate, but now all three types are about the same height.  I have stapled twine to the fence to give them a trellis once they get a few inches taller, and am hoping for peas to munch on in a few weeks.
The lettuce in front is a mix I got for free from Cedar Grove at the Flower and Garden Show.  I was worried about them for a while, but they have really taken off in the last few days of sunshine.  I’m counting on lettuce, radishes and peas for a spring salad any day now.

Speaking of lettuce, this head of romaine has been growing in this pot since last summer.  It over wintered without wilting at all.  I’m in awe of its staying power.  It’s starting to bolt, and will hopefully produce a ton of seeds.  This guy was so winter hardy that I’ll be planting its offspring all fall for continued harvest over winter.  Fresh garden salad on Christmas, anyone?

My tomatoes have outgrown their home indoors.  I’ve been hardening them off for about 5 days now.  They get to come out to play in the now empty cold frame (used to contain a pot with lettuce seeds which have outgrown it).  They’re too tall to close the lid, but the walls help to keep the wind from battering them.  I haven’t lost any yet, but they’ll be transplanted into the ground in the next day or two and I expect a few die-offs.  They will get a few Wall O Waters and glass bottles filled with water to retain heat through the night, and will be covered with a sheet of plastic as protection against the cold.  This is a big step that has been scaring me for weeks, so I have about 18 other tiny tomatoes started in the house.  Is almost 30 tomatoes overkill?

…. Nah…..