Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We have been hard at it planting the garden and all the little things we started from seeds... so glad we did it this way. It's been a real learning curve and I have made mistakes I am certain to repeat, should I live long enough.

My intention to have staggered plantings have gone awry, naturally. That episode with the moldy cardboard pots has set us back considerably. Those seedlings should be much larger by now than the seconds and you cannot tell the difference in their ages at all. Additionally, in my zeal to get it all started, I did not take into account just how much farther north we are here than in our old house and subsequently I cannot put the tender things, like tomatoes and peppers and squash, out as early up here. And I didn't realize how quickly the seedlings would grow and WANT to be out there.

So in total, too make a short story long, I started too early. And while I cursed the skies last year for having 28 tomato plants all ripen the same two weeks, now I have more than 38 destined to do the exact same thing this year. Yea me!

We have 29 of them in the lower garden and all the rest in the raised beds and yesterday I planted more marigolds around as a companion plants. I started them from seed as well, along with impatiens which burned when I hardened them off outside one day, Hardened off indeed. Killed off is more descriptive. I am hoping they will have survived but it's looking grim. The sun toasted the leaves considerably. See.... learning curve, indeed. I must mention that at Home Depot I bought a flat of marigolds that were already in bloom and tossed them in as well.

The temperature in fluctuating between mid-40s at night to mid-70s during the day and the hardier plants are just leaping to life now. The spinach I started in January is delicious and the kale is out of this world. Not a big fan of Swiss Chard, don't think I'll plant that again next year but I did throw in a few of the neon seeds in last month and they are better than the bulk variety. Better tasting, The other ones before now were being enjoyed by garden slugs. Now that those critters are gone and the plant is thriving, I don't like it at all. Go figure. That was a waste of bed space. The collards are bolting so we are eating the leaves up and the brussell sprouts are still going strong. All the onions, garlic and shallots are doing their things in various beds and growth stages.

All the carrots were terrific and I still have the Jan beets to pull with a new crop just starting out. We tried mesclun seeds on a tape and they are wonderful!!!!!!! One whole raised bed is devoted to leafy greens and so beautiful. Now, the chickens that can fly over fences get in there and cause mischief. The three peas are growing, still no signs of flowering, however. The ones we started last fall were gorgeous and in full flower when a cold front with heavy winds and freeze killed it all off. We had 2 crops farther south last year. See what I mean? 20 miles and a world apart.

NOW fruit: the citrus all look dreadful. They are starting to send out a few leaves, all from below and sparsely but I am hopeful. In the meantime I put in a new Calamondin tree Just In Case. I really want that one more than all the rest and would pitch a fit if after waiting as long as Dan Gill suggests yielded me nothing more than a dead tree and a whole lost year, so we may have two (which is better than one in truth but not what I had originally planned for).

The peach, pear, fig and berries all look terrific but of course they LIKE the cold. And I am scoping out exactly where to plunk in the guava. I know where I WANT to put the three but that requires the removal of two more sago palms and I think I will work on that Friday.

Gotta go let the girls and Stu out. Yes, we still have the rooster. Some things are just hard to give up.

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