Tuesday, April 15, 2014
This felt like really late to plant, but I guess most climates aren't even warm enough yet. I was waiting for a very warm day to try the pumpkin seeds again. 85º should be warm enough. Plus, Home Depot was having a sale on planting supplies and I had a $30 credit. I can do a lot of damage with that.
The drainage holes I cut in the fountain liner aren't perfect, but they're keeping a new lake from forming every time the sprinklers go off. Putting more plants in the soil to use that water will help to keep it from flooding. Plus, I really don't think it's going to rain more than a quarter of an inch until fall. I bailed out the remaining puddle and bought more dirt.
So many plants, so little space. It's tempting to buy a bunch of seedlings, but they do grow. You have to plan ahead, especially when at least one is a tomato plant. They will take over if you let them. I got a pink tomato hybrid called Bradley that said it was good for canning and freezing, something I wished I could do last year with the cherry tomatoes. I also picked up a tomatillo plant. I don't buy them often at the market because I don't think of it; they're on the top shelf at Pavilions, above my eye level. Those two plants quickly took on the nicknames Tommy and Brad. They have both taken root nicely. I had a lavender plant by the front door that died over the winter (also from poor drainage), so I got a rosemary bush to take its place, opposite my basil. I like the idea of having fragrant herbs near the front door.
Artie must be auditioning for the part of Audrey II, because he got huge. The plant is about as tall as I am, which isn't that impressive in itself, except it isn't a tree! Artie put out one central bud the size of my fist. Not huge, but enough to top the salad at Seder. As that was happening, he also developed three baby buds, each with its own grandbaby bud attached. That will definitely be worth preserving as marinated artichoke hearts.
Kale is no longer organic. Some mama butterfly or moth decided to lay her eggs on it. Time to get out the spray. It was a good thing I was going to pick a few leaves for dinner that day, or the caterpillars would have eaten half the plant. I ate something else. Brad and Tommy lasted five days before bugs discovered their leaves were yummy, so they're not organic either.
No pumpkin shoots yet, and this is the last time I'm going to plant seeds. If I buy another packet, I will have spent more than a small pumpkin costs, which totally defeats the purpose. Five more days until I give up on my totally awesome Halloween idea. Bummer.
UPDATE (11:12 am): This is what I get for posting before the sun comes up. Three of four pumpkin hills have at least two seedlings! I'm not a total failure at gardening from seed. I also found another baby artichoke tucked in a lower stalk. It's name is now Heidi. Now I have to figure out how to keep the pumpkins healthy. I have heard good things about diluted milk sprays preventing leaf mold. Once they have more than a few leaves, I'll start treatments.
UPDATE AGAIN (2:18 pm): Make that 4 out of 4 hills! Only one sprout on the last so far, but we do have successful germination.