Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 10, 2008

I got to thinking on the way home about my hardening off project with my tomatoes.  I had called home and begged my wife to take my eldest upstairs to have him "help" bring down my tomato plants and put them back outside at 5. That way they'd have 2 hours of outside time before 7ish when it starts to get dark.  What I thought about is that at least in this area, the high temps for the day are always in the later part of the afternoon/evening and never in the morning or early afternoon.  So since Judy told me that I should put my tomatoes outside only if it's 50, it's a good thing I wait until after work to put them out.  They actually got a bit of rain on them because I was busy posting on Ft2Garden at the time and didn't see the weather change.  I just watered them last night so they didn't need the water, but hopefully it toughened them up a bit.

I hope I'm hardening them off correctly.  I'm increasing their time outdoors one hour a day in a partially secluded spot with as full a sun as overcast skies can give.  My hope is to get my SWC, get it ready and plant this weekend... Sunday maybe.

I look forward to Thursdays.  In my hometown newspaper, the Seattle P-I, they have their garden section on Thursdays.  I am partial to Chris Smith's Edibles column (I've talked about it before) mostly because he talks fruits and veggies and that's what I grow.  Sorry Ciscoe, but I'm less interested in pruning my rhodies. That's what I have my aunt for.

Anyway, it got me thinking. They publish their garden section on Thursday for a couple of reasons I think.  First, people are too busy on Friday getting their weekend started to read the paper. Second, gardeners plan their weekend to include Friday, so they're planning on Thursday.  Perfect timing to have Ciscoe's To-Do List column. 

I say this because I too have a busy weekend planned, and will likely be taking Friday off of posting.  I've got to leave work early to help set up for an important fund raising auction for my son's co-op preschool.  They're likely losing their lease so they'll need funds to find a new location and relocate.  It's my wife's first time running such a thing so she's enlisted my help along the way.  Busy Friday...  Speaking of the auction, there are a couple of cool items to bid on.  A kids gardening basket with tons of great real tools for kids (Logan's got plastic ones now), plus some seeds.  Another gardening item is 2 hours of expert pruning help.  I've got my aunt who's decently experienced so I don't need that one.  Finally, there are few gift certificates to nurseries.  Gotta love it!

With no post Friday, it's all the more reason to post my To-Do List for this weekend now.  Ciscoe would be proud :)

- Mow my lawn.  I've been putting it off due to the weather and being busy in the garden.  Unfortunately I'm the last person in my neighborhood to mow this spring, so it's got to be done.  Saturday morning's the time for it because starting early Saturday I'm busy...

- Take down a 30 plus foot cherry blossom tree.  I'll try to take a picture before we take it down to show you, but it's monstrous!  It's also destroying the patio right next to it, creating a dangerous hazard for one and all with the patio slabs raised up a few inches. Tripping on concrete is bad news.  So it's got to come down before we build our deck over the ruined patio.

- Get the SWC from Toasty.  Maybe my wife can pick it up when she's in the neighborhood going to the zoo Saturday.  She's got the mission to keep the kids out of the way while we fall trees.

- Clean up SWC and prep it for tomatoes.  It's currently got weeds in it since Toasty and her husband haven't used it for a few years. 

- Plant my tomatoes.  My brother says I should get them in the ground so it's time. And with the weather planned for in the upper 60s, early 70s, the tomatoes will LOVE IT!  Let's hope it stays nice for a while. My anemic seedlings could sure use some sun and heat.

I was thinking, if I had a way to chip up that tree, there would be some great brown matter for a compost bin, since I'll have TONS of grass clippings tomorrow. And even if there are dandelions in the mix, they're not close to seeding so I shouldn't worry.  Too bad my folk's chipper is on it's last legs so they only use it for little jobs so the wood's going to the dump to be composted by others and bought by me at $25 a yard. hehe  Some day I'll compost. /sigh


  1. Hi Sinfonian!! It sounds like you are doing a great job getting your tomatoes hardened off :-) Can't wait to see pics of your tomatoes in the SWC!

    Wow that's going to be a job getting a big tree like that down this weekend -- definitely take some pics for us! You said it is a "flowering" tree, so no cherries, eh?

    I called the power company here because I had heard that you can sometimes get the shredded tree limbs from them for free... well, they told me that if I see a truck "in the area" that they will give me the mulch. But, they don't "deliver" it to people per say.... So far I haven't see any of the trucks around... maybe with the warmer temps and stuff they will be out trimming trees and I will see them somewhere close by. I plan on using it to hopefully finish lining my paths between my raised beds. Any extra can go into the compost bin :-)

  2. Yeah, though with the auction tonight, I left them out all night and we'll see if they do well overnight in the "warm" 40s. This weekend I hope to get them planted.

    The tree is big, I had to take 2 pics to get it all in, it was big. Don't I wish I could get it mulched. Not going to happen. Not sure what we'll do. Hope you can find a truck...