Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

WOW! I just can't phathom it.  In a little under a week I've gone from 15,000 hits on my potato page to over 20,000!  I'm averaging just over 900 hits that page a day, and it's not even my best work.  /shrug.

Well, I came home a bit earlier from work than I normally do so I could take advantage of 70 degree weather to mow the lawn.  It was so bad that it just HAD to get done.  Unfortunately for me, my wife had other plans.  Off to a movie with the kids at the local community college.  It was fun.  Lots of kids, pizza, popcorn and juice.  Great fun.

Thankfully we got home around 7:30, so that gave me an hour to mow the lawn.  So I raced though the front lawn at record speed.  In fact, I used my blackberry to play my workout playlist.  I think it helped.  I ended up filling one and a half huge 96 gallon yard waste containers of grass clippings and leaves mixed together.  It was completely dark when I finished. 

Then, much to the chagrin of my sick wife, I had her go out with me and help me to aerate and add to my compost bin.  Ah, I wish you could have seen it.  I may be a compost snob, but it was a thing of beauty, even if it was dark out.  The existing pile was moved to the corners, the uncomposted pumkin remains were at the bottom with some newspaper and grass clippings, dampened, then I proceeded to add my kitchen compost, some coffee grounds, grass clippings and newspaper.  I kept going with that basic mix until I was out of coffee grounds and grass clippings.  I swear the pile is now 3x3x3, and I didn't even use the half-bin of grass clippings.  I figure that may just go to Cedar Grove.  They need all the help they can get, hehe.

Oh yes, and I've got pics to share again.  The first come from this morning.  You see, my plants had their first camp out last night.  It dropped to 41 degrees as a low for all I can tell, and here's how they looked when I was heading out to work.

As you can see, they're happy as clams.  And look at my pride and joy.

It may not be blooming like the Bloody Butcher, but it is huge and healthy.  I don't think I can bear to even burry those lower branches (I will anyway to not let branches drag on the ground), the plant is so pretty.  This weekend I need to plant them out, even if it means protecting them.  I figure I can put a garbage bag over the tomato cages at night if it looks like it'll be too cold.  I'd want to remove them in the day since I don't have clear plastic bags big enough to cover the cages.

What I didn't do while I was out there was open up the hoop covers.  I should have thought of that when I saw the temperature go from 41 degrees at 7 am to 61 at 8.  Unfortunately by the time I asked my wife to do it, she was out for the day.  When I got home I quickly remedied the situation, but not before this happened...

As you can see, my best Salad Bowl lettuce plant is wilted something fierce.  I drenched it in water, hoping to revive it, but I'm not holding out hope.  Grrr.  I have to be more careful.  Right now the cover's down and it's 52 degrees in there at 11pm.  I will NOT forget tomorrow to open it as we should get great weather again.

Lastly, after I mowed the lawn and did the compost, I remembered that tomorrow is the pass off day for the 10 seedlings for my teacher friend.  Perfect timing as they are basically ready to be planted out.  Unfortunately, the two smallest plants were not growing fast enough to need potting up.  Too bad, I wasn't going to pass them off without being potted up, in case they needed to hang around for a while before she has time to plant them.  Besides, the bigger of the two was showing signs of being root bound.  So I potted up the last two tomatoes.  The bigger one did pretty well, but the little one did very poorly indeed.  The dirt clump basically desintegrated in my hands trying to get it from the cup to the pot.  I sure hope tomato plants REALLY like to have their roots disturbed, hehe.  I'll be disappointed if it dies.

Doesn't the one on the far left look bad?  Ah well, the ones on the far right look great.  They've grown so much they don't even fit under the lights.  In fact, none of the other tomatoes do either.  That's why the light system is temporarily off until they're outside for the day.  I haven't been turning it on during the day because there's noting left up there.  However, tomorrow there will be. Two of my moldy soil blocks of cukes germinated so far, so they'll hang out under lights until they've grown a bit more.  Then I'll harden them off and plant them out.  Gotta plant more cukes!  Not sure all the ones I planted out earlier survived.  Gotta remove the hoop cover to check.  Maybe tomorrow.

Well, it's very late, I'm beat, and I want to wrap up my article for Patti's newsletter and get it off to the publisher. 

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I think your potato bin page is getting hit so much right now because it is potato planting season.

    Your tomatoes are looking fabulous. Mine are tiny still, but they have a few weeks to grow up before they get planted out.

  2. I got a whoppin' 75 hits yesterday......Anyway, you did a fantastic job on the tomatoes.

  3. Hi Rich! I have some good news for you. I uploaded all of your photos to the gallery on We have unlimited ban width and you shouldn't have to worry about exceeding the band with! Here's the link:

    Hope this helps! Let me know. Great job with the page on the potato bins! I think that is awesome!

  4. Just a thought on those hoop covers getting too warm...have you thought about cutting a few slits along the top? As the heat rises, the slits open slightly to let the heat out; when it's cooler, the slits don't open. In the winter, when you're not worrying about overheating, you could tape the slits shut. Might be worth a try.


  5. Your tomatoes are looking great. You light system has served them well. Sounds like you have some perfect compost cooking. Can't wait till I can start adding grass clippings to my bin. The steam they produce is awesome.

  6. Well done Sinfonian! You are in gardening high gear and the tomato plants are a thing of beauty! Isn't it fun to start your own? There's a real ownership in having brought them from seed to table (eventually!).

    Your one sad little tomato plant looks almost exactly like my one sad little tomato plant. I repotted the remaining tomatoes tonight after work and I almost sacrificed my puny one to the compost God's - but gave it a reprieve for another few weeks. It's still alive and trying - just not thriving. Not sure why that happens some times - but it does.