Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009

Well, it's late and I'm beat, so this will be a short post.  However, there's a ton to talk about, so let's get started shall we?

First off, this morning was beautiful weather, so I got out and snapped some pics while I was getting the plants out to harden off/grow.  This first is of my "perfect" compost pile.  I am still proud of it even if I built it in the dark.

I haven't had time to check the temperature on it, but I may need a bit more water.  It was tough to tell in the dark how much was the right amount.  On the way back to the garden, I noticed some odd markings in the gravel.

It's tough to tell from these, but I swear a raccoon has been using my path through my garden to get from the wetland to the street.  Grrrr.  Time to use the deterrent.  I think I'll try putting it in a cup with a lid over it so it smells, but doesn't wash away in the rain.  Worth a try.  I hate to keep rebuying the stuff.

This next shot is of my wilted Salad Bowl lettuce plant.  Remember how dead it looked, and how I hoped it would eventually bounce back.  Well, 24 hours later, it looked like this...

Tons of new growth!  It's amazing, I could eat of it already.  Man Mel's Mix is amazing, and my compost from last year must not be too shabby either.

Right behind the lettuce row however is a different story.  The cukes are a mixed bag for surviving the spring frost period, despite being under cover.

In case you can't tell, there are actually two cukes in this picture.  The one in the back is holding it's own, but the foreground plant is pretty much toast.  Grrr, and the seeds in the soil blocks on the fridge are germinating slowly.  So far, only two of the moldy blocks germinated.  I need tons of cukes.  It's about time to resort to direct sowing.

Well, looking over my tomato plants, I noticed something odd about the potato leaf plant.  The leaves seem to be splitting into multiple leaves.  It's tough to tell in the picture, but one leaf is becoming three!

Speaking of tomatoes, today was the last day they were all together.  This evening I parted company with 9 very healthy plants.  They went to their new home, and our teacher was very appreciative.  They're ready to go into the ground with minimal protection on cold nights, or wait a few weeks and don't worry about protecting them.  Now I've only got my 6 left, and they'll likely go into my SWCs this weekend.  To protect them from 35 degree lows, I'll use the tomato cages as supports for plastic bags that will fit over them, creating a make-shift cover.  Of course they'll have to be removed in the day to allow sun to get to the plants, but it'll be worth it to not have to cart those plants inside and upstairs every day.  Actually, not tonight though.  I am leaving them outside since it'll be another low 40s night.  Toughen them up some more!

So long tomatoes!  Fly, be free!  hehe

Lastly, I had to take a pic of what appears to be tons of stevia plants that miraculously all germinated.

At least I hope these are stevia.  If so, I'll have plenty to give away since I only need one for myself.  I've got the pot all ready for it. I'll just dig up he seeds that are trying to germinate in it and plant this best one.  I think I have takers for most of the rest.  Oh, and for grins I planted one in bed #4.  Not sure if I'll let it stay, even if it takes hold and grows.  They can get pretty tall.  Judy's got 3 feet or so last year, though that was on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.

Anyway, it's midnight here and I've got work in the morning.  Enjoy your garden!


  1. The cukes will not likely take off and thrive until the soil and ambient temperatures get quite a bit warmer. They are a heat lover and just do not do well in the early spring garden. While covers help, it cannot make up for night time temps that dip down to 35 or 40, it's just too cold for the cucurbit family. I would be willing to bed that in about 2 or 3 weeks they will do much better. I just now started my cucurbit family plants (Saturday) and they will go out into the garden in 3 maybe 4 weeks time.

    The compost pile is a thing of beauty. You did a great job especially considering that you were doing it in the dark.

  2. Everything is looking good! I'm just trying to get my SFG gardens going. Had a hard time finding vermiculite but finally have some on order through a local farmer's co-op. Does stevia winter over in your zone?

  3. Man....animals can really be a problem in a garden. Hope you find a way to keep them out. Those plants look really good! I'm sure the teacher is very appreciative.

  4. I loved your fly, be free, comment. Maybe they'll come back to you as ripe tomato thank-yous.

  5. Your plants are so nice... big and healthy. Mine are still pretty small since I started them later though they are looking pretty healthy. Very nice!

  6. I might just want one of those stevia plants! :-)

  7. That is one interesting tomato leaf. I have critters digging in my beds as well. First was my neighbors dog, then cats and now squirrels daily. Some times I wish I had a tall fence and a gun, hehe.