Tuesday, April 29, 2014

End-of-April Update

   Today marks stage one of The Great Pot-Up of 2014.   As usual, I started more tomato plants than I will have room to grow.  There are so many interesting varieties I want to try, and I also attempt to plan for mishaps (e.g., some of the plants getting sun-fried or wind-whipped when I harden them off outdoors at the end of May).  I am out of yogurt, cottage cheese, and sherbet containers already.  Fortunately, our friend Paulo is coming to the rescue with extras he has.

   The Black Cherry and Costoluto Genovese tomato seeds I started turned out not to be viable (booo!).  They were obtained in a seed trade, so perhaps they were older than was indicated on their envelope.   I’ll buy some for next summer.  In the meantime, I have Paul Robeson seeds started (a large, “black” tomato).  Love the taste of black tomatoes!

Also on the go: 

Tomatoes:  Yellow Taxi, Pink Bumblebee, Green Doctors Frosted, Sweet Red Cherry, Eva Purple Ball, Moskvich, Emerald Evergreen, Opalka, and Red Brandywine.

Eggplants:  Rosa Bianca, Black Beauty, Vittoria (hybrid), Ping Tung

Peppers:  Sweet Italian, Sunsation Yellow (hybrid)

Herbs:  Basil, sage, thyme (barely holding on), summer savoury, flat-leaf parsley (a minor miracle).  Another failed attempt at catnip this year.

   The air in the plant room turned blue this past weekend when I discovered aphids on several of my eggplants.  Where did those horrid little beasts come from!?  Fortunately, we had a bottle of insect spray that took care of them.  I must remember to load up on that spray.  There will be no repeat of last summer’s Down-Home-Right-From-The-Kitchen-Whoops-Palmolive-Kills-The-Leaves-Not-The-Bugs aphid spray…

   None of my red or green cabbage seeds germinated.  They are several years old, and maybe ready to be tossed in the compost bin.  It looks like we’ll be buying cabbage transplants from the local nursery.  (I am already craving fresh cabbage casserole!)

   R. ordered 6 cubic yards of soil this morning.  It might be delivered as early as this afternoon.  It will be used to fill the large containers he built along the side of the house last Fall and to pot-up my seedlings.

Update:  Soil delivered!  In the second picture, you can see how many of the fence boards were blown off during an intense wind storm during the winter.  Our neighbours don't own a lawn mower, a hammer, or other basic tools, and we never see them, so I predict if the fence is going to be repaired, R. will be the one doing it.

Buds on the current bush.

Karl, the neighbour’s cat who lives here part-time, has been enjoying the milder weather.  We spotted him rolling around in ecstasy on the warm soil in the garden this morning.  Sometimes, he would stop mid-roll, paws in the air, eyes at half-mast, and let out a little sigh.  Adorable!  I tried to take a picture, but he was so pleased that someone was watching him that he hopped up and trotted toward me the moment I turned on the camera.

Little old Saj ventured outside today, too, to nibble some new grass, smell all the smells, and roll in the garden.

On the 18th, R. took down the cedar tree in front of the house.  No tears were shed, but if there had been, they would have been tears of joy.  The planter of this tree put it much too close to the house and too close to the door.  It was interfering with the foundation and frankly, our ability to get in and out of the house!

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