Thursday, May 7, 2009

Random garden thoughts from a seedling hoarder

Today I thinned the carrots and beets. They are way behind the radishes, though I planted them all at the same time. I hate thinning plants. It's the hoarder in me. I hate it that some must die so that others may live. Actually this little tidbit explains a lot about me. I struggle to get rid of stuff because I feel guilt for things that serve no practical purpose. I'm not really a hoarder (am I?) but I will be when I get old if I am not careful.

I wandered into the backyard of some pals this afternoon; my neighbors Richard and Jerica, and their little boy. Their garden is looking lovely. Jerica was making a pea trellis while I was there. Richard and I sat around and talked about our jobs at the County, and watched their boy make mudpies in his garden patch. Or should I say digging patch. Richard was telling me that a lot of the guys he works with try to farm in the evening hours; this is true of a lot of people around here, and I admire people who have that kind of energy. Thinning 8 feet of root vegetables does not count. Sorry, but I am not that cool.

Walking through alleys in the neighborhood, I noticed a lot of really nice garden plots. I am going to take a bunch of pictures here soon so you can see what other people are up to. I also talked to my neighbor Vicky, who was out working on her garden. She went from being a stay-at-home mom to an elementary school teacher this year, and her classroom doesn't have a window. She loves the garden because she gets to have some time outside. We discussed different ways to trellis tomatoes; this is always a good topic of conversation because there are LOTS of ways to trellis tomatoes. We talked about the more conventional methods: tepees, florida weave, cages, etc. She is going with the tepees this year- she and her husband cut some renegade bamboo down and made their tepees out of it. I will probably use the cages that John Switzer and I made (out of fencing). These are heavy duty cages that are totally rusted now but strong enough not to blow over or be pulled over by strong plants with heavy tomatoes. Tell me what method you use to support your tomatoes. Has anyone tried pleaching?

It's time to plant the frost-sensitive stuff. I have a bunch of tomato and pepper plants, some okra, and a big bag of seed packets. I may take over a few spaces in the flower beds for some vegetables. Okra has a hibiscus-like flower until it grows pods. I also figure that if the neighbors haven't complained yet about the Christmas tree that I still have sitting in a corner of the front porch then they won't mind seeing vegetables in my flowerbed.

I know, it's inexcusable. I keep forgetting the tree is there because I come and go through the back yard. I'll get rid of it this weekend. It's just that I feel...sorry for it.


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