Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hardening Off

Vivian and the Pansies
I haven't blogged much about my gardening lately, simply because I haven't been doing much of it. Since I'm cutting back this year (too many projects going on, but my new linen closet looks great!) I really haven't done much gardening. Since the mulching has been done, I have just been enjoying watching things grow. The Strawberries look wonderful and are flowering like crazy, the Rhubarb flowered (how cool is that?), my Asparagus is doing just great, and I might even be able to eat some next year.

As for the rhubarb flower, I know I'm supposed to not let it do that, but it is just so cool. I like to enjoy all aspects of my plants. Maybe next year I'll cut off the flowers. Next year will be year three so I will be able to use it. I'm not sure I will have a large enough crop of strawberries and rhubarb to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, so I am looking for some cute little tart pans, so I can make a little baby pie!

I did harvest some horseradish while I was weeding and mulching. I chopped it up and put it in the fridge per my husband's request. I don't know why I bother, he rarely eats it. The horseradish is fixin' to flower as well. My perennial herbs are busy and lush, and I have started 4 kinds of basil in a pot.

Horse Radish

This weekend is potting up weekend. For the past few weeks, I have been stuck on the cycle of the worst part of gardening.... hardening off my seedlings. Ugggh, I hate it. First there is the inconvenience of hauling them out each day. And then hauling them back in. Then there is the stress. Will I or will I not kill them? I hate when they get pale and shaky. I feel bad for them, and I worry I will lose them completely. This year they have done very well. My Snow White midsized tomatoes are this year's faint of heart. It looks a bit burned, and I'm not sure if that was from the sun, or the cold nights which they spent in the garage. Everything else looks OK. The bell peppers, pickling peppers and eggplants look the best they ever have. I grew them their own flat this year, starting them 2 weeks earlier, and because they weren't combined with the fast growing tomatoes, I was able to keep the grow light low and close to them, and they look just great, dark green and bushy, dare I say even "robust".

My Project for this Weekend

I did have a few failures this year. One pickling pepper never grew real leaves. It puttered along for weeks not growing even one iota. So I pulled it. My Rosa Bianca eggplants never germinated in three attempts. The Pineapple tomatoes did finally germinate after three attempts, so are three weeks behind everything else.

Last night I hauled all my big pots and tomato ladders out. Next I'll have to scrub them up a little and fill them with dirt. That's a back breaking job out in the middle of the lawn. I'm looking forward to having an actual potting bench. My husband is in the process of moving the chicken coop up near the garden where he will then add a potting shed so I can abandon the makeshift "outhouse" I'm using now. I will finally be able to make use of 3 years of magazine clippings and design my garden storage. Woo Hoo! Here it is loaded on the trailer.

Now all we have to do is add on to it and then side it to match the house.

Oh, and on a foot note, the landscaper will be here first thing Friday morning to landscape the front of our house. Things are shaping up around here.

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