Friday, May 21, 2010

Onions, shallots and.....tomatoes.

Yes, i planted the tomatoes out today. Wisely or foolish, we shall see.  These are the tomatoes that survived that recent frost.  I am glad i kept the Romas because two of them began to generate new leaves and almost looked normal if small.  I figure, these plants have been outside since i wintersowed them in February...  c'est la vie.   If i have to visit my favorite small garden nursery to replace plants there is nothing i can do now that will change it. If the plants have been stunted, it already has occurred.

I even that some pattypan squash seedlings that survived and are throwing out fresh leaves. These are the seed from Johnny's that are somewhere around 10 years old. The seeds that as of the last in the package have still given me close to 85% germination.  I never knew squash seed was that tough... so that is also a good example of the high quality seed that i got from Johnny's.

It the seedlings of tomatoes do well, it looks like the replacement plants that have sprouted may end up  being donated to my parent's garden.

The replacement squashes, and melons are also resprouting so reliably, i may have to split those as well.

I got all the seedling onions set out and the shallots. Those will be safe if the weather turns,  so that was perfect to do.

It was tricky planting those since they were planted in the seed flats that got spilled in the Great Flying Greenhouse Escapade.  I had just planted two flats of assorted herbs and veggies, the wind knocked it over, mixed it all up...  it was all the soil i had left so i put it back in and replanted something totally distinguishable from any herbs and other veggies in there. Onions are perfect. Nothing else that i have for seeds looks like the onion family.
But this is what the cell packs looked like:

There were also 2 nice red Swiss Chard (Bright Lights) in there and i think a basil, both sharing their cells with a nice stocky Ailsa Craig onion seedling.  There is still a Point One cabbage and a tiny Borage (i think) in the last cell on the right.
I saved  all  of the non-onion seedlings,  some were basil and parsley- and i lost a lot of my basils in the frost,  so i kept all i could. Some of them were growing a bit too close so a few of the onions have a little Chervil sidekick in their planting hole.
I put the extra seedlings into new cell packs for planting later.

I didn't get a picture, but those brassica and family plants i set out the other day are looking great. It looks like they have grown quite a bit already.

I hope tomorrow i can finish the squash & melon hills.
After that it is mostly herbs that will need to be planted.

Then i can play with some berry seeds, keep up with weeding, count days until succession plantings, then some harvesting, putting by, green manuring...

That is if it goes well!
Alternatives are:
Cursing the existence of groundhogs
Praying for rain; alternately:
Praying for sunshine
Praying for the weeds to drop dead
Bemoaning the existence of tomato hornworms
Finding a pile of cat poo next to my cucumbers
Finding earwigs setting up house inside my sweet pepper fruits
Battling a slug and snail plague

Hopefully it won't be like that,, but i am steeling myself for it just in case.

The airlock on the Lilac Wine is chugging away most encouragingly.
I sure hope its pleasant, i don't want something more akin to flower scented lighter fluid!

I need to remember to spray the apple trees again, the petals appear to be blown.

The irises are blooming, and my orange poppy has even more buds on it this year.

So i'm going to rest now. I keep thinking i can finish "Root Cellaring" but its a longer book than i thought :o)


Faith said...

Tomato hornworms. They are so big that it's almost like a prize to find one. We like to throw them to the chickens.

Groundhogs... the biggest gophers on the planet!


icebear said...

I think woodchucks, besides monkeys are the only animal that i do not like one bit. The first year we moved in here was the first time they had ever interfered with my gardening to any noticeable extent.

They mowed down the cosmos seedlings i had just bought.
I didn't even get them planted!
I bought them just the day before and had set them on the shed porch (it was a screenhouse then) to harden off to the sunlight. I went to plant them and they were gone, eaten down to the nubs.
It has been WAR ever since.

So far the hoops, electric fence (only one strand right now) and the presence of the dog has either kept them out or they haven't tried yet.

The hoops should keep the horn worms off for most of the growing season. But they can defoliate a large plant in one day. It happened to me once. I was shocked.
But if the covers keep the moths away and no eggs are laid, then the cover comes off after egg laying time is past, i may get away with it.
Since i didn't garden at all last year and this is new ground, i may not have to deal with mny pests this year. Next year may be the big test because the bugs will know where i am by then!