Monday, March 25, 2013

Digger's Diary #6: Tomato/Pepper Panic, New Dirt

Latest updates:

1. EVERYTHING is up! Every seed I planted sprouted. Rather than planting more than one per pot, I just planted one seed per pot, and more than I needed. That way I don't have to thin them. I'll just keep the healthiest ones and give the others away (if anybody wants them). The tomatoes and peppers don't look so hot (I'll get to that in a minute), but the squash, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, marigolds, nasturtiums, and sunflowers are doing great. I didn't plant strawberries from seed, but the transplants I brought home from Lowe's are also doing well and have started to flower. Also one of my lavender plants is in bloom and the snapdragon looks great too.
  2. It's too cold for hardening off. Memo to self. Everything came back in. Christmas lights/kitty litter was reassembled. Le sigh.

3. After days of keeping an eye out, and sometimes actively searching for cinder blocks, I gave up over this weekend and just bought them at Lowe's. I have to say, though, that I'm not sorry. I set them in their spots around my planters and looking at the beds just makes my heart sing. Based on what I've seen from the strawberry pots, I'll definitely be lining the insides of the cinder blocks before I add the dirt. Cement is a thirsty animal.
 4. I bought a truckload of topsoil. It's not pictured here because it's truck. I know you think I'm crazy and/or stupid for buying dirt, and maybe you're right. But I don't trust the quality of the dirt around my house, and this stuff looks good. And I WILL be taking it with us when we move. Along with my compost.

5. I'm trying desperately to help my sad-looking tomato and pepper plants along. I can't decide what they need. They're in the same conditions that are making my watermelons, cantaloupes, cukes, and squash thrive. I'm watering them regularly enough. Here's a picture of one of my tomato seedlings. Maybe one of you out there can help diagnose the issue.

 6. Supplementary to #5, I am moving my tomatoes and peppers from the newspaper pots to "greenhouses" made from upcycled milk jugs, based on this tutorial. Two blogs I've read have used these, with excellent results. Particularly in the tomato department. So.

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