February 21, 2009: Odds & Ends, This & That

I shot that radish eating rabbit this morning! Not with a gun, with the camera. He was digging a tunnel, about three feet from the salad garden....is he planning an underground attack? Notice the smaller air hole to the right of the hole he's in. When I went outside, he had tunneled that far. Bad me....I stepped on his tunnel and collapsed it. No, he wasn't in it at the time.

The Tumbling Tom Tomatoes that were started February 4th are growing well. I keep them under the light from around 8:00AM until 11:00PM. On warm sunny days I have been setting them outside for natural sunlight from 11 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

The bell peppers that were planted on 2/7 look pretty good too, even though they have yet to grow their first true leaves.

Here is the happy family, snuggled in their foil lined box, basking in the light. I have the peppers sitting up on mini-bread pans to get them close to the light. One tomato is getting so tall, it's getting hard to keep all of them 1-2" from the light source.

The peppers seeds that I placed on a damp paper towel and put in a ZipLoc bag on 2/15 are showing signs of sprouting today, six days to germination. I doubt I'll use this method in the future, as it only saves a few days and Mr. H keeps throwing them in the garbage can. I have no idea what to do with these sprouts, as my light box is as full of plants as I can get it, and all of them will have to take a two day, 1200 mile journey to Washington in just two weeks. I'll have to put them into an insulated cooler to keep them from freezing, and take them (and their shop light) into the hotel room with me. People will stare, won't they!

When I get home, I'll start all the rest of my seedlings.....at least eight more varieties of tomatoes, more peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. I'm looking forward to the present I'm going to have waiting in my mailbox.....


That's a 2" square soil blocker that my dear friend John has made for me! Do check out the different ones he has made on his blog, John's Journal. I really worry about how I'm going to get my little ones out of their pots when it's time to transplant them. The way it is tapered, I might have to cut the pot away from them to keep from destroying the tap roots. With the soil block maker, that will never be a problem. No pot, no damage and no transplant shock! I can hardly wait to try it!

I still like the idea of using the soup containers as seed starting pots, but I should have thought them out a bit better. If I cut off the container in half and plant it with the lid on the bottom, when it's time to remove the seedling I can just pop off the lid and push everything out the large end of the container. Maybe. There's still a metal rim in there that might keep everything from sliding out. Yep.....I think I'm going to like that soil blocker!

Yes, we'll be heading home to Washington in just two weeks. That's much earlier than previous years, but I have some hugging to do! Many of you have been with me since the birth of my newest granddaughter, Alicyn. well, she's four months old now, and I've missed about 3-3/4 of those four months. Who wouldn't want to get back and hug this?

And here are a couple more who need some hugging and spoiling:

Kevin & Alicia

Updated today:



  1. Wow! Your tomatoes look great! I can't wait to hear about your 2 day trek home, should be very interesting! Once I took a goldfish on a plane flight with me in a tupperware dish. That was a new one for the flight attendants! lol

  2. Mommyamy, you don't want to know how many hotel rooms I've smuggled our pet rabbit into, hidden in a carry on bag or a large purse! Once we were on the elevator with security and the rabbit was moving around in my purse...I pretended I had hiccups! By the time we got off, I was practically in hysterics :-D

  3. That is a nice bunny photo, looks like it eats well.

    I like the look of that soil blocker. Does it have a bolt on the end to make the seed indent?

  4. Dan, John uses a brass acorn nut to make the indent. He gives directions on his blog at

    Our wild bunnies are very well fed this year, as it has been quite rainy and we have a lot of green everywhere. Most years we feed them rabbit pellets, a 50 pound bag a month, but this year they were well fed by Mother Nature. We do maintain a clean, cold water supply for them, though.

  5. The brass acorn is a good idea. I have been concocting a 4-5 block maker in my head for about a week and have not thought of that. I was picturing having the bolt slightly protruding and locking it in place with a nut. I guess it would serve the same purpose but the brass one looks much nicer.

    Your tomatoes have really done well by the way. I hope my early tomatoes grow as fast and as well.

  6. I love looking at your little green babies - and the pink one's are awfully cute too! ... now I'm off to look at John's seed blockers. Oh one thing before I go, how's the purple tomato plant doing? Any improvement?

  7. Granny,
    Oh I too have been stared at taking things in and out of hotels. We moved to MT 10 years ago during the biggest art event of the year (the CM Russell auction). There we were with a dog (a lab/chow), 2 cats, all our & their stuff and a couple clothes baskets full of my houseplants I wouldn't give away (till the move to AK at least). We got some looks...

    Then again, it doesn't take much for some people to look at you funny. I got some looks just for being in hotels with the dogs this summer.

  8. It must be hard to have to start half your transplants in a different state then drag them all around. I love your new soil block maker. I keep thinking about making a 4" one, then I think about the millions of 4" pots I own and don't bother. My 4" pots have nicely sloped sides and they are still hard to get the seedling out of.

  9. Just Jenn, I think the pink ones are the cutest. When I can lavish love on them, I'll let up a bit on the green ones.

    All of the tomatoes are a lovely green, but with a purplish color on the underside of the leaves...I think that's what they are supposed to look like. It must have been the way the light was shining on one that made the top/veins look so purple. It's my biggest, healthiest looking plant of all now, and has been allowed to snuggle up with its siblings again.

  10. Amy, it is so difficult to find hotels that will allow pets. I'd never try to smuggle in my dogs (bark-bark), but a 2-pound rabbit? He goes straight into the bathroom with a little portable pooper box, and never makes a sound. Well, almost never. The first time we took him into a room he thumped half the night. Now he loves hotels. Anyway, we have to drive for 10 hours the first day of our trip home, because we can only find one hotel where we can rent a pet room.

  11. Daphne, I really think I'm going to have to put these pots under the electric saw to get the plants out! The plastic isn't flexible at all, but I think I can take off the bottoms with the chop saw and push them out that way. I hope. I'd hate to baby them for 8-10 weeks and then kill them off at planting time.

    I've been reading up on the different recipes for soil for the blockers, that's quite an education in itself! Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss when it comes to gardening. Or that too much knowledge can be a bad thing. ;-)

  12. Wow, that AZ sun really did great for your mater plants! Mine are still only an inch or two without true leaves yet. Sheesh!

    I can't wait to hear about your trek home as well. Don't worry about the dirty looks, just say you CAN'T be without your weed (with a straight face) and walk into your hotel room. hehe.

  13. Ha-ha, Sinfonian..EG said that sun would kill them! I do think it was a good thing when mine got leggy and I put the toilet paper rolls around them and added dirt up to the leaves. I really tore up the little root taking them out of the first containers, but the evidently are rooting well along the stem 'cause they are healthy looking little stinkers.

    Granny and her weed? That would be a good one ;-)