April 11, 2010: Garden/Seedling/Granny Update

The garden and the seedlings are doing a bit better than the Granny. I blame Dan, who still hasn't sent that chicken soup down here, and my daughter, who had no idea where to buy port for The Idiot Gardener's Brandy and Port guaranteed cure! I was honestly ready to try it.

I am feeling a bit better today, but for the past two days I have had to take on a bit more than I felt physically able to do. You see, the seedlings didn't care that I was sick in bed. The tomatoes took it upon themselves to grow. And grow. Up and over their lights, they grew. It was quite apparent, if I wanted decent plants, they would have to be repotted immediately. So I dragged my body out of bed, dragged the plants, plastic cups and a tub of potting mix into the house, and proceeded to make a huge mess in my entire kitchen. I did get most of them done before I ran out of cups. I'm still coughing too badly to venture to Wal-Mart for more, but maybe I can talk Mr. H into doing it for me.

Many of the seedlings were looking a bit spindly, the results of being too warm and moist behind their plastic curtain, with no good air circulation. As I potted up the tomatoes, I set them out in the daylight, along with all the other seedlings. It was cool, partly cloudy and slightly breezy, but not enough sun and wind to do any harm. They stayed out for a couple of hours yesterday, and they all went outside again this morning. It's slightly overcast again, only supposed to get into the low 60s, and hopefully it will slow their growth and make them a bit stockier.

The brassicas that were planted on 3/15 and grown inside got quite leggy, so they were repotted a week or so ago. One thing with brassicas, they do not mind a bit if you bury their stems right up to their leaves. On 3/25 I direct seeded some broccoli into the garden, and topped each group of four seeds with a milk jug. I peeked at them today, and sure enough, they are coming up beautifully. I'll compare their progress with the indoor seedlings, and see if it's worthwhile to fool with starting them inside next year.

Some of the stragglers get special attention in the plant window.

Lettuce and peppers getting some outdoor light.

A table full of seedlings.

A few "young uns" stay inside

I wish I had more of these old picnic coolers. It's a wonderful place to sun these pepper seedlings and protect them from wind.

Eight "hills" of broccoli growing under milk jugs.

Sweet onions and cilantro.

And more sweet onions. One can never have too many!

Peas are slowly emerging, but germination looks pretty good.

I planted the radishes (glued to toilet tissue seed mats) at 1" apart, then ended up pulling every other one when they all germinated. Then the quail found them, so I have some bare spots and some chomped leaves. I'm going to have to find the bird netting. I think I'll get the lettuce seedlings transplanted to this bed this week.

The raspberries are looking lovely. This variety, Canby, doesn't produce sturdy canes, so I've been weaving them onto the cotton clothesline that is strung across the bed. It seems as though I remember getting a better harvest from horizontal canes, but even if my memory has failed me, it keeps them from getting beaten to death by our strong winds. I must say, they are just covered with flower buds.

Snap peas are just now emerging, way behind the shelling peas.

You'd think I'd learn by now that if I plant spinach seeds at 2" spacings on the toilet tissue mats, every one of them is going to come up and have to be thinned. I'll wait until they are large enough to toss into a salad or two.

Strawberries looking good. I need to get those strays out of the walkway and into the bare spots in the bed.

The plants are loaded with blossoms. I can't hardly wait for the first berries!

Nothing says spring like these sunny beauties.

Or my flowering quince. I absolutely love the vibrant color.

OK, girls, hold on to your hormones. I just have to get this last photo in. This is two-week-old Remington, the new great-grandson. The one I couldn't even hold and kiss and cuddle and spoil when I saw him for the first time, because I was sick.

Is he precious or what?

I want to thank all of you again, for your get well wishes. I hope you'll understand that I'm not answering every one of them........I'd never catch up! But all of your comments mean a lot to me. You Love me, you really, really Love me! TM Sally Field.


  1. Oh be still my beating ovaries - Remmington is gorgeous. How sweet is he??? I can't believe how much you got done feeling so poorly! And you took all those photos and updated your blog to boot! I'm so jealous of your lovely garden and all the new growth. Just beautiful! Hope you start feeling better soon. take care!

  2. Thank you, Kate. I'm sipping my OJ and feeling well enough to answer the comments today. I didn't even have to go back to bed, and I managed to get the kitchen cleaned.

  3. Remmington is a-dor-a-ble!!!

    Good job getting so much done when you're still feeling bad, but Granny, don't overdo it or you'll be stuck in bed even longer.

    I heart your strawberry bed...

  4. Momma_S, I think he looks just like a little Kewpie doll! I heart my strawberry bed, too. I'll heart it even more when I get it completely full of plants,

  5. How do you keep your raspberries in line? My blackberries are well behaved, but I just spent all afternoon yanking raspberries out of adjoining beds and they had hopped into the lawn! Do you just pull and burn?

  6. Erin, since I only started this patch last year, with four canes (remember, these are summer bearing not everbearing), late last fall I pruned out all the new canes except for the strongest 4-5 growing from each of that year's bearing cane. Those are the ones that are now the tall ones. The bushy short ones are next years fruiting canes, so next fall and subsequent years, I'll basically do the same leaving 6-8 of the strongest young canes in each group. That will keep the bed at 24-32 total canes, which I'm sure is maximum for a bed that size. I may find it's too many! They are growing outside the box, I just pull those out. I do need to go out soon and pull some from the edges of the box. They pull out quite easily if you get them young, because the soil is so loose.

  7. You've done amazing things while recovering, Granny -- so amazing that I'm sitting here stunned, wondering what exactly I've been doing with my healthy days!

    That grandson of yours is definitely the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time (oh, that silky little blonde tuft!), and the warning re: hormones was only too appropriate, I'm afraid. You've given me momentary baby envy. I just have to assume it will pass. ;)

  8. Aww, Meredith, not so amazing. I just hoped the neighbors thought it was the dogs barking out by the garden shed, not me hacking up my lungs! And hoping nobody looked over the fence, 'cause when I'm sick, I'm not a pretty sight to behold ;-) I mean, who gardens in pajama bottoms and sweatshirt, with wild uncombed hair? Me!

  9. I hope you are feeling better soon as there is just not enough time for a busy gardener like yourself to be feeling under the weather.:)

    I love the way you have trained your raspberries and everything else looks to be off to a great start as well.

    Oh, and those quince flowers are beautiful!

    "Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription ... And with no limit on dosage."

    - Author unknown

  10. Mr. H., thank you. I am feeling much better today.

    I had the raspberry canes tied to wires last year, but they suffered a lot of abrasions from the wind blowing them back and forth across the metal. I found the soft cotton clothes line and twining the vines along horizontally to be so much easier on the plants. It will also be easy to identify those that need to be pruned out after fruiting. Of course, it remains to be seen if it works as I hope it does.

    I love the gardening quote :-)

  11. Granny~RE your comment to Meredith: Ummm, I garden in my PJs and frumpy hair aaallll too often--then again, our fences are taller than me, so I feel like I get away with it. ;-)

  12. Hi, Granny. I'm glad you are feeling a little better, but I hope you get well soon. I'm so jealous of all of your seedlings, how did they get so much bigger than mine? I planted mine first! :)

    I got to hold my best friend's 1 day old baby last week, so my ovaries are already trying to threaten me at knife point. Your darling Remington is just piling it on!

  13. So glad you're feeling better. The baby and the flowers are beautiful. No, the plants don't stop growing just cuz the gardener doesn't feel like gardening that day, more's the pity!

  14. Don't those canes look wonderful! I'm glad you're slowly going on the mend. Stay in bed a little while longer.

  15. I guess I'm not the only person laid up at the moment. You and I must have some sort of psycho/physiological connection, whatever that means. hahaha. Either that or we need to take better care of ourselves. (Have you been taking your mult1-vitamins?!)

    Your pepper seedlings look great. Mine aren't doing much of anything. They've seemed to stop growing. I don't get it.

  16. I think your strawberry bed looks beautiful! As is baby Remington! I have had a baby bug for two years that still has to wait another 3 1/2 years. Enjoy him when you get better! Thanks for all of the updated pictures! :)

  17. Hurry up and get well, Granny! You know your garden needs you right now...

  18. Hard working even when coughing up a lung... that's our AG! I feel quite lazy in comparison!

    The raspberry patch and strawberry patch both look set to provide an abundant harvest this year.

    Seedlings and direct sowings are looking good. I will be repotting and transplanting some tomatoes next weekend too. They are getting huge and are definitely ready for more root room.

    Remington is absolutely beautiful.

  19. Awww how cute. I wan't a little grand baby. OK I want to wait a few years since my son is still in college, but I so want one.

    Well all I can say is at least my spinach and snap peas are bigger than yours. I just started my peppers last week. They aren't even up yet. This week I need to start my tomatoes.

    Get better Granny. And make Mr. H get you some cups.

  20. Momma_S, our east neighbor's fence is only 3' high and chain link, so I'm visible darned near all the way down to the next street! I really don't "dress up" to garden, but this week I was beyond ridiculous ;-)

    Chelsea, I don't know why my seedlings grew faster. Possibly because I had to leave the lights on so long due to our plunge in temperature. Some that I grew inside were shorter, but stockier.

    SB, they don't go out and plant themselves, either. If it doesn't decide to pour down rain today, I'm going to have to get the lettuce in. I'll bundle up warm, I promise!

    Ribbit, you know you can't keep a good woman down ;-)

    Thomas, we're kindred spirits, you know. If one of us suffers, so suffers the other.

    No, I'm not going to kill my pepper plants to make you feel better about yours. That's where this spirit draws the line ;-)

    Megan, I'm very happy about the condition of the strawberry bed. It's much better than I expected for this early in the spring.

    Now, Kistsap....lazy is not even in your vocabulary.

    I'm getting there, EG! Gotta get the lettuce planted :-)

    Daphne, grandchildren are usually great to have. What's not so great are the bugs they catch at school/daycare and bring over to share with grandma and grandpa. My immune system doesn't seem as strong as when I was younger, so I manage to catch everything they bring me. I think I'm going to have to pay better attention to my diet, as well as add some vitamin supplements. That was always helpful in the past. I need to get those good garden veggies growing!

    I think I'll grab some cough drops and get to the store for those cups today. I'm not chilled, feverish and achy at all now.

  21. That delivery person must have ate up the soup! :-) The garden is looking good. Nice to see some flowers again.

  22. Darn it, Dan. You just can't trust anyone these days! ;-)

  23. So sorry you're feeling bad Granny. Sending some prayers your way that you'll be feeling as "springy" as the weather :-)

    You are so right - those seedling don't take a break do they? I spend a good part of Sunday before last just potting up tomato seedlings... whew!

    Your great grandson is absolutely adorable! Hope you'll get to see him again soon when you are feeling better!

  24. Judy, thank you. I think your prayers worked, I'm feeling much better :-)