Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh boy, the planting

Shane sighed pretty much every time he walked into the kitchen/dining room area this weekend, at least when I was within earshot. I finally got a lot of my plants started! I'm shocked that I don't seem to have nearly enough containers for what I wanted to plant (shocked!) but it works for now. About half of our table is taken up with dirt. Nothing's popped up yet, of course, but I'm watching carefully. I also might or might not be giving the seeds little pep-talks when no one's around. Although, Shane did come in the other day and asked, "What were you saying?" Me: "Nothing. Just talking to the dog."
I also might have accidentally tried to kill my basil yesterday. I've been hardening off it and my one (so far) spinach plant, and I forgot about them and left them on the porch all day yesterday. The hardy spinach is fine, but the basil was looking brown in places and droopy. Whoops. I'll have to be more careful than that.
I went out and bought bags and bags of dirt yesterday for my planter boxes. Some of them already have leftover dirt, in which case this new soil will be no more than an amendment. But a few of them are having to start from scratch. I'm trying to build up a good supply of compostable materials because there's something I want to try. I've been reading a lot about hugelkultur and sandwich gardening and I've decided that I should layer some newspaper and compost in my boxes. This will a) help feed my plants so that they're healthy and b) take up more space in the box so I don't have to waste use a lot of expensive, bought soil. One of my long, shallow boxes will be perfect for the Parisienne carrots that were sent to me (short, fat, round carrots) and the other will hold broccoli. I'm also figuring out where I'll put strawberries, once I buy the plants. There weren't any at the garden center this weekend. I'll call around to see if I can find out who's going to have some and when.
As for my indoor, non food-producing plants, I got a few of them moved around this weekend. I transplanted the spider plant into a bigger (milk jug) pot, did the same for my cyclamen, and tried something that might or might not work with my violet. From the one tiny plant I bought years ago, it morphed into basically two large plants in one tiny pot. I talked to a very knowledgeable friend about how to split them (since they're still connected) and he said basically that he's never successfully done it. Gulp. But I really didn't have any other choice. So I tried it. I literally cut, with a knife, one branch away from the other, being sure to get some of the roots too. Then I hurriedly replanted it and poured some fertilizer in to hopefully stimulate the roots to grow quickly. I packed more dirt around the other plant and put some fertilizer in there too. The one in the original pot is looking well, but the other one was looking a little droopy around the edges. I'm expecting that it will lose some leaves, but as long as the plant itself lives I'm fine with that. And if this works, I have a violet at work which needs similar treatment, although it will be trickier because it's now three plants.
I totally went over the gardening budget this weekend. Only by about $10, but I still haven't bought strawberry plants and after seeing the state of the garden area, and trying to work on it a bit, I definitely need to rent a rototiller to turn the soil and get some of the very established weeds out of there. I have no idea how much that will cost. (Maybe about $50?) I did ask around to see if I know anyone with a tiller I can borrow, but no such luck. Shane's actually going to have to be the one to till the garden, since I've never used that machine before and he said that there's "no way" I have the upper body strength to do a good job with it.
And I just found out that the dog dug into one of my bags of dirt after I left the house this morning. AWESOME, dog, thanks.
Shane: "I thought you knew better than to leave bags of stuff lying around?"
Shane: "She eats toothbrushes. How did you not see this coming?"
Me: "The toothbrush thing actually kind of makes sense to me."
Shane: "WHAT? Why?"
Me: "Well, they taste minty fresh. She never eats new toothbrushes."
Shane: "Just be thankful she didn't try to eat the dirt, like she did with the flour. Then we'd have paste and mud in the carpet."
Me: "How spread around was it?"
Shane: "Oh no. I don't want to spoil the surprise."
Shane: "No. It's your responsibility."
Me: (fuming) "Did you at least put the bag up so she can't do it again?"
Shane: "No."
Me: "F**king f**k! Thanks a lot."
So, yeah. That's what I get to deal with when I get home.

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