The good folks at Plants on Deck are decidedly too busy these days to go through the ordeal of starting plants from seed. Last year, despite their early arrival, the Celebrity tomatoes from Gurney’s worked like a charm. This year, the resistant-to-everything Early Girls arrived even earlier. Like, in early April. And unlike last year, this has been a cool and rather delightfully long-lasting spring. Even though the seedlings hung out in an indoor/outdoor fashion for a week, it was still too cold and too early and two out of three have kicked it.
Although the Am Ex has been credited, Early Girls were out of stock and POD’s back to the drawing board.
So, a trip to the Depot resulted in a new, green and hearty-looking tomato.
Bad blogger confession: The tag got pitched. No clue what the thing is!
Note to Self and other zone 7 gardeners: When ordering starts, specify a May delivery date!
With any luck, these pretty little flowers will ripen into one of the Hurricane’s favorite fruits. POD even remembered to fertilize them last fall and earlier this spring with a little nitrogen-rich blood meal. Short of pH testing, I think the blueberry rules are being followed pretty closely.
Although this is their forth year of life (which means, theoretically, that they should produce at least a few handfuls of fruit), we’ll keep our expectations modest. After all, they’ve exceeded expectations elsewhere the blossoms are long-lasting and rather beautiful, the shrub is a lovely green, and the fiery red leaves are a joy in the fall.
Hey, Philadelphia! Looking for something to do next Saturday? Come on over to Pennsport’s Howard Street Park (on the NE corner of Reed and Howard Streets) on Saturday, May 11 between 10-1:00. There’ll be plenty of weeds to pull, compost to spread, and flowers to plant.
The Good People of the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association have high hopes for South Philadelphia High School. Let’s help make it happen. Visit Projexity to learn more and to donate.
“South Philadelphia High School has the potential to transform its concrete-dominated 5.5 acre urban campus into a beautiful and dynamic green environment, but we need your help! The development of a campus-wide Greening Master Plan and the employment of a Garden Coordinator are the first steps in enabling this historic institution to transform itself and establish a bold new precedent for public schools in Philadelphia. In the face of a crumbling public school system, you have the power to help us create innovative outdoor educational opportunities for South Philly High’s diverse student body and the greater community. Improvements will include an educational rooftop farm, outdoor classrooms and ground-level improvements like rain gardens and tree plantings aimed at empowering students and residents and fostering innovation. The community-driven project will demonstrate sustainable campus design strategies that address stormwater management, fresh food access, healthy eating and outdoor education. Thank you for your support!”
But Sunday was a big day. The sun was shining, the soil was warm, the time was right and Monday’s forecast called for the last of April’s showers. Given the Hurricane’s deep, deep, deep, affection for cucumbers, which rivals her love of tomatoes, it seemed important to get some things in the ground.
Step 1: Styrofoam, for drainage.
Step 2: Dirt. Lots of dirt.
Step 3: Costume change + consultation with deck amis.
Step 4: Finally! Planting White Wonder, Adam F1, and Lemon Cucumbers
Those Tom Thumb peas planted back in March are looking pretty good. Not that that means we’ll get more than one pea pod per plant. Which would be almost enough for the Hurricane’s lunch. But hey, stuff’s growing.
There was a day when this NYT article would send POD to the interwebs, credit card in hand. Experiments to be run! Obsessing to be done!
Creepy garden owls? Oh, yeah.
Garden Gnome Drones? Tee hee.
The VegiBee? Puhlease!!! (Actually, I’m itching for this one, just a little.) [Edt postscript: the Endurer points out that, um, "itching" as an adjective to describe one's desire for a vegetable vibrator shouldn't really be used together. At least not in a family-friendly blog.]
Now? The Hello Kitty watering can is about all that gets experimented with these days. “No, Hurricane, not the sidewalk, the peas, the peas! No, no, not Amma’s shoes, no, the peas, the peas!” (Note: the young gardener chose her footgear wisely.)