Seed Giveaway!

Okay, Plants on Deck is cleaning house.Wanna’ help? Volunteer to adopt some seeds!

Gardening tools have been cleaned and hidden away (for that matter, shelves have been dusted, bathroom scrubbed, kittens emptied, and kitchen cabinets scoured — but that’s all a little tangential, sorry) and pots have been stashed for the winter.

And guess what? There’s a pile of seeds that aren’t going to wind up on deck again next year. Want ’em? Just let me know.

Fire off an email to plantsondeck at and they’ll arrive in your mailbox. Voila. It’s that easy. Just sharing the gardening love.

POD Seed Giveaway!
POD Seed Giveaway!

Parmex carrots (Cook’s Garden): Cute, little golf ball-sized sweet carrots. Great for containers and companion planting.
Not-A-Poblano (Happy Cat Organics): AKA jalapenos — produced heavily.
Isis Candy (Territorial Seed Company): Super-sweet indeterminate cherry tomato
Black Cherry (D. Landreth): Pretty, dark-skinned indeterminate cherry tomato
Mammoth Basil (Cook’s Garden): Super-huge leaves. Great for pizzas. Fairly mild.
Iznik Hybrid (Cook’s Garden)
True Lemon (Happy Cat Organics): Prolific lemon cucumber. Assertive, slightly bitter taste.
Spacemaster Cucumber
Purple Beans (who knows?)
Bambino (Cook’s Garden): Tiny purple eggplants
Filet Fin Des Bagnols (Cook’s Garden): Heirloom French bush beans
Pepper Cress (?): Spicy cool-weather accent green
Cleome Solo (Cook’s Garden): Tall white “spider flower”
Lavender Munstead (Cook’s Garden)


This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, Part III

It’s Just a Habit: part three in a series of notes for POD 2011

Oh, POD knows what it’s like to hate. Loopers, cucumber beetles, aphids, whiteflies, stinkbugs — oh yeah, to the kill.

Loopers: bacillus thuringiensis
Whiteflies: yellow sticky traps and lots of yellow marigolds
Aphids: Recycled aluminum foil mulch and maybe diatomaceous earth
Brown Marmorated Stinkbugs: Vigilance — these nasties have no local predator or proven killer.

This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, Part II

It’s Just a Habit: part two in a series of notes for POD 2011

We may be grasping for a leg of hope here, but nutrient deficiencies were a rather large bane of the little blue deck’s 2010 existence. Which seems a bit ironic, really, because this was the year POD went all-organic. Like Dylan in reverse.

Fancy soils were purchased, bags of worm poop were made into teas, stinky seaweed and fish emulsion fertilizers were religiously applied, and  wee bags of frighteningly expensive organic fertilizer (also stinky) were sprinkled.  And what happened? Tomatoes died, beans fell down dead, and peppers rotted.

So what’s a container gardener to do? Experiment! How, you ask?
1) Buy a pH tester and test the darn soil.

  • Tomatoes: slightly acidic 6.2-6.8
  • Greens and Beans: ditto, 6.0-6.5
  • Peppers: 5.5-6.0
  • Cucumbers, Melons, Parsnips, Carrots: 6.0-6.8

2) Be like Noah and plant two of everything. One in lovely organic soils, treated with organic remedies, and fertilized with smelly organic stuff. And the other in old-fashioned time-release fertilized soil, bathed in bright pink MiracleGro, and treated with chemical bug killers.

So what do you think? Tell me honestly.

[10/14/10 Note to Self: Head up to Fairmount Organic Recycling Center next year for free compost. Thanks, Domestic Efforts!]

This Will Go Down in Your Permanent Record, Part I

It’s Just a Habit: part one in a series of notes for POD 2011

Some Sign to Pursue a Promise…
This year’s targeted plants on deck date (April 20) proved to be a little early. Each year promises are made that this will be the year that POD’s minder demonstrates restraint and won’t submit tender seedlings to the elements before those elements are ready for them.

Next year’s targeted drop date for the important stuff is May 7-21.  Which, conveniently, will fall on what one hopes will be a lovely spring weekend.

So, what does that mean in terms of a POD 2011 seed-starting timeline?
(First, find some real, honest-to-goodness seed-starting mix.)
February 12: romanesco (on deck March 19)
March 26: tomatoes, peppers, and herbs (on deck May 7)
April 16: cucumbers and melons (on deck May 14-21)

March 12: kale, turnips
March 19: lettuce, radishes, carrots
April 2: chard
May 7: beans