POD’s Going On a Roadtrip

beforejunevacayTake a good look…update to follow in a few weeks.

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Gimme Shelter

top hat blueberryWhile it’s a sad year for plants on deck, the plants out front are doing just fine, thank you very much.

A little scrap of bird/deer netting is keeping killer sparrows at bay, leaving the possibility of a cupful of blueberries intact.

TreeWater access is much, much more convenient at street-level, and Tree — so creative around here, with the naming of things — the gorgeous, gigantic, disturbingly fast-growing white maple, provides just enough shade during the heat of the day that the tomatoes and window boxes appear to get a respite from the searing, brutal midday rays and a good dose of photosynthesizing, pleasant morning and afternoon rays.

Flowers!What’s this you say? POD’s…happy? Whaaaat? Has this blog been taken over by an optimist? Horrors. Surely something’s just a shot away.

Sunshine Blue Blueberry mystery tomato

The Dutchest, Part II

So, that number on the soil bag is no help. “We don’t do returns.” Or stand by guarantees, evidently. Anyhoo, 30 minutes and several transfers later, and after speaking to another lovely South Philly return cashier, hope lingers. Supposedly if I dump some of the dirt (keep in mind that I bought nearly 150 pounds of this stuff) into a trash bag and bring it back to the store then they’ll refund me. We’ll see.

Later that same afternoon: Hey! The Depot called me back! $51.66 (I forgot about tax — I’m losing some of my Dutch cred) has been credited to my card. No lugging necessary. Thank very, very much. Customer service gold star.

The Dutchest

VigoroIt’s on. The bag pictured here and one partial bag were graciously refunded by a kind South Philly De[s]pot employee.

That leaves a mere $47.82 for the other six bags to go. POD’s on a mission. You can take the Michigander out of Michigan, but you can’t entirely take the Dutch out of the Dutch girl. (Translation: POD’s minder has a tendency towards the cheap and can’t bear to pay for stuff that ain’t right.)

Hey, BadGardener, if you still have your receipts, join the fight and see if they’ll stand by the guarantee. (M-F 9-5:00)

So Annoyed. So Sad.

tomato grrrCrap soil. AGAIN. Leaves yellow. Stunted everything. Even the freaking basil isn’t growing. Thank you, Vigoro organic potting mix, thank you.

Need more? Something, a bird one suspects, judging from the slash-like wounds on the stems, the lack of tell-tale havoc in the surrounding dirt, and the omnivorous quality of the beast, has eaten everything. A freaking COMMON SPARROW, most likely. The poor tomato pictured here had staged a comeback. All the submerge leaves had made a desperate bid for daylight. It was so exciting! So green! So hopeful! So Christmas miracle-y in June-y. But nope, not to be. All plants on deck are dead this year, folks. Four cucumbers, three basil plants, three tomatoes…all eaten. White flag waved: it’s finished.

Fingers crossed for plants out front and the liberal application of organic (why bother?) fertilizer. The only thing that looks decent is the mystery tomato and the one surviving Early Girl — both of which were spiked with a traditional, evil, chemical-rich fertilizer stick. Sigh.

A Little in Love

tom thumb peasWith the Tom Thumb peas. Sadly, POD only bothered to plant one small pot of them.  1/3 cup of shelled peas from six adorably mini plants ain’t too shabby. Note to self: plant LOTS of these little buggers next March. They really did weather a super-cold spring, they really were super tiny, they’re totally done by mid-May, the Hurricane loved shelling them, and they honestly taste pretty fantastic. As fresh out-of-the-lowercase-pod peas usually do.