Night Terrors

Things are, perhaps, a tiny bit behind schedule in the world that is plants on deck. It’s time to get back on track. Sleep is being lost. And that’s serious business.

Smoking Time Jazz Club
Smoking Time Jazz Club

After a lovely bonus evening’s (thanks overbooked airline!) happy hour oysters and an unspeakably delicious dinner in the Crescent City’s CBD, a leisurely bat-tastic wander around the Quarter, and a strangely unsuccessful attempt to catch one last show on Frenchman, POD’s minder and endurer retired rather early to the classy airport Ramada for a nap before rising at an hour when vampires haven’t even begun to worry about daybreak.

A full three (3!) hours before the series of alarms were scheduled to go off — and after only two restless hours “sleep” — the image of wilting, thirsty, leggy seedlings popped into this sleep-averse brain.

April SeedlingsGardening night terrors. Seriously?

“Damn gardeners,” muttered the endurer.

And so, just hours ago, the grow light has been restored, a healthy dose of water added (and immediately wicked up through the pots) and the fancy new French Orange hybrid melons have joined the tomatoes and poblanos.

Some More Seeds

The great debate continues. Should cucurbits (cucumbers and melons) be direct seeded in early May, or should they Happy Cat Cucumber Seed Packetsbe started indoors three to four weeks before the frost-free date? (Which, in POD’s case, is April 20thish.)

Philadelphia doesn’t exactly count as a “colder area of Pennsylvania”, but light begins dwindling on the little blue deck by the end of August so a head start seems like a good thing. If you have the luxury of full sun through September, you might want to go for the direct seeding.

And, because these heat lovers like it hot, POD will patiently, yes, patiently, wait until three true leaves have formed and outside temperatures are reaching the 70s. In other words, they probably won’t hit the deck until May — about the time the Philadelphia County Penn State Cooperative Extension recommends direct seeding.