Saturday, May 15, 2010

Planting time!

My lone zucchini plant. I didn't grow zucchini last year and missed it so I decided to grow it again this year.

I have had this day designated as my planting day for weeks now so I didn't let a sick kid or the threat of rain deter me. So this morning I left Jeff at home to tend the sick kid and took my 13 year old down to the Bloomington Farmer's Market in search of plants for my garden. I'd made a list based on my garden plan. That place was packed with vendors and shoppers. I ended up spending $17 and I got 4 tomato plants (2 Cherokee Purples, 1 Beefy Boy, and 1 Roma), 4 hot pepper plants (2 Jalepeno, 1 Banana Pepper, and 1 Poblano), 1 zucchini plant, 4 Sweet Genovese Basil plants, and 1 rosemary plant. I was disappointed that I couldn't find any cucumber or butternut squash plants, and the only sweet bell pepper plants I could find were California Wonder and I want Big Bertha. I also didn't buy any oregano or parsley because I was out of cash. So obviously I am not done shopping for plants although I am done for today. I am thinking of making a trip to Cox's Plant Farm near Clayton, Indiana. Next to the farmer's market, it is my favorite place to buy plants.

Above is a photo of one of the tomato plants I bought alongside a basil plant. (Returning readers will remember that I plant basil among my tomatoes to attract parasitic wasps in order to control the disgusting tomato pest, the Tomato Hornworm.) I am a bit torn about the tomato situation. I only bought 4 tomato plants today and interplanted them with basil. I am trying to learn from past mistakes and last year I learned two things about tomatoes. One is that I prefer to let my tomatoes sprawl with minor support instead of staking and pruning. I find I get more tomatoes that way. The other thing I learned is that you can't crowd tomatoes. They need their room, especially if you let them sprawl. So my 4 tomato plants and basil plants take up all the room I have for them in the garden. But 4 tomato plants is not many at all. I want to make salsa and tomato sauce and I just don't think 4 plants will cut it. But I don't know where I could fit any more in. I need to think about that a while.

My garden planting isn't done. Here's what I've planted so far: lots of snow peas (now flowering), butterhead lettuces (almost ready to start harvesting), 4 rows of beets (2 inches tall), two rows of green onions and one row of carrots (all about 1 inch tall), 2 broccoli transplants, nasturtium seeds (two sets of leaves each so far), a row of sunflowers (about 4-5 inches tall), dill seeds (sprouting), kale seeds (sprouting), 4 tomato plants, 4 basil plants, 4 hot pepper plants, 1 rosemary plant, 1 zucchini plant, and yarrow seeds (the last 6 items planted today). I have already got bush bean and pole bean seeds but I'm holding off on planting those because I'm exhausted. Still need to buy 1 oregano plant, 1 parsley plant, 2 cucumber plants, 1 butternut squash plant, 3-4 bell pepper plants, and 1-2 sweet potato plants. My perennial chives, sage, coreopsis, and lavender are coming back again. Here's what my garden looked like today when I finished (just as the rain was starting, by the way.):

Today's weather:
High temp: 68 F
Low temp: 55 F

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