Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A weekend of gardening

Taking advantage of this amazing heat wave, I've been doing a LOT of gardening this weekend, mostly in the form of watering and transplanting. On Saturday Kate Billington and I took some greenery down to the park and planted sunflowers, nasturtiums, pansies, petunias, a cosmos, calendulas (possibly--we weren't sure what they were, actually), peas, and a whole lot of perennial seeds and some anemone corms. It was quite the production, hauling the water from the fire station (after spending some minutes filling up the jugs and pitchers and the washtub borrowed from Lisa Sporleder) on the little cart (also borrowed from Lisa) up through the driveway and along the bike path and then down to the park itself, all ever so slowly so as not to spill that precious water. Kate's been working on getting a big tank for the park (the Valentines may loan theirs, which is 250 gallons, or the ECA may just buy one from George, although that one's only 100 gallons) so we don't have to do this elaborate haulage routine. Kate's also planning on buying George's old truck to use for, among other things, park work.

I've been having to do much more watering than usual, as many of my plants are in small containers (particularly those I am readying for the Ester market) and dry out quickly in this heat: baby's breath, nasturtiums, and my infant late-sprouting nightshades. The tomatoes are hardened and a nice dark green, but they've started robbing their cotyledons of nutrients, so I mixed up some worm castings tea to fertilize them with. I'm hoping that will help.

On Monday, Kate and I went up to Calypso Farm for their spring plant sale, where I picked up some cauliflowers and summer squash, and one acorn squash. (Also a t-shirt.) I had finally given up on my own squash, French Ronde zucchinis and patty pan squash, as I had planted them a month ago and they hadn't done anything. Ironically, upon returning from Calypso, I discovered that two of the French Rondes that I'd saved from seed the year before had sprouted just that morning! The new seed packet of French Rondes still haven't come up. Now, however, I have hope that they might come up after all, if I can just keep them watered enough. The new squash, Magdas, I planted in the bed by the firepit benches, since the Chioggia beet seeds that I'd planted there earlier didn't appear to be doing anything.

This morning I brought in one of my currant tomatoes to Jeff Werner at the university; he's been looking for a small sweet tomato that can be grown in the area, and hadn't heard of this type. It's a different species than your regular tomato: Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium. The plant is really tiny, just getting the second of its first set of true leaves, but it's a nice dark green and looks pretty healthy. I get my tomato seeds from Tomato Growers Supply or Seeds of Change. These ones came from seed I bought from Tomato Growers Supply. I found an interesting history of the tomato on the web while looking up currant tomatoes.

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