Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stepford Plants Report

As I last reported, I've planted a handful of seeds this year, instead of just tomatoes. So I'm going to give you all the current status, but first I'll tell you about what's been happening the last couple of weeks in Stepford House...

Last Monday, after Saturday's Scare, I mowed the yard for the first time to make it look less like an abandoned home. I set Moby the Mower on a higher height, and did a cursory overall mow. Today I did the second mow of the season, still on the higher height, but I think I covered more of the yard this time than I managed last time.

On that Monday last I also started to break up the dirt in my "garden plot" and get it ready for planting. It'll be a few more days before I can plant, because we are having a late frost, but soon enough... soon...


Since I last wrote, more of the seeds have sprouted, and one even seems to have died prematurely. I've now got eight sprouts, one of which I'm sure is dead. And so I'm going to post more after the cut.

Let's start with the garden plot. This is the area next to the South side of our house that gets lots and lots of sunlight, and is being prepared by me for the seedlings to go in as soon as I can put them there.

Garden Plot

The far end has been prepped, but the rest isn't. And just today I've put up bird netting over the area in my first attempt to prevent the cats from using it as their neighborhood potty. I don't want "cat seeds" next to my tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.

For watering this year I'm going to use a combination of sprinkler and "milk jug" watering. I need to encourage Eric to drink more milk so I'll have enough jugs to water all the plants.

The current plan is to put just four of the plants I'm growing from seed in, not all eight (if they survive I plan to give away the extras) and then I'm hoping that my mom-in-law will give me a couple more plants to add to the collection. I know what she offered to bring over, and I hope it happens, but I'm ready to go ahead without them if it doesn't.

Next up, let's look at that Grafted Plum tree again.

Grafted Plum Tree

It hasn't done much since the last picture, and I didn't even bother taking a picture of the front yard plum stick, but I have a little added information for this guy so I took another picture. Here's that added information:

Tag for Grafted Plum

This is the tag that was on the Grafted Plum. As you can see, it says "Sugar" at the top, "Italian" in the middle, and "Santa Rosa" on the bottom. I *think* that is the same order they are grafted on. The "Sugar" is on the top, and the "Santa Rosa" on the bottom.

Now, I'm really confused about that "Sugar" plum, because I thought that was a candy, not an actual type of tree. I've done a little bit of research and haven't been able to figure out what that variety actually is (scientific name). Perhaps someone who knows a bit more about plants will see this post and tell me. The Italian is, of course, the same type of tree I have already planted in the front yard. I'm not at all displeased to have more of it. The Santa Rosa was a plum variety I could have gotten much earlier than my Italian if I'd wanted it, but it's just as well I have a part of it now.

This is my first experience with grafted trees, and I know there is a lot I don't know or understand about them, but I am hoping I'll manage to keep it happy and growing well despite my lack of knowledge. In this particular climate with the good soil we have here, it sure seems like all that any plant needs is enough water during the summer, and it will grow. Whether you want it to or not. In good news, my mother-in-law's grafted plum that she got at Costco last year is already blossoming this year. So there is hope for mine, I think.

Moving on, let's go up to the South-side windowsill to see what is happening there.

Tiny Tim Tomatoes

First up are my Tiny Tim Tomatoes. They seem to be doing very well indeed, growing extra leaves and sprouting nicely. I think I will transplant the smaller one soon to see if I can keep it alive long enough to give it to a friend. The larger one will then get put into a bigger pot of potting soil.

Next up is the peppers.

Yolo Wonder Peppers

Sadly, the earliest sprout of the Yolo Wonder Peppers didn't grow. It started out, then remained curled up and now appears to be rotting at its base. It's hard for me to tell, because I'm just not sure what I'm looking at. But the good news is that the other seed finally sprouted and it just is growing madly. So maybe we'll manage to have peppers this year after all.

I did a little more research into this variety of peppers and now I think perhaps these are a bit more tricky to get to survive than I expected. When I transplant to the garden plot, I think this will be the last one to make the move. Only when the ground is good and warmed up.

Next are the triffids. Er, Moneymaker tomatoes:


I think I need to transplant and give one of these away QUICKLY before they decide to grow up and take over my entire windowsill. Seriously, I don't need a lot of tomatoes. I had buckets of them last year. I will be delighted if I can find someone who wants the second plant. Like the Tiny Tim, I think I need to transplant them already. And, frankly, I don't mind at all.

Speaking of transplanting:


The zucchini is wild! Yes, I will be giving away one of these. If I have to sneak into Church on Sunday and leave one sitting in the foyer, I'll do it. I will not have two zucchini plants. One is more than enough for plenty of bread, cookies, and lightly fried in olive oil meals of zucchini. I like zucchini. But even I know there are limits to how much zucchini one person should have growing in their garden plot.

Ok, so that's this week's plant report for Stepford House in Churchville Washington. I'll report more as more develops. Will the netting keep the cats out of my garden? Will either plum tree manage blossoms this year? Will the triffid take over the garden? Will the pepper make it? What exciting new plants will mother-in-law bring to plant? Can milk jug watering really work here? Find out next time!


David Oakes said...

Soon, my Precious...