Monday, May 26, 2008

Baby tomatoes

I have two of them. Observe:

They're blooming more too. I even have a teeny little micro-cherry tomato starting. So now I'm wondering whether I should re-pot it like I planned. It needs a bigger pot and better soil; I just don't want to disrupt it.

The pepper plants are also starting to flower.

They seem to be growing better, too.

I planned to do some planting today, but I didn't get it done; the holiday meant I had to work on other things. Hopefully I'll get a chance this week. Summer unofficially started today, and I can't keep dragging my feet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I forgot about the column

I'm writing a column about this same topic on Mondays that goes out on our Home & Garden wire. Here's a link to this week's in the Raleigh News & Observer. We had a hailstorm on Friday, and my tomato plants suffered for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

I got another test kit the other day, the kind with tablets and tubes. So far I've tested the pH in both locations, as well as the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the main bed. The soil in the raspberry spot is still alkaline; I'm not sure if I should add more sulfur or give the current lot more time to dissolve. In the main bed, the pH is good, the phosphorus is good, and the nitrogen is quite low. I still have to test for potassium.

I know how absolutely thrilling this is for the three of you who read this.

In other news, I bought radish seeds and a new packet of carrot seeds. I figure I'll give it one more shot before moving on to something less snooty. I'll also look for nitrogen-heavy fertilizer in the hopes that they'll be more likely to sprout if they're better fed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Well, the carrots never came up, and the peas aren't progressing. It looks like I need to think of something else to try. Shade looks to be more of an issue than I thought, too. There's a big tree to the side of my house that blocks the sun for a significant chunk of the afternoon. (I finally had a sunny Monday when I could observe.)

My nemesis.

So what now? One of my friends suggested radishes, which I'd actually considered before. I'm also entertaining the notion of trying the carrots again, this time soaking the seeds first.

The good news - the tomatoes have recovered and are growing, although they haven't flowered yet. I'll have to stake them soon. I haven't noticed much growth in the peppers, though. They're still green and healthy-looking, but they don't seem to be much bigger. The herbs are healthy, even (apparently) the dill, and I need to get to the farmers' market this weekend and get a couple more.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Nothing to report

It rained (AGAIN) on Monday, my garden day, and I didn't get much done. I did prepare a spot for my raspberry bushes, which I think is far enough from the leash that the dog won't be able to pee on them. There are other spots in the yard I like better, but this one gets more sun.

Still no sign of the carrots. I'll give them maybe another week before I dig up the row and re-plant it. The little peas don't seem to be growing much, either, and that's a little disheartening because it's too late to start them again if they fail to thrive. The tomato plants have perked up, though. And the raspberries are shooting up in their pots. On Monday I plan to put them in the ground. Barring another downpour.