It has been a challenging year in the garden. Too wet, too cold, always just "too something" for me to be able to get out there and plant. I even took a bit of a risk this year with popping my tomato plants out there so soon. But what can I say ~ I'm just a crazy risk taker in the garden. Sometimes you just have to be. ;)
Did you know that cats munching on your seedlings really don't do them a bit of good? Yeah, I found that out this year. I already knew that, but sometimes it seems like I have to find out the hard way just to make sure that I never forget. This was the first year that my cats really messed with the little bitty seedlings. I usually just left them in my big, sunny bay window and never had to worry about them until they got so big that the temptation was just too much for the kitties. This year, it seems that they acquired a taste for baby salad greens. I came home from work one horrible day to find dirt and half eaten seedling so carelessly strew about. It was an all-they-could-eat salad bar. I almost cried. So I tried to replant them and I did manage to save 3 Big Tom tomato plants, 1 Tiny Tim tomato plant, 3 jalapeno, 2 green pepper, and 1 broccoli. My cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, and most broccoli were completely destroyed. I put the survivors in new peat pots and hid them in the not so ideal location of our my DD's play room. The natural light in there is horrible, but I put a grow light in there and prayed for the best. And the plants grew. So did some MOLD on the side of my peat pots. Little white fluffy stuff. This has never happened to me before!! Apparently, there was just not enough air circulation in there for growing plants. So, I tried to ride it out for as long as I could. I scraped the pots off, tried to keep them dry, and prayed. Yesterday was the end of the line. I had to stick my poor plats in the ground before the mold got to the plants and the roots system. So yesterday was planting day!
Here's what is in the ground now:
3 Big Tom tomato plants
1 Tiny Tim tomato plant
1 Roma tomato plant (Yep, had to buy that one. Sigh.)
1 really pathetic looking broccoli plant (Thanks, kitties)
Broccoli seeds (and prayers)
1 really really pathetic looking cauliflower plant (Thanks again, kitties)
Cauliflower seeds (and prayers)
Peas (Already growing GREAT!!!)
Lettuce seeds - Cos and Mesclin mix
I have to plant:
MORE MORE MORE carrots
more Broccoli and Cauliflower (I gave up and am going to buy some plants. Sigh.)
Maybe another cherry or grape tom plant
herbs - cilantro and basil
Green and jalapeno pepper plants
Here's a garden tip for you if you don't already know this one: Pepper plant like warm weather, so try not to plant them until your night temperatures are above 55 consistently. For zone 5A like I am, this usually means after Mother's Day through late May is ideal planting time for pepper plants. But the key is the NIGHT TEMP. Too cold and your plant leaves will turn yellow and die. If you are container gardening, you can plant them in your big containers but be sure to bring them in at night until your night temps are high enough.
Organic garden tip: Plants onions around your cucumbers to keep cucumber beetles (aka squash borer beetles, those yellow and black striped beetles) away. We have tons of those little guys in our area. I do this every year and I have never had a problem. They hate onions! You can even do this in a container.