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Spring, and Things Coming Ripe

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's taken awhile to get around to lushness, but spring is finally here. It's about a week late. Maybe more. The trees are still all but leafless in the cooler hollows, but they're catching up fast. Everything's busting out. 

The greenhouse was still crammed with plants as of the morning of May 6. Tomatoes and peppers and hibiscus deeply resent nights in the lower 40's. 

They are waist high. And not only that, but...

the Sungolds have RIPE TOMATOES ON THEM!!!! SQUEEEEE!!! MAY TOMATOES TOMATOES IN MAY. Repeat until it sinks in. Well, why not? The plants are 3 1/2 months old! To them, May is August!

 I grew them. In my greenhouse. And soon they will go out into the garden. And we will eat TOMATOES IN MAY from our own garden. Yes I am SHOUTING.

(I'm reading this over, having written it the day before digging something like 60 holes and planted all those plants,  and I can tell you I'm not shouting now. I'm happy just to be breathing.)

However. If I had it to do over I would NOT plant tomatoes in mid-January. Because I have repotted them not once. Not twice. Three times. All 50 of them, peppers too. I don't have any more pots to bump them up into. I got so desperate for soil that I recycled a bunch of potting soil from last year's planters. I added some Osmocote. The plants didn't miss a beat. Learned something, I did. Learned a lot. You don't have to go out and buy fresh bales of Pro-Mix for repotting. You just recycle the soil and add a little Osmocote. That's what you do.

I also learned that there is a limit to how long you can soak peas before you have to plant them. You have to get them in the ground before the root starts growing, or they rot. They rot fast, and spectacularly. And then you have to soak a whole batch more. So don't think you can soak them for a week or something because it's still too cold and dry to plant them. Get them in the ground. Peas don't mind cold. They do mind being warm and wet...

And if you get them in the ground right before a few days of soaking rain, in the dark of the moon, you come home from working your butt off at a festival to find THIS. THIS!!! EVERY PEA COMING UP!!! promising Peas for Everyone come June!!


and if that is not a sight for sore eyes nothing is. Man. I was energetic when I wrote this. 

Speaking of which, my Christmas cactus (now a spring cactus) just keeps dazzling me. It's like a living prom dress.

From kind of scoffing at Zygocactus, I am now their biggest fan, and I'm rooting pieces like crazy. What a spectacular plant! and all from a tiny grocery store impulse buy. I'm in love. I get it. Sorry it took me so long. Maybe it had to be an electric pink one to flip my switch. Still not mad about the wimpy red ones. This color does it for me. Shocking pink. I'd never wear it, but I like a flower that color.

All right. I think that's probably enough fabulousness for one post. I don't want to overload you. I have a gazillion more Costa Rica posts squawking from the cobwebby recesses of my brain, but spring just barged in the door with both elbows out and demanded her due.


I love your posts so much! All that positivity! We planted our vegetable garden yesterday as well, though it's nowhere near the size you have. We have lots of trees, so the only place we can grow vegetables is in containers along our driveway. They don't mind that it's not a typical garden; they always yield more than we can possibly eat. Which led me to learn to can all this lusciousness so that we can enjoy the results of our garden all year round.

Posted by Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 3:44 AM

Another great post! Thought of you fondly the other day. Was doing a tropical plant hike in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and we came upon some wild cucamelons. My fellow hikers had never seen or heard of them. After I picked and ate the first one we all enjoyed a tasty and refreshing snack. Thanks for turning me on to them!

Posted by Elaine W. May 8, 2014 at 7:10 AM

I really enjoyed your post. Spring sure can be tiring! My approach to gardening is similar to my approach to eating - eyes are sometimes a lot bigger than stomach!

Somehow, your blog snuck off my Feedly reading list. But I recaptured it. Love that you started your tomatoes so soon. In south Texas we also need to start tomatoes really early because it gets hot too quick to get much of a harvest. Have you tried the walls of water? You can set out tomatoes 2 months early - and they only have to be 2" high. Much easier than bumping them up.

50 tomatoes? What do you plan to do with all that harvest?

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