Monday, March 28, 2011

Gardening update

I spent most of yesterday repotting the tomato seedlings. By the time I was done, I was simultaneously thinking, "Damn, this is a lot of tomatoes," and "I better have a bumper crop of tomatoes come August!"

Most of them look like this:

But I have a few that already look like this:

I'm so proud.

So far I've got cherry tomatoes, Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, Pink Ponderosa, and Jubilee. I'm betting the cherry tomatoes are most prolific, but I'm hoping for some contenders from the other varieties.

Here's what the herb/container garden looks like right now:

As you can see, I have a lot of green activity! And my husband keeps complaining that it smells like "dirt" in the sunroom.

That's because I've essentially turned it into a greenhouse. Check out my exceedingly high-tech setup:

Yep, those are $10 Home Depot shop lights set on piles of bricks (free, from the mysterious brick piles in the yard that came with my house), with a space heater at one end (purloined from work). Not fancy, but it seems to be working. I keep the space heater set at 65, and the shop lights are plugged in around 16 hours a day (I plug them in when I get up, and unplug them when I go to bed).

When this is all over with, I'll do a post summarizing my gardening expenditures, and whether it was cost-effective at all. It's hard to tell right now, because I've had so many one-time-only expenses (hoe, rake, shovel, hose, lights for the seedlings, seed trays, etc.) which I won't have again next year. I'm also starting a compost pile, which will hopefully reduce the need for so much potting soil next year.

Temperatures here in MA are still way too cold for my liking--40s during the day, 30s at night--but I've planted some cold crops outside. Kale, spinach, beets, etc. No sprouts yet.

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