Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Planting Out

Today I carried my first pots to work, with the intentions of planting them out in the garden later today. I put my peat pots in little Gladware containers, and carry them on the bus like that. For the bigger tomatoes, I think I'll need to carry them in a 5-gallon bucket, since they're both large and top heavy. I'm setting out one tomato in honor of the traditional "you can plant tomatoes on Memorial Day in Madison" folklore. The weather is wavering between hot, thunderstormy, and cool - 44 this morning. By far, I'm not the first person to put out tomatoes - there were some in the garden at least two weeks ago, but they appear not to have grown much. Some people even have peppers out. So my goal is to carry a few to work and then to the garden each day until the only thing beneath my grow lights is my indoor sprout/salad mix collection, and an indoor tea garden. The lemon balm is finally shaping up nicely under the lights; I think with a little outdoor time, it will be perfectly happy.
The Amish Paste I'm setting out today is among the least happy. Thin, leggy, and small. I'm hoping that it will either thrive or die quickly so I don't have to kill it myself. I'm also setting out a lemon balm, a lovage, and what I suspect is a sweet marjoram. Cooking delinquent that I am, I'm not really sure what to do with sweet marjoram, but fragrant plants are always welcome. (Unless you're mint.) Or comfrey, which is actually an issue around the edges of my plot.
Anyway, these plants give me an opportunity to see good green in the plot, and to experiment with my hole-digging technique. The tiller has stood me up for the third time, so I think I'm just going to start working the soil the old-fashioned way- lots of sweating, blisters, and water gulped from the hose. (Beer is a luxury reserved for people who live in houses and don't have to haul the bottles up a hill and find a way to keep them cool.) I've got 1-3 inches of leaves over the whole plot, which makes it look nice and really does cut down on weeds. Not as much as I'd hope, but some.

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