Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The recent (or not-so-recent) (or extended) (or something) postlessness on this blog has been noticed by a friendly/familly following. This neglect is due entirely to the circa-Mother's Day "past danger of hard frost" season on the East Coast of the USA. Yeee-HAAAAAAAA! PLANTZ!

My dusty little indoor-started seedlings had been spending increasing amounts of time out on the picnic bench each day, "hardening" to the weather for a couple of weeks before the official planting season began. The white mum and zinnia seedlings stood straight and tall, questing toward the sun. A couple quested toward the earth below (damp off) and had to be plucked out and thrown over my shoulder. But I got enough mum babies to give some away to the neighbors and enough zinnias to stand guard around the crops. The herb seedlings didn't fare as well, but they never do. Some basil survived, but the parsley and dill did poorly.

Mr. Pseudonym spent a whole weekend day digging my little garden. I followed behind him, shaking dirt out of the grass clods and flinging them over my shoulder. (There's just something proudly decisive about flinging flora over the shoulder. So we get a little dirt in our hair! So what!?!) We did a not-so-quick dried manure run, with Mr. P getting outraged at Agway for asking $6.50 per bag of garden crap. I feared he would locate a small horse farm, hand over his shovel and set me to mucking out the stables, but we finally came upon some reasonably-priced manure at Lowe's.

Mr. P thoroughly dug the manure into the soil, but it dried out and left large, rock-hard clods instead of mixing into soft, nicely-enriched topsoil. (Sort of reminded me of my attempts at making pie crust.) The clods were so hard that I couldn't explode them with my rake, so I'll be squeezing dried dung with my garden gloves every time I work out there for the rest of the summer. Oh, well, I'm used to changing babies and scooping out the cat box; what's a little more poop to a dedicated pro?

I fought shit rocks and over-watered mudslide soil to mound up a couple of awkward cucumber hills. Short tomato cages and six rapidly-poked cucumber seeds per hill sealed the pact. That night, however, we got a violent thunderstorm and torrential rainfall. The little hills now look like ice cream cones dropped on the sidewalk, and I fear my entire crop was washed away in the deluge. Alas, I had no insurance.

So, there are now two Roma tomato plants, one cherry tomato plant, basil and zinnia seedlings, thyme and parsley transplants, dill seeds and bush bean seeds in my little square patch of the Garden State. Oh, and a canna plant Junket had given me that's supposed to grow five feet tall and attract hummingbirds. We shall see what we shall see. Amateur gardener updates imminent!