Initiation by fire (or ice) – seedlings straight to the real world

May 11, the day before we left for the  wedding in Texas,  I transplanted tomato seedlings – again.  I replaced the broken Yellow Trifele plant with another one almost the same size.   All the tomato seedlings were getting gangly and desperate to be in the ground or at least in bigger pots.  I transplanted them and left them under the covered deck in hopes that the water in the pots would be enough to keep them until we return.  Like I said, initiation by fire.   It was 90 degrees on Wednesday May 11 and humid.  I changed clothes 3 times!  First to clean up enough to take the animals to the kennel after working with transplants for a couple of hours.   When I returned from the kennel, I still had native plants and herbs  to plant.  It’s a challenge when the herb sale is the last weekend of April, the native plant sale is the first weekend in May, and all the community gardening activity is finally in full swing.  After walking down the hill  through the tall grass to plant several plants, including the pipe vine next to the ladder,  I needed to take a quick shower before heading out for the last errands  and last watering at the two gardens.  I had a meeting at church at 6:30 so I had to come home and clean up, again, before leaving for the meeting.  We left the morning of May 12 for Texas, leaving my plants to fiend for themselves.

5-11-11 Transplanting tomato plant, again

Yellow trifele replacing the broken YT plant.
Friends said it was cold and rainy here in Missouri while we were in Texas.   May 16, the evening we returned, the overnight temperature was 37 degrees.  This prompted me to change my  post title to include ” ice”.  The weather has been so variable – 90 degrees, followed by cold, wind and rain, then repeat.   I was hoping to finally water and move the transplants from the shaded deck area  today but it is currently raining and 59 degrees.    Yesterday I made it by the WildWest Community garden and the church gardens.  The tomato plants at the WildWest garden definitely suffered from the cold and the winds.  I harvested more radishes, green onions, a few beet greens, a little spinach and about 11 oz of Swiss chard at the church community garden.

Radish harvest, 5-18-11 (6 red, 5 white)

Swiss chard, green onions, spinach and beet greens 5-18-11

The chard, broccoli, onions,  shallots and potatoes at the church garden are looking good.   The Waltham broccoli was planted April 7, the chard planted April 2, and the potatoes planted 4-17.




April 20, I planted 3 Yukon Gold seed potatoes in a tub on  our deck.   After covering initially, I have “hilled” them on 3 different occasions – the last May 11.  Basically I am covering with soil until the leaves are covered.

April 20

5-18-11 Potatoes after "hilling" 3 times

I am trying to do the same with the potato plants I have planted at the church community garden.

If it stops raining, I’ll try to move the transplants and hopefully document their status.

Reflecting on my vegetable gardening so far this year, I have concluded a few things:

1.  Swiss chard and radishes are easy to grow.  The challenge is convincing your family that they’re worth eating.

2.  The weather can drive you crazy if you let it.  Gardening is more fun in the shade.  Unfortunately vegetables really like the sun.

3.  Starting transplants from seeds is only a small part of the battle.  Actually getting them planted at the right time and keeping them alive long enough to reach production is a challenge I have yet to meet.


One response to “Initiation by fire (or ice) – seedlings straight to the real world

  1. Pingback: WildWest Community Garden looking fabulous! | Dancing Woman's Gardening Ventures

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