From where I sat at the kitchen table, staring over trays of rapidly growing seedlings, it appeared that I had already done some planting in Nick and Nora, the two upper gardens. Upon closer inspection, however, it seemed that the rains of the weekend and sunshine following had only induced the weeds to grow.
While I do hate weeding … wait, hate is too strong a word here, they're just trying to survive like anything else in life … let's use despise … as much as I despise weeding, it does serve a purpose: I not only get the rabble out of the way, but a lot of roots and root systems and general detritus left over from last season's crop. I also dig up some of the soil and tamp down other areas while moving my fat ass across the garden.
(I also bought some fancy Dan trellis' to give the beans something to climb this year ... once again, it appears I am in search of the $400 tomato. You'd think I've actually got a job.)
I will say that I am forever impressed by the power of weeds. Not only do they continue to pop up, no matter what chemicals (and future lawsuits) I may apply, but they handle the cold remarkably well. 37? No problem. 26? I'll be here tomorrow. 19? Get me a coat and I'm good to go.
Nothing seems to get in the way of the little bastards.
The trays of seedlings have been taking over the kitchen table for the last few weeks ... months ... and so it came time to move everything outside to hardy them up. I'm sick of eating off paper plates on the floor. (And whose fault is that Little Mister?)
Everything has put on considerable heft since you last saw it and the two big trays, with tomatoes, sunflowers, pumpkins, cucumbers, bush cucumbers and acorn squash have been doing very well. Now, I hope they can hardy up in the greenhouse.
The Hatch and Oaxacan chiles are on the lower shelf, closest to the heat source (a 40-watt Halogen incandescent) as they are the smallest seedlings. Everything else has grown to the point where they are threatening to eat passing insects.
Shaky Photo for Mr.Bitterman's Garden by: Furious George
I'm really interested in how the greenhouse will work out, especially given the drop to the mid 30s next week. I know the weeds will make it, but will the vegetables?
The boys are on their final break before the season really kicks into gear. Here they are at the Sons of the Desert convention in Anaheim on Tuesday. They're staying with Mr. Bitterman's mother, the delightful Amanda Bitterman, in her apartment across the street from the convention center. Bitterman says it's cheap and convenient: he can crawl home from the nightly meetings as long as he misses the end-of-the-night traffic from Disneyland on W. Katella Avenue. If he doesn't time it right, he could be filling a pothole on Katella by the end of the week.
(BTW -- after two drinks, they resemble Laurel and Hardy. After six, they resemble all four of the Marx Brothers.)
Meanwhile, the AeroGarden has decided that, it being spring, it would suddenly and quickly grow to enormous proportions. Now, while the other seedlings could be threatening insects, this thing is proving to be a danger to both general aviation and unwary children.
I could have sworn we had another dog a while ago.
We're still a solid month away from being able to plant, but that hasn't stopped the seedlings from making themselves known on the kitchen table. Much more growth from the pumpkins and I'll be eating dinner on the floor with the dogs.
Much more growth from the bush cucumbers and Becky will be joining me … scratch that … I was just informed that the bush cucumbers will be joining me on the floor.
All the Hatch chiles, both mild and medium have made an appearance from seed. The Oaxacan peppers, grown from seeds that went through a dehydrator have yet to make an appearance, though they only went in last week and chiles can take up to 21 days to show themselves.
Seeing as how I don't know how long we'll be able to stay on the kitchen table without causing an international incident, sort of our own version of the Theresa May/Brexit snafu, I've built a green house on the back porch.
The problem facing it is that while the days are going up into the sixties and seventies (great time for music, dude), some nights we've been hitting the low 20's, and I'm pretty such the tender sprouts couldn't take it.
With that in mind, I hung a worklight in the lowest section of the greenhouse and put a 25-watt incandescent into it. We've been able to keep the temps anywhere from 5-15 degrees warmer than the outside air for the last few nights. I might go to a 40-watt bulb because the sprouts might not be able to take the high 30's. A 40-watt halogen should keep them nice and toasty. It's inefficient as all hell, but I'm sorry, I'm just not going to eat on the floor with the doggies. I left that phase behind me in Junior High. (When did Junior High become Middle School? It's like my grandfather said about prohibition: "They put it over on the American people while our boys were 'Over There.'" I certainly didn't get the memo. )
To keep track of the temp inside the greenhouse, I've put a remote temperature sensor on the top shelf. I can read both the outside temperature and in-the-greenhouse temperature from the kitchen table. Sounds like a song ... "Inside the greenhouse ... where they're growin tall ... inside the greenhouse ... we'll be havin a ball ... Inside the greenhouse. Greenhouse!"
Meanwhile, inside my head ...
Meanwhile, we're still looking for a new garden hat. This one won't make the cut because my ears are still exposed.
I do like this one. I just hope the dog comes with the hat.
I'm also in the hunt for new water features. I'm still wondering whether to go with the basic ...
Or something a bit more upscale. It's always a difficult decision come planting season.
By the way, Benedict says "hey." He dropped by to make a pitch for rutabagas this season. Wouldn't you know it, he's crazy for the little devils. Angels. Devils. Angels.
Back to the greenhouse ...