Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden says, "Snooze"

That's so funny. I didn't realize gardens came with snooze buttons. Weird, that.

And weird that their snooze buttons look like big annoying rain storms amidst days of stunning California sunshine when mine just looks like a giant silver-plated plastic button. Thankfully it doesn't dump an inch and a half of rain on my face when I hit it because that would ruin a lot of mornings. And call into question my choice of alarm clocks.

Ah, well, what do I expect really, when this is supposed to be the month for "showers" and next month is the one for "flowers" and the one after that is for "Jack Bauer".

Wait? It's not?


Here I thought Kiefer Sutherland was going to be magically appearing all through the month of June. In my garden. Sans CTU-wear.


I guess I'll just have to settle for lettuce seedlings and hopefully some beans.

Which is what I meant to talk about anyway because last weekend I had to take a second run at the beds with new dry seeds because I'd theorized that the reason the germination rates in the beds was so piss-poor was because all this beautiful but damned rain had rotted my precious seeds.

Except that when I finally got out there, after having run another Sub-60 Test 10K (yay - attempt #2 this Sunday - cross your shit for me) thinking mean thoughts about the rain the whole time - TEE DAH - I couldn't find a single rotted seed in the soil.

Because the birds did it.

I mean, I think they did it. This is my new theory: Birds ate my seeds under the cover of rain and let the weather take the blame for it.

RUDE. And provoking of a "band" which I don't enjoy. DOUBLE RUDE.


Anyway, I reseeded plants that had particularly piss-poor germination rates and then reinforced their metal fence shields lest the birds go after them for a re-snack.

Specifically (germination rates):

Purple podded pole beans (33%)

African horned cucumber jelly melons (0%)
Georgia Rattlesnake watermelons (0%)
Mexican Sour Gherkins (0%)
Pickling cucumbers (.125%)

And then, because I am very cuh-lassy and, at the same time, was absolutely starving because of my run + planting 70 more grass plugs in empty spots in the front yard + re-seeding the vegetable beds, I drove over to the best place in Santa Clara county from which to procure a fine sandwich and then proceeded to eat it while sitting parked in the nursery's lot with my leg hanging out the driver's side window.

Because I couldn't NOT eat before plant shopping. And I couldn't NOT eat before I passed out. Ugh. It was a desperate moment.

You know this feeling. It's the one where you're driven to doing things you normally find abhorrent. Like eating in the car. Or using a gas station bathroom that requires a key tied to an old radiator.

But, as a fabulous friend informed me, if I want my tomatillo to produce tomatillos (which, obvi) I would need to get a friend for my single gal out there because OH - it takes two to tomatillo. Check.

So, apres-sandwich, I got a date for my lonely girl at home and then also didn't pass out in the super long line at the nursery where the woman in front of me was dragging a Japanese maple that didn't deserve such rough treatment.

People - get a cart. I'm just saying, dragging a plant with exposed roots across concrete and through a nursery is no way to go through life. Or grow a healthy plant. Or get the girl with the single tomatillo plant behind you to think nice things about you and your mom-shorts.

Meanwhile, some things haven't been ravaged by birds.

The potatoes have hit their 4 wheel drive limit and will be finishing out their growing season without further additions. I've determined that, when hilling potatoes, the hills don't get as tall as the 10 tires I'd apparently need to stack atop these in order to accommodate the plants' burgeoning height, so therefore they get to make do with 4 tires and just get to potato-makin'.

We'll see what that nets me in the way of potatoes. Bubba predicts we'll have at least one with, "Michelin" embossed on its peel. I predict that we will have potato vines drooping over the sides before a week's time has passed.
This took one month.

This is the lonely tomatillo who received a mate last weekend. I think they're in the awkward, "So what did you major in?" part of the relationship. 

The lettuce is being awesome, as always, and I am glad my one beacon of gardening hope didn't decide to flake on me this year. I look forward to acquainting you with your soul mate known as Maytag blue cheese.

These sunflowers are volunteers. Which explains why they're blooming and having a grand and flashy old time just outside the beds where nothing else is growing - because the birds didn't see them in their mad dash for the vegetable beds that were apparently labeled as a bird buffet.

Same goes for the nasturtium which are also growing, un-snacked upon, outside the beds and around my spying chair. Meanwhile the nasturtium in the beds has been victim to the same midnight bird feasts.


Here was a shocker: the first tomato blossom


Once again, these are Better Boys, which you should know from previous seasons are total champs. And, like last year, I am expecting the #1 bloom to produce a 1lb+ tomato. Expect ~along with me, now.

And that's about as disjointed an update as I'm ready to make today. Just know that I've sent in the benchwarmers to see if we can't get some points on the board. 

Does that make any sense? 

OK: I hope things start growing soon and OH YIPPIE it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Again.


  1. Wow! Lookin' like you've got a great start this year Finny. Or middle. I guess by now you're past the start, even though we can't plant for two more weeks. And who knew the tomatillo needed a boyfriend? Are cantaloupes and pumpkins like that? 'Cause back in my gardening days, they never put out. Prissy little things.

  2. dude- send Keifer a note saying you have free beer and he'll show up. He's a lush, yo.

    Give your tomatillo do das "the talk". I don't like the way they are trying to skip bases.

  3. Hiya-I'm a long time lurker who's finally decided to say Hi :) Glad to see you are trying the horned cucumbers-sorry that none germinated! I hope they do eventually! By the by, you should totally check out Organisational crack forgardeners AND a bunch of really cool people with great tips and tricks. Or don't; totally up to you!
    All the best for the sub-60! I'm sure you'll crack it!

  4. It is wonderful that you were featured with the beautiful flowers you post. keep on posting.

  5. Holy crap, that potato plant is huge for one month of growth! So sad about your crap germination rates, though.

    Also, I think a water gushing alarm clock would be great for some people. The key would be to turn it off *before* it starts spraying.

    Though I did recently see an alarm clock featuring the voice of Jeeve's (Stephen Fry).

    "Of course no one will do today what they said they were going to do, but I'm sure Madame will rise above it in a way that will inspire admiration in those who know her well. If I may say so."

    And finally... does it make me a nerd that I want a t-shirt that says, "it takes two to tomatillo"? Yah, you don't need to answer that. I already know.

  6. Oh, and here's the version of the clock for men...

    "Good morning, Sir. I trust that you will be giving the world the benefit of your appearance today. Frankly, it wouldn't know what to do without you."

  7. that tomato blossom is exciting! we don't even get to think about putting our plants in the ground for another week.

    the potatoes are impressive too. i want to try it, but that looks like a hellavalot of soil. can you use straw or leaves or something instead?

  8. Anna - As far as I know, cantaloupes and pumpkins don't, like, Mate For Life or anything quite so romantic. At least I've never had to pair them up in order to get fruit. Maybe they're be happier that way?

    So - what are you planting this year???

    Sara - They're so sexy, these tomatillos. I think I saw them playing grab ass this morning.

    cestlavielb - Yeah, I opened a myfolia account back in the day, but couldn't get into it. It's just another place I have to upload photos and info and what not. I have my little tracker so far...Let's see if we can't get some friggen jelly melons to motivate me.

    Ann Flower - Will do!

    Wendy - I would happily be a "It takes two to tomatillo" nerdy shirt wearer with you. In fact - I made up a design. Vote for it on Threadless: here
    You love it.

    cake - So, you could probably do a mix of straw, leaves and soil - but to be perfectly honest, it's not that much soil. I've used one 2 cubic foot back of Topper left over from the yard and that's it.
    Try it out!

  9. Know what my garden said today? "WHAT THE FUCK?"

    Because it snowed. Oh yes, it did. Spring in upstate New York. So much fun.

  10. Hi Finny! I am finally living up here in San Jose now! I started my garden in 3 cu ft garden soil bags from OSH a month or so ago. I got my first flowers on my tomatoes about a week ago and I am so excited to see a tomato that I check them almost twice a day! The flowers are on my giant tomato plants too. One of them fell off yesterday so hopefully I will have a humongous tomato soon.

  11. Kris - NO! Snow? Really? In April? That's a mean trick.

    Melissa - Come July, we should hopefully be both awash in tomatoes. Welcome back to San Jose!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.