Tuesday, April 05, 2011

So like I was saying: vegetable garden & chile peppers

My whole goal with Saturday was to do, you know, everything yard-wise.

Procure plants, test and amend the soil, fix the irrigation, set up the stakes and cages, plant everything and gather Bubba for our yearly commandment for everything to GROW.

So, clearly, I procured. I was nearly flattened in the process, but I procured. Four tomato plants and one pepper, to be exact. And, hey, no gaping wounds! Hooray! No small victory there!

But then, still glowing with my Master Gardener's market + nursery finds victory, I arrived home to stare my Real Work in the face.

Ah, soil testing. It is OH so tedious.
And still as high tech as ever.

But I still did it, because obviously. I can't be yarding on you guys about testing your soil if *I'm* not going to do it.

And thank god I've been yarding on you guys about it most aggressively because there were moments where I was all, "You know, it looked so good when I shoveled out the beds and there were so many worms, I bet I don't *REALLY* need to test the soil, what if I just skipped it this year..." but then the fear of a pisspoor year of garden harvest smacked me in the face and I came sadly back to reality.

I must test the soil. No slacking off. And then - TOMATOES WILL HAPPEN.

That's really all I need to motivate me: hundreds of pounds of tomatoes.

Also, the avoidance of public shaming. You know I hate that.

So, I sat out with the test kit and the beds and the soil and the newly not-full-of-bermudagrass yard and tested away, expecting to find that my soil was so nutritious and full of organisms waiting to give life to my vegetable plants that LO I could have skipped soil testing altogether and maybe I won't have to amend at all.

Maybe I will just slam my little ragged book closed on the fabulous results and go off and have myself a midday cocktail while I prepare to plant my seeds!


Good, but not Don't Amend The Soil good.
So, at that point I shelved the midday cocktail idea, went with Bubba for a post-ride taco lunch and then returned to add dried blood and crushed bones to my vegetable beds.

Because I'm an evil mad scientist! Or at least it sounds like I am. Which I like. I like to sound like I could be smart enough to be a scientist even though, obviously no. Thankfully, I can always be described honestly as evil and mad. There's always that.

Once that mess was all over, oh my friends - I planted.

Which is a soul-inflating experience that I look forward to every year. It feels like someone has added water to my shriveled Magic Towel of a soul and POOF it's all big again and ready to absorb whatever that crap was that you spilled on the kitchen floor...wait. Anyway, you see what I'm saying. Planting the spring garden makes me happy deep down.

I also become happy deep down when I update my garden tracker for a new year and share it with you freaks so you can see how the Melons vs Watermelons show down is going. Though that will be later. Right now, everything is a seed, so I'd wager the weights are about the same. You can still gouge some eyeballs if you feel like, though.



My final MAKE ME SO HAPPY garden moment was when Bubba and I, in our yearly ritual, stood at the head of the garden (usually holding our drinks) and commanded the garden to grow in our own special ways.

Me? I'm a Moses type - I throw my arms in the air and yell, "GROW!" in my boomingest, most part-the-seas-before-me voice, while Bubba is more of an evil monkey in the closet type - he stares menacingly at each bed and shakily points while commanding them to "GROW DAMN YOU!"

It's all very silly and effective.

And, after all that, as though I could actually BE happier, my jalapeno popper chili seeds all germinated.

I'm not going to say they "popped" because that would be too far.
So yay! Maybe they'll grow to some sort of sturdiness level that will allow me to transplant them into the garden without totally mangling them!

Though, we shouldn't get our hopes up.

Thankfully, Downhour Gunter will be getting her seeds and book soon and so maybe she'll have better luck with that whole transplanting process than I.  We'll see.

I can say, however, that this book is actually pretty helpful. In the sense that I've already gleaned two bits of very helpful knowledge for the purposes of growing peppers:

1. Pepper seeds (and any seeds really) don't need sunlight to germinate. So, like, put your seeds in a pot and set them somewhere in whatever kind of light. It totally doesn't matter.
2. Pepper seeds germinate faster if watered infrequently (the entire surface of the soil should be dry) and with WARM water. Freaks!

I did both of these things and had 100% germination rate, so YAY for the book.

OK, I think that takes care of Secondly and Thirdly, so I'll go now. Though you should know that I got a new camera lens that I'm resisting the urge to call The Bomb Diggity SMOOCH SMOOCH I love you! so I may be retaking photos of everything because now I can finally do so from the angles I previously was unable to capture.

Also, please forget I said Bomb Diggity. The rest is OK.


  1. Ahhhh. The sight of your incredibly tidy and clean backyard garden beds soothes my soul, as well. Such a welcome contrast to my own sprawling, messy, weedy gigantic garden.

    Good work, Finn. Now allow me to add my own grow commandment from afar: Get to work, plants. Finny needs her tomatoes.

  2. I have plans to start seeds (indoors of course) today! I'm so excited about it.

    Also, your yearly growing ritual reminds me of a scene in My Neighbor Totoro when they dance around the magic seeds they planted and clap and make lifting motions with their hands (kind of like pulling them up) to make them grow. I looked for a clip on You Tube, but the internet has let me down. I think I may have to try this because I've got big goals this year.

    (here's a picture of the scene, http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YKIiimJgR34/TFuu2T5adEI/AAAAAAAACgo/IZ3TIQxit9k/s1600/%5Blarge%5D%5BAnimePaper%5Dwallpapers_My-Neighbor-Totoro_gabychan%281.25%29__THISRES__76018.jpg)

  3. Your raised beds are AWESOME! I can't wait to see them brimming over with your yield!

    Happy Spring to you!


[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.