Tag Archives: Spring
I’ve been waiting–and waiting and waiting–for the weather to warm up enough to put my Ophelia Eggplants in the ground. It’s been cold and wet, too chilly for Ophelia’s.
Deciding to wait till Mother’s Day to plant turned out to be easier than I thought. But today is the day after Mother’s Day, and it was in the 40’s when I got out of bed this morning. Still too cold.
Nothing for it, though. The plant roots are growing out the bottom of the pots. They’ve already been transplanted once. They are huge.
So this morning, I brought them out to the shaded, wind-protected area near my acer Bloodgood. Hopefully, they’ll harden-off without problem and I can plant them Thursday or Friday.
Any eggplant aficionados out there? Send advice.
Mother’s Day Sunday
We had a terrific Mother’s Day, starting with a 5k run/walk during which it did not rain. Followed by a family lunch. My daughter-in-law took this photo of my son, Gordon and me.
Looking at it, I’m amazed at how much I resemble my father’s mother–Grandma Ida. I tried to scan a photo of her at about the same age I am now, but that was back in the 19-hmm’s, and frankly, I wasn’t happy with the scan results. Just imagine a shorter woman with more gray hair and not as well dressed.
The beauties in my family were all from my mother’s side. But thinking today of Grandma Ida, I’m astounded anew by her determination and courage. She had the equivalent of a high school education back when women weren’t educated. She came to America as an immigrant, met and married my grandfather, and ran his milliner shop–allowing him to create fabulous hats while she took care of business.
Ida had a series of miscarriages and stillbirths, culminating in a child born by Caesarian section back when C-sections were dangerous. Tragically, that child was killed at age three or four when he fell out of a third-story window. Grandma used to say her hair turned white the day after Willie died.
Undeterred by the fact that no one ever–ever–survived a second C-section, she was determined to give birth to another child. And the family story is that she’s the first woman in America to survive two C-sections.
Courage and determination, two great characteristics. I’m lucky to take after her.
Garden Glove Hack
I don’t know about you, but by mid-summer, I only have left-hand gloves. Who knows where the right-hand gloves go to. Maybe squirrels steal them.
About five years ago while trolling the aisles in one of the big-box stores, I saw clothesline and clothespins. Hadn’t seen those in a very long time, but the sight gave me the kernel of an idea. I threw them in the cart and carried them home.
That was in 2014. My idea was to hang the line and pin pairs of gloves to it. A sort of gardener’s “tidying-up”. But my request for nails in the ceiling–to string the line–went unheeded. Eventually, the packet with the clothesline disappeared into the black hole that is the barn. Somehow, I managed to hang onto the clothespins.
This year, 2019, in the annual garden shed cleanup, I found a gazillion garden gloves, mostly left-handed. Determined to put my hack into practice, I went through Jim’s barn looking for my clothesline. Never found it, but found some usable string instead. Using the nails hammered under the shelves (originally designed to hold tools), I strung the line and started pairing gloves.
As you see in the photo.
I ended up with ten full pairs of gloves, and threw away all my leftover lefties.
Maybe you already have a method for keeping right-and-left gloves together?
Two days of sunshine after a week of rain and fog, rain and drizzle, rain and wind. We had four plus inches of rain last week–and the local weather predicts four or five more rainy days next week.
So while the sun shines, gardening is the priority.
Except when I opened my garden shed, I knew it was time for my annual garden shed clean-out.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my new gardening glove hack.
Happy Sunday, all.
Leafhoppers, Echinacea, and Eggplant
So far this season, I’ve planted onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. The only plants missing for a true Mediterranean feast are eggplants. And there’s the rub. All my eggplants–no matter what variety–end up devoured by bugs.
Except Ophelia eggplants. One year, I ordered this “super seed” variety and had bushels of eggplants. So many, I ended up gifting friends.
Curious about why I can’t grow regular eggplant, I did some research. Turns out it’s the same reason I can’t grow most hybrid echinacea–darn leafhoppers. I can grow plain, old Echinacea. Just not the bright-colored new varieties. Leafhoppers destroy them.
To grow regular eggplants, I might have good luck controlling pests using floating row covers. A lot of work in windy Kansas.
And now for the Ophelia. It’s so amazing that when I tried to order plants–in February–all the sellers were sold out. Sheesh. Only one seller had them available and only as seeds.
Growing anything from seed takes a bit of doing. Needed are shelves, lights, seed-starter mix, trays, pots, transplant-mix, sometimes fertilizer. I add to that chamomile tea, which when added to water will prevent the nascent plants from “damping off.”
So here in the photo are my Ophelia eggplants, seeds planted in February and transplanted once. When the weather is consistently hovering around 75-80F, I’ll transplant them in the garden. And we’ll see.
Sunrise, Sunday morning. We’re expecting four days of rain. Meanwhile the temperature’s dropped and the wind chill is in the 30’s.
I’m a little worried about my tomatoes even though they’re protected by buckets. And so glad I waited before putting out the Ophelia eggplant.
Meanwhile, it’s a good day to stay inside and write.