I’m a bit late with my letter this evening. We had an Easter soiree with thirty members of our family at my house today. Also, thunderstorms flashing with lightning blasted through the state last night, and my Internet connection was down all day. I just fixed it.
Rain, glorious rain fell nearly all day today. Although it spoiled the outdoor egg hunt, no one here was sad. We hunted in the basement and the living room instead. Thursday night, Oklahoma had historic fires all over the state, and 190 homes and businesses were destroyed. The rain stamped out any remaining hot spots. I discovered today from my niece that Tony’s Tree Farm (the landscaper who helped me with my front yard) burned to the ground. I can’t tell you how sad this makes me.
I should go out and check the rain guage, but ‘er, no. I took a shower, and now I’m in my jammies. I don’t intend to move from the couch until I go to bed.
Last week, I didn’t spend much time in the garden. The weather wasn’t the best (too much wind), and all of my children were ill with different maladies. I was also busy preparing for the Easter party. The kids were surprised that I spend so much time at the computer. I explained that I write while they’re at school. They don’t realize I work during the day. It was quite enlightening for them.
Mid-week, I repotted most of my tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings into larger containers. They were becoming leggy. Luckily, you can plant tomatoes all the way up to their necks, and they will sprout roots along the stem. I think, next year, that although the Burpee Eco pots warmed up faster than the Cow Pots, I’ll forgo the Burpee Eco pots. Once the Cow Pots and the other larger containers caught up, they’ve done better overall.
While I was taking the two trays of Burpee cells and repotting them, I noticed that the seedlings in one tray were significantly smaller and more puny looking. I didn’t know why until I tore apart the cells. Suddenly, I was swarmed by tiny, black ants, and they were everywhere. They’d created a condo within and underneath the cells. No wonder my poor plants weren’t doing very well. Their growing space was housing baby ants. It was all very interesting right up to the point where I washed all of them down the sink. Now, I wonder if the tomatoes will regroup in their new containers with new soil. It remains to be seen. Please don’t be horrified about the ants. I live in the country, and I often encounter all kinds of insects both indoors and out.
I’m still taking the seedlings outside to harden them off before planting them, probably in a week or so. It depends on the weather. I’m not planting them outside until I’m sure they will have the right conditions to survive. I do think the freezes are behind us, but the soil still needs to warm. I visited Guthrie Greenhouse yesterday though, and they had a lot of heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables. I began to wonder why I was working so hard with my own seeds.
I did plant some basil seeds in the containers on the deck, and I planted a few flower seeds too: bachelor buttons, Nicotiana and evening stock.
I bet you’re wondering about the Diva and the containers out front. Well, in spite of feeling lousy with an infection, she went with me and my credit card to the local box store where she picked out the plants, and I paid for them. Since this was her project, I didn’t interfere. I only told her the area was in shade and needed a “thriller, filler and spiller.” Then, I pushed the basket and followed her around the store. She pointed to an orange Asiatic lily.
“Is that was a thriller?”
Kind of, I thought. I cringed a little when I thought how it needed sun, and that the blooms wouldn’t last long in a container. However, I said “Yes, it is.”
She then moved on to the petunias. The Diva, like her father, loves petunias. I don’t as a rule, because the Oklahoma wind is very hard on them. I do like Proven Winners Supertunias. They perform very well in Oklahoma. She chose yellow ones. Yellow petunias still seem a little odd to me, like blue roses, but they were her containers.
After the petunias, she chose a red Calibrochoa. It was interesting that she chose only trumpet shaped blooms. She also limited her selections to yellow, orange and red flowers, until the very end, when she tilted her pretty head.
“Why does it look so bland?” she asked.
“How about adding something purple to offset all of the flowers so close to each other on the color wheel?” I suggested.
“I don’t like purple,” she said.
“How about blue?”
“O.K.,” she said, as she plunked a couple of Lobelia into the cart. I suggested she buy a couple more, but she didn’t feel well, and she was done.
The next day, I planted them for her and thought they looked pretty good, although they could use a little more blue, or perhaps, purple. (Cue laugh track.)
Til next week, dear friends.