Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Plants everywhere

I don't normally like having houseplants (I have something of a black thumb and tend to kill them), but the Christmas cactus I indirectly inherited from my grandmother (who passed away in 1979) is one I cherish.

But for awhile now, the house has been chock-full of plants. What seemed especially numerous were the the Brussels sprouts I planted in February from the seeds I collected last fall.

I also have 77 (out of 100 seeds planted ) cayenne peppers growing, though I gave seven away to a neighbor.

On March 25 I also planted 25 basil seeds (incidentally, from five-year-old seeds) and 20 have sprouted.

Today I hope to get red bell pepper seeds and tomato seeds planted.

Right now we're having almost hot weather (although it goes up and down in typical spring fashion)...

...so I decided to take a chance and plant the Brussels sprouts in the garden. They were getting too big for the house anyway.

To do this, of course, they needed to be hardened off.

I put them on the hood of the car, starting in the shade for just an hour or so, then gradually working up to most of the day in both sun and shade.

Yesterday I trundled the flats out to the garden, where I already had a row of tires ready for them.

I deliberately overplanted the number of Brussels sprouts (36), figuring some would die (remember, black thumb!), but in fact 34 survived. With Younger Daughter's help, we got them all in the beds.

Despite what it looks like, the drip irrigation system isn't set up yet, so I gave all the current garden plants a good watering with the hose -- not just the Brussels sprouts, but also the blueberries, strawberries, the over-wintered carrots (going to seed), herbs, raspberries, garlic, etc.

I was ridiculously anxious about the Brussels sprouts, hoping they'd make it overnight. My thought was if they survived the transplant shock for 12 hours or so, they'd be fine. This morning at dawn I went out and took a peek.

They looked fine.

In fact, more than fine. They looked positively cheerful at their new digs. I imagine it must be nice for them to be able to stretch out their roots and leaves, instead of living in the cramped crowded indoor conditions.

The call of the garden is strong now. I find myself using any excuse to go do something, anything, even if it's five minutes here or there of yanking weeds.


  1. With weather this nice, it is easy to think spring is right around the corner.
    My lawn has grown so much that 2 weeks ago I mowed it; the next day it snowed and we got over an inch here.
    Do you have plans for your brussels spouts if there is a frost?

  2. Don't you love spring time when we can dig in the dirt and grow our own vegetables. Nice garden area you have.

  3. My average last frost isn't for another month. I need to plant out the broccoli, but everything else has to wait. No matter HOW warm it is now. Which is driving me nuts. I WANT TO PLANT IN MY GARDEN!!!!

  4. When it came time for me to plan a retreat one big factor in location was humidity and rain/snow. I chose a region where, to make it easy, corn can be planted without irrigation. That made quite a difference in a garden compared to where I used to live in Colorado.
    The low humidity and harsh sunlight out West combined with the reflective gravel and heat absorbing tires would make your gardening in Idaho a real challenge in Summer.
    Congrats on having it work for you.

  5. How do you grow such nice Brussel Sprouts? I do well with Tomatoes and Pepppers, but Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, and Cabbage are always a complete failure. Do you use a grow light? Good Job! They look beautiful, best of luck for an excellent crop.