[gardeners] Starting the spring garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 27 Jan 2003 14:33:04 -0600

I usually start my plants for the spring garden on January 15th but this
year it was too cold to work outside so I delayed. 

Today I cleaned the starter pots, dug out the potting soil, made some
name tags and dug up the cheap plastic trays I bought at Walmart a
couple of years ago. The plant tags were made from some cheesy venetian
blind slats we pulled out of someone's trash a few years ago. The slats
are roughly one inch across so I cut them to six inches in length and
marked them with a Sharpie pen. The pots were filled with good potting
medium, tamped, the seeds put in and covered, and the name tags went in
as the seeds were placed. All the pots were placed in the round plastic
trays that hold water and carried into the office to sit on their
appointed place on the steel shelving.

The next step was to bottom water and that is done and the medium is
soaking up the water. I will check the dampness in an hour or so and top
up as necessary.

So, there are 21 chile plant pots and 3 for eggplant. I was out of
Ichiban eggplant seed so will buy some when I go get Miz Anne's car at
the transmission shop. Here's what's planted: 12 LongHorn chiles, ripen
red, mild; 3 Moroccan chiles from seed from a friend, ripen red, hot; 3
chiles from an old ristra, also from the same friend, ripen red, hot; 3
Aji Limon de Peru, ripen yellow, hotter. Six of the Longhorns are for my
friend Sam, he eats them at every meal including breakfast. Of course
he's the same guy who fries bacon in lard and cooks with lard and butter
in everything. No medical problems as yet and he's my age, got better
genes I reckon.

Also there are three heirloom Louisiana Long Green eggplant started, the
last of the seed from the same dear friend but I saved some seed last
year from one that I planted in the front flower bed for distance from
the Ichiban.

We have found that we do better with tomatoes by buying plants grown by
a local nursery and with varieties that are well known in this area. The
same goes with sweet chiles, aka bell peppers. This fellow grows the Big
Bertha "peppers" and we bought three of them last year. Over a bushel of
very large sweet bells from those three and the last one froze to death
this month and was still producing albeit smaller fruit.

Today the sun is shining, it's more brisk than cold, and Sleepy and I
enjoyed working at the park bench doing our "thang."

Life is good.