Saturday, March 21, 2009

Garden Journal 4.1

Behold the Birthday Tomato Greenhouse in all its majestic and glorious majesty and glory!

For the ill-informed, my goal this year is to pick a tomato from my garden on my birthday, June 11th, cut it into slices, and eat it most merrily, juice dribbling down my chin a full two months before I had tomatos last year.

I built the greenhouse by shoving the ends of 10' lengths of pvc pipe into the dirt and bending them over to make a frame, over which I taped a heavy gauge painters plastic (2 mils). All the materials cost around $10. Christmas lights were laid on the soil, contributing to a drunken, sensual, party atmosphere to encourage the tomato plants to... be fruitful, and also to provide some heat at night so they don't freeze or go dormant (which is what happens when you plant them before it gets hot). I don't have a thermometer, but it feels pretty hot in there during the day, and not too cold at night- probably in the 50's.

I bought a few early girl plants, a few better boys, a cherry and a beefsteak. Also, the parents of one of the kids I tutor gave me another early girl (except twice as big as the ones I bought). Next week I will also plant lettuce, onions, carrots, and as soon as I can find them, peppers.

As you can see, the adolescent plants greatly appreciate the christmas lights and have started the party in full swing. (photos have been edited for inappropriate content)

In other garden news, my chives appear to be fully established from the past two years and are already half a foot high in some spots. All the oregano survived the winter too. Now that I think about it, it never really got below 20 degrees, which probably helped.

Rather than spend money on new seeds this year (it becoming somewhat of an endangered species around here), I used the seeds I saved from last year, so we'll see what the 2nd year germination rate is. There is cilantro, basil, parsley, petunias, coleus, vinca, and leaf and romaine lettuce.


lefty said...

Oh here I sit, envious.

Wish I had a bit of land, some colorful Christmas lights, PVC, and your brain.

My oregano survived the winter, too. My rosemary is very sad this month, go figure. And that is the extent of my one pathetic pot.

Good luck to you on your delicious garden, my optimistic, brainiac friend.

apyknowzitall said...

Aw... reminds me of my PVC pipe greenhouse:(

apyknowzitall said...

And I've never had problems with using second gen seeds.

Nick said...

Birthday tomato update: It snowed over 6 inches last night (yes, it is March 23rd), nearly collapsing most of the greenhouse. In the morning I shook the snow off, and it seems to be intact, albeit with a little stretching of the plastic. I checked my raucous teenage plants, and they were still partying, with no signs of freezing- the christmas lights have kept it toasty warm in there (well, at least cool), even with the blizzard.