Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just when I thought it was a goner....!

Do you remember me telling you about the tomato plant I purchased? Remember I mentioned it was a risk to have plants outside before Memorial Day? Well, turns out I was right. The Wednesday before the long weekend, the night time temps dipped into the low 30's and my beautiful tomato plant with all of it's flowers froze. I thought it was done for, but I took a good look at it last weekend and noticed it was producing new leaves from the base AND from a few of the branches of the main stalk! I didn't kill it after all.

I finished putting in a small raised garden this past weekend, after thinking I wasn't going to be able to manage one this year. On Saturday, I had pretty much given up on the idea, but late Sunday afternoon I changed my mind and decided to give it a go. I was able to construct, fill, level, and plant one tomato plant (a new one after thinking the first had given up the ghost). After work on Tuesday I planted the seeds. The garden is only 8 foot square, so not much room, but I planted one row each of carrots, parsley, lettuce, radishes, onions, and bell peppers. At one end of the pepper row I planted the new tomato plant. The old tomato plant is in a container at one corner of the garden, with containers of flowers at the other three corners. Now I just have to wait and see if anything actually grows!
The radishes and lettuce each say I should have sprouts in about a week and a half, everything else says 14 to 21 days. I guess I'll know just how green my thumb is right around the summer solstice. I know that sounds late to many of you out there, but the growing season here in Montana is short... only about four good months on average (June-Sept). October and May are iffy months. Sometimes they are beautiful, other times they are cold and snowy. A gardener just can't rely on good weather then, but it doesn't hurt to take the chance! SOooo, I am thinking of making another small raised bed and putting in pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon hybrid (small and fast growing), and cantaloupe hybrid. Why not? It doesn't hurt to try and if they don't succeed, I am really only out the $1.00 I paid for each pack of seeds. I am going to start on that tonight after work, and finish on Saturday morning.

Apart from being a beginner, and having either luck or failure on that front, I am worried that my little plants will be eaten by the droves of grasshoppers we seem to get each summer. If any of you readers have any ideas on how to protect my garden from these little buggers, Please, PLEASE share them!

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