There were a lot of early Christian martyrs who were named Valentine (or some derivation thereof) and Valentine’s Day was originally set up
So, we put in the garden over a month ago, and I am just now getting around to talking about it…
We did the whole “start stuff from seeds” thing again, and in general it worked out a lot better this year than last year. Mostly because we figured out why everything died a couple of days after we planted it last year – sunburn. All of the seedlings last year got sunburned to death because we took them out of the basement grow chamber and put them right out into the sun without giving them any time to acclimate and toughen up a bit. So this year before we planted the seedlings we spent a week getting them used to sunlight by putting the trays on the back porch for a couple of hours at a time. And then after we planted them, we rigged up sunshades out of some tarps, and left those up for a week or so.
We still lost some plants, but not to sunburn. A day or two after we planted them, something – probably a rabbit – come along and bit the tops off of every single green pepper, half of the hot peppers, and half of the eggplants. So we had to go to Home Depot and Loews for seedlings to replace the green peppers and eggplants. We still had some hot pepper seedlings in the starter trays, so we used those to replace the ones that got eaten. And then we put down rabbit and deer deterrent around the garden. We haven’t had any problems since then, though I have seen plenty of rabbits around the neighborhood.
We had to replace a couple of tomato plants as well, because some of the seedlings got washed away in some torrential downpours just after we planted them. Since then we have found a lot of tomato “volunteers” (tomato seedlings that we didn’t deliberately plant, that just grew from remnants of last year’s tomato crop) that we have been slowly replanting into the tomato cages.
So we ended up with about 3/5 of the garden being leftovers from last year and stuff that we started from seeds, and about 2/5 seedlings that we bought from Home Depot or Loews. Not bad. And the stuff that we started from seeds is finally catching up to the greenhouse stuff.
We are looking forward to the eventual harvest. Hopefully we will start to get stuff in about a month.