Saturday, May 31, 2008

Going upscale

Last week I heard a rather prominent thump on my balcony. There I saw a large squirrel meandering around the plants. It didn't bite into anything. Perhaps it is waiting for some nice fresh tomatoes to whet its palate.

Taking heed from that old expression, "prudence is the better part of valor", I went to Lowes and bought some chicken wire to protect the plants (well, two of the plants).

Gone are the computer box materials. Gone is the video equipment bag. I have gone upscale.

Monday, May 26, 2008

the Novelty is over

When you first get a plant, it is a novelty. You spend all your idle time watering it and fussing over it. Just like when a family gets a dog, at first, the kids fight over who gets to walk it. With a cat they argue over who gets to clean the kitty litter. Soon, the novelty wears out and the kids are complaining over their new chores just because Mom wanted a dumb dog or alley cat.

The same goes with plants. At first you are so excited. Then it becomes a chore. "Darn it, I have to water the plants. Oh cr-- there are weeds all over the garden. And I was just going to watch the View"

I am at that stage with the balcony plants. Fortunately plants know they have to blossom and flower to keep up their owners interest. Tell me when they flower. I think Barbara Walters is on today.

Editor's note: I have changed to settings to allow anonymous comments. It's not like I was being overwhelmed or anything.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More are planted

It was a rush job. The sky contained a menacing black cloud directly overhead. The plants were quickly dumped into the ground.

Later we headed to a bar for beer and whisky. On the way, we saw a pair of rainbows.

Editor's note: Photo from Independence Mall in Hamilton, New Jersey.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The old man

The old man loved to garden but he was cursed with the clay soils of Northern New Jersey. After hours of patience and work the meager plot in Hackensack would at most yield two or three tomatoes, usually in late August or around Labor Day. I always remember the time we grew corn and Mom was rewarded with one ear of corn which the family shared.

When the folks retired to Texas they had a bigger yard and better luck with the gardening operation. In the upper right hand corner of this picture is the retirement victory garden, fenced in to protect against birds and other varmints.

Monday, May 19, 2008

More rain

So we're still getting more rain. April was like May and now May is like April. Enjoyed the You Tube video sent by Mr. Bartok. I used to play Bartok alot when I was a classical music DJ in college. Wonder if they're related.

One thing I would never have the courage to do is to prune the way he does. I always feel happy to have anything and could never behave that way.

Well the tomato plants are getting bigger anyway. My father always waited patiently 'til August before he got a tomato he could sink his teeth into.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


So I am not an organic gardener. I went to a plant store, saw a jar with a tomato on the label and bought it. According to You bet Your Garden (a popular public radio show) you should also grind egg shells and put them in the soil. Here are some hints for tomato gardening I found on the show's website. I have broken most of the rules, starting by rushing the season.

Lolling around the house listening to public radio on a Saturday is one of the great treats of being childless. I feel sorry for all the parents standing in front of the Shop-Rite with their progeny selling stuff so the kids can have sports uniforms.
Editor's note: Comments?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's cold

A month ago it was warm and I put out two of the tomato plants. Since then, it is like fall, getting colder every day. My home and office are freezing since everyone turns off the boilers on May Day. So far the plants are still alive. It should get warmer today. So much for the Farmer's Almanac.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

the Break Room

One of the great things about the world of work is the break room. Here you can deposit stale donuts, fruitcake, shoes, over ripe Roquefort cheese, etc. and within an hour or two whatever was there has been consumed by the break room vultures. Realizing I was getting an oversupply of young tomatoes in congested housing in the kitchen, I braved the rain and deposited a pot with three aspiring young Ramapo tomatoes in the break room. By the time I had brought my camera in to take a picture, the break room vultures had stolen them away.

The whiny tomato is now on the balcony, wet but happy. I have also transferred my two cayenne plants to the outside world. I did share the whiny tomato with one of the cayenne's. There is a theory that cayenne plants scare away squirrels. Salsa anyone?

Editor's note: In this picture is a rare souvenir from one of America's most popular television shows. Thanks, Skitch.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

They grow them big in Texas!

That is black plasic mulch covering the soil. It has many advantages in gardening but can also act as shelter for rattlesnakes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Texas tomatoes

When I was a young tyke, my mother would take me to visit her kinfolk in Texas. You had to use the out-house to do your business and for recreation they raised fighting chickens in the backyard. On Saturdays they would all drive up to Oklahoma where they would enter the cockfights. Everybody had a swell time, bet on the chickens, smoked and dipped snuff. Well some of the chickens didn't feel so good afterwards.

Today Texas is more sophisticated. A morning traffic jam in Dallas would scare the beeswax off of someone in New Jersey. My kinfolk now drive to Shreveport and bet in "the boats". They do, however, have a great climate for tomatoes. The pictures are of a Ramapo tomato (raised from seeds that I sent them). I don't get the black tarps. Maybe someone can explain them to me.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The thankful tomato

So once it gets warmer we will put another tomato on the porch.


So I went to KMART. The garden shop isn't that great but it's close to home and relatively inexpensive. Took a bit to find the cheapo top soil but I eventually found it in the out of doors annex.
Also got something I hope I can use to protect the whiny tomato and the hot peppers when they go outdoors later this week. They're staying indoors now. It's cold and rainy here. Here's wishing the Czech's luck in hockey.

A whining tomato plant

I woke up this morning and I could hear some rattling in the computer room. It was one of the tomato plants that is still indoors, sharing space in a too small pot. It had gotten big.

Mr. Mustache, when am I going to get to go out to the porch?

I'm sorry, but you are a spare that will be given away. You are an alternate.

But I want to go out on the porch with the big kids. Why can't I go out on the porch?

Because I have run out of 5 gallon pots and I've run out of topsoil.

Well, buy more! Don't be cheap Mr Mustache. Puleese?

But pots and topsoil cost money!

Oh go out and buy more. I'll give you lots of tomatoes, I promise!

So I went to the local K-Mart. We'll see how I do.