Quick, name that book!
Kidding, but it’s an appropriate quote for the day, because I had a severe setback on my hands and it’s got to be shared, it’s not all roses and sunshine and snow around here.
When I moved the tomatoes outside, I reflected on the fact that they’re not properly hardened, since it’s hard to get a week off work just for that. They were semi-hardened, having seen at least three days of life outside, but not the night time lows of 6 that we’ve been blessed with. That’s 43 for y’all down south.
None of the other plants like cukes, peppers, and zucchini were any better off, so in a stroke of genius I bought a little three tier greenhouse for only thirty bucks from Home Depot, thinking it’d be perfect to harden off tender plants in – unzip by day, and zip up by night.
Well it was perfect all right, right up until the gale force winds we’re blessed with (gosh, all the blessings!) tipped the greenhouse right over. And it was up against the house people, on a stable concrete pad, as sheltered as can be. It tipped spilling and crushing the life out of all the tender plants inside. Just about. I could not take a photo of disaster recovery, as I was at work when it happened, but I do know that it took place in the rain, with the gusting wind, and it was very messy indeed.
The cukes are a total write off. The last insult added to the injury of their weird leaf disease tipped them over into the land of no recovery. Little yellow flowers and all. The pepper (which is flowering a beautiful white flower!) survived with some broken leaves, but the stem intact. I figured it’s less damage than a slug would do, and counted a survivor. The zucchini also lived, as did some of the strawberries, but the basil is also destined for a hard place between life and death. It doesn’t look good at all.
So I came home, surveyed the damage, had a few choice words with the weather, and started more seeds. I gots some 45 day cukes going, some more zucchini – just in case, and the basil I’ll probably buy from the garden centre at this point. Only this time I’m smarter – I’m going to chit the cucumbers (which means place them in a wet paper towel just until the root emerges), and then direct seed them in another maxi-kap container. That way there will simply be no more trauma to deal with – no transplant shock, no delicate handling, no hardening off in a treacherous greenhouse… they will be on their own right from the get go. Then they might have a fighting chance.
And the greenhouse? I’m thinking some bricks on the bottom shelf might do the trick.