Siberian Express

We had a fun Sunday. Tom and I went to a UCF basketball game and watched them eek out a win with a basket at the buzzer. Before and after the game he brought my new computer up to date and showed me some new tricks that aren’t possible on the old machine. I’m still partial to the old system but am starting to see some daylight. The machine itself is certainly faster. Nancy spent the day shopping with a friend and Tina was working at the olive oil store so we all hooked at 5PM for a dinner. We did the happy hour at Bonefish and really enjoyed ourselves. We did that same happy hour a a few years ago but for whatever reason, never repeated it. What I like about it is that along with reduced price drinks, it’s a mostly seafood based finger food menu so you don’t have to get a full meal. I order appetizers instead of a main course more often than not now so this fits my style perfectly with no hassle from Nancy or Tom. I think the plan is to repeat this next Sunday for UCF’s last game of the season.

Which is worse: A polar Vortex, a Siberian Express, or global warming.

I’m doing a much better job raising tomato seedlings this year than ever before. I’m being nearly OCD in terms of checking them for dryness and moving them outside for sunlight during the day and inside for warmth at night. What I need to design is a conveyor belt so they automatically come in at night and go out in the morning. I’m also moving them from starter beds to individual containers (yogurt) so the roots have more room to spread. I think all this attention is working. The plants are strong looking with nice foliage and thick stalks. My problem is usually spindly stalks and wispy foliage which comes mostly from improper lighting. I also started these seeds a few weeks earlier than I usually do so when I do actually move them to the garden proper in a couple of weeks, they will be stronger. That transition is when I normally encounter fatalities and I’m thinking this year will be different.
I’m also doing a better job this year of keeping a steady stream of radishes and lettuce flowing – not perfect but much better. I’m going to try a final planting in early March with varieties touted as heat tolerant. Who knows, maybe we can have fresh salad on into May. I’m also going to try to do New Zealand Spinach, aka tetragonia, this summer. I had poor luck last year but really didn’t give it any attention or deluxe garden real estate. I gave a few plants to Joey and his did excellent all summer long so it was clearly the gardener and not the seeds. I soaked a dozen or so seeds overnight yesterday and will plant them into indoor starter beds this week. They’re slow starters so it could be April before they actually hit the big time (the garden) and June before any harvesting begins. Joey had greens all summer long and just recently closed them out. The catalog describes them as perennials which means year round here.

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