Seeds Germinating

After only 3 days spotted some germination of the new seeds planted directly in the garden.   The turnips and cuc’s had poked out.   I’m going to stay on top of the turnips this year and start thinning them out early on.  I let the crop last season get out of control and ended up with some getting way too big and pithy while others struggled for space.  That was all on me.   In the past I had trouble with turnips so last season I treated them as most probably going to crater anyway and gave them scant attention.  Subsequently we found several ways to use them and regretted not giving them proper attention early on.  

With respect to the cuc’s, last year was a disaster – poor growth, buggy etc.  That was a surprised since we had always had good luck with cuc’s.  I paid more attention to planting these seeds and prepared hills of pure compost.  I created 4 hills and put 3 seeds in each hill.   After only 3 days I was really surprised to count 9 plants breaking the surface.   I’ll let them go for a week or so and then thin to 4 plants.   Four plants will provide more than enough for us with plenty to give away.

8/29 update

Great germination.  Almost all the bean seeds, bush and pole, have popped out ahead of schedule.  Ditto squash and cabbage.   All of these germinated in well under a week.   The stuff that takes a week – 10 days, aka carrots, haven’t poked yet (and shouldn’t have).   I’m particularly watching germination because most of the seed I planted is 1-2 years old so you anticipate a reduced germination.  It’s of particular interest this time because at the end of the last planting season, I resolved to take better care of the seed until the next starting season.  Seed is getting more expensive and it’s much simpler to just use the leftovers than go thru the ordering process.  I found a metal cookie tin to store the old seed and kept it in the refrigerator veggie bin.  That should keep the seeds dry and cool – but maybe it will kill them.   So far so good.   All the seed mentioned above went through the spring/summer seasons plus the cabbage and lettuce and survived.   The jury is still out on tomatoes and green peppers.   These normally take 7-10 days and it’s been way less than that. 

Starting the fall garden

Well it’s fish or cut bait time in the garden.   As of August 28, no sale pending on Barbara’s house.   She says she has a prospect but ………….    I’ve put off actually planting seeds until now and been working hard on preparing the garden – weeding and turning the soil.   That’s been a tough job in this exceptional heat and has taken a couple of weeks to finish – but it is.  My body will be grateful.    This time of year I usually plant my “60 day” crop.   That’s the fast growing heat tolerant veggies where you are picking veggies 60-70 days after planting seed.   We can nominally get in a crop before the first freeze, forecast for Dec 20.  This includes squash, cucumbers and green beans.   I planted seeds for 4 different squash varieties, pole beans, bush beans and burpless  cucumbers.  Even put in a couple of 8’ rows of turnips and carrots.  In a couple weeks, assuming these have germinated, I’ll plant another round of beans to come in a little later.  At this point, my thinking is that even if a buyer surfaces now, it would take until Dec 20 to actually close a deal and move.  By then we will have picked enough to justify the activity.    

The other gardening that I’ll start this week is more delicate summer plants with longer time from plant to harvest.  Those I start in potting soil on the back porch and transplant to the garden if and when they look ready.   That includes tomatoes, peppers and cabbage.  I have lots of different tomato varieties but you never know which is going to thrive and which craters in the garden.  The weather is a large variable as is the creepy critters that eat the plants. Assuming these all germinate properly, they would be ready to transplant to the garden about the first of Oct.   If the house sells by then, I’ll transplant these to containers instead of into the garden.  In any event, we should be eating our own veggies this year.

Booster Shots

A crop I haven’t mentioned was the pineapple crop.    I picked a beauty the other day and we decided to make a pineapple upside down cake.   Without a doubt this was the best ever and it has to be from using the fresh pineapple rather than the canned slices we’ve used in the past.   I have about a dozen pineapple plants and I think six of them have fruit so I see more cake in our future.

We got our Covid booster shots.   It was simple to set up an appointment at Publix  on line. I did it myself so you know it had to be simple.   The only part that threw me for a setback was a question on the form that asked if I was a robot.   I thought it was a joke or something but it tilted my initial try.   The event itself was right on time and painless.   After about 6 hours we both had “sore” arms at the injection site but very mild.

Still wrestling with issues coming from the new computer and software updates.   Then to make things more confusing, AT&T got in the mix by upgrading the cell network from 3G to 5G – not related to the new computer but another tech “upgrade”.  I was perfectly happy with 3G so why rock the boat. They sent us a new interface box which should have taken about 1 minute to swap the old one.  I was smart enough to wait a couple days until Tom came up to mess with it.  Two days later, still not connected because of some password issues.   We’ve had the original box for about 15 years – flawless but our original account has all wrong data regarding things like email address.   The IT dept jumped right on it and I felt better after he wrestled with it for a couple of hours.  We’re waiting for some new code words from AT&T but so long as they don’t pull the plug on our 3G, we’re ok.   I wonder what folks without an IT dept do.

So far so good on the hurricane season.   Nothing even close.

Status Quo

Fingers crossed that the new computer is up and running for good.   Thanks Tom.  It’s much, much faster but is still taking a while to feel comfortable with it.

We’ve had a string of storms that brought a little rain – no wind at all – so the lake is as full as it’s been in a couple of years.  It’s looking like the next storm is heading for the NE so we’re likely ok thru August.   

We just signed up to get the covid booster shot and have an appointment for next Monday at Publix.   I signed us up online and had the normal amount of problems getting it done correctly.  One that set me back this time as an icon I hadn’t seen before asking if I was a robot.   Yeah, are you a robot?   I thought it was an ad for something and continued on filling out the form to the bottom of the page where it had a block labeled “continue”.   Nothing happened no matter how many times or how hard I banged the key.  Even yelling at it did nothing.   So I killed the form and tried again.   Same result.   Then for some reason, I looked closer at the robot icon and decided to click it – I figured I was heading down the rabbit hole.   Nope – it went right through and let me continue to the end.  Nothing is simple.   

Still no action on Barbara’s house.   I see an occasional looker and she mentioned some interest but no action.   I’m approaching the point where I have to make some garden decisions such as getting some seeds started and doing some heavy duty weeding.  I’m squeezing in an hour or so a day working the weeding problem – early before it gets too hot and getting my seed starting stuff together.   I already have enough seeds for some starts – so no investment necessary.  Dec 1 is my new decision date.

Hot, hot, and hot

I think maybe my computer problems are behind me.   Tom convinced me that an 8 year old computer needs replacing.  I dread that more than a colonoscopy or a root canal but the machine was getting too far behind the times to exist.   So we went to Costco and came home with a new Mac Mini.   Pretty much exactly like my old one except for all new software and main CPU chip and all semiconductor memory.   After a few hours of wrestling with new software downloads at Tom’s house, it seemed to work and we came home.   I waited a day before trying it here at the lake and was surprised that it came on and performed perfectly.   That is until I tried to open the Chrome browser.   That brought it all to it’s knees.   I called the IT guy, aka Tom, and between us we managed to get it back running.   I’m sure as I try new things, there will be new hitches but within a year of kicking and screaming, it will be just fine.   Maybe even posting the blog routinely will be possible.

The only thing left in the garden are a couple green pepper plants.   I’ve weeded it down to the tiniest weed and redid the walking paths between the garden rows so it’s ready to start thinking about next season.   The overhanging issue is whether or not somebody buys Barbara’s house.  I would hate to go to all the expense and trouble of raising seedlings only to lose garden rights.   It’s been on the market for the better part of a year with nearly zero interest but that could change overnight.   And who knows, new owners could grandfather me in on the garden for a crop split.

It’s hot, hot, hot but no fires – plenty of humidity, but no flames.   We’re keeping busy despite the covid’s – Nancy playing bridge (and winning) twice a week and me walking miles on the many jungle trails of Palm Coast.   I average more than 2 miles a day (says the fitbit) with a couple of 5-6 mile days thrown in.   On those bridge days, I usually end up at the library after walking – downloading movies onto the iPad.   I keep the jungle under control with 1-2 hours a day of clipping and trimming.