The Cold, Cold Ground

This is one of the 32 tomato plants I got in the ground today. They're so cute at this age, but some day he will be a mighty oak.
This is one of the 32 tomato plants I got in the ground today. They’re so cute at this age, but some day he will be a mighty oak.

I shifted into high gear today, starting with making Abby a breakfast of grits and eggs, feeding myself, coloring my beard, posting about Fuji discontinuing black-and-white film, walking Hawken more than a mile, all before noon, then…

I got the garden planted. It includes…

  • 32 tomato plants
  • 35 bell pepper plants
  • A raised bed of summer squash
  • Three rows of cucumber
  • Three rows of cantaloupe
  • A leafy greens patch for Abby
  • A turnip patch for Abby
  • A radish patch for Abby
  • Marigolds around the entire perimeter of the garden
I had to replace the gasket in my watering wand, but once that was done, I got everything watered-in nicely.
I had to replace the gasket in my watering wand, but once that was done, I got everything watered-in nicely.

It was the coldest planting I’ve ever done; it froze last night, probably the last freeze of the year, so it worked out just right.

I got the tomato and pepper plants from Byng High School’s horticulture sale, which is both a bargain and a chance to support the school where we live.

I’m pretty handy at growing tomatoes and peppers, and cucumbers practically grow themselves, but the wild card will be the cantaloupe. In the past, many of my vines have died, and the remaining vines produced delicious but very small fruit. I have scoured the web for advice, but gardening sites tend to be very generic about loose soil and abundant sun and the right amount of watering, but if you are in Oklahoma like I am and have these same issues with cantaloupe, please comment with something specific if you are able … “add walnut pulp,” or “pinch off the first leaves,” or “give up.”

Hawken the Irish Wolfhound looked on with some degree of impatience, sometimes barking at me with his “I want to play” bark.

Putting the garden in the ground isn’t my favorite thing to do because it hurts my lower back, but tending the garden is among my all-time favorite things and I haven’t had a garden in three years, so I am happy to get dirty today.

Hawken's gardening advice was mostly, "I want to play."
Hawken’s gardening advice was mostly, “I want to play.”
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