After I posted my first letter to Dee and Mary Ann last week, and they posted their letters to me as well, Chookie, from the other side of the world in Australia, left a comment that what we are doing is writing an epistolary, a story told through letters. I didn't know it was called that, I just enjoyed reading books of letter exchanges.
If you like these types of posts, why not try it yourself? Reach out to one or two other garden bloggers who you would like to exchange letter posts with to tell the story of your gardens this season and start posting your letters to one another. If you do decide to do it, leave a comment on Dee's post to let us know.
Dear Dee and Mary Ann,
Greetings from May Dreams Gardens. I can’t believe how quickly a week goes by around here! The weather was much colder last week than I would have liked so I only worked in the garden one evening. And then all I did was empty out the compost tumbler and fill it up again.
I hope I added enough green material to the tumbler. All I had was the forced hyacinths from inside and a bunch of henbit that's growing all over the place. It’s hard to find green plant material here in my Zone 5 garden in early spring.
Yesterday, I officially started my summer vegetable garden by sowing seeds for all my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants inside. I ended up with 14 tomato varieties, but a flat and a half has 15 rows of five cells each in it, so I decided to get another tomato variety to finish off that half flat.
I hesitate to tell you two this, especially Mary Ann, but I sowed the tomato varieties in alphabetical order, so one of my criteria for the extra variety was that it be alphabetically after ‘San Marzano’. I’m kidding about that, a little bit. But I did decide on ‘Super Beefsteak’ for the 15th variety, so my alphabetical orderliness has been preserved, and you will never know for sure if I was kidding or not.
And at least now I’ll be able to compare ‘Beefsteak’, ‘Kentucky Beefsteak’ and ‘Super Beefsteak’ to see if they are much different from each other.
I also went to the Indiana Flower & Patio Show yesterday which is where I bought the tomato seeds, along with a few other packets of seeds, including three more varieties of peppers and another variety of eggplant. Dee, one of the pepper varieties is ‘Poblano’, which you recommended I grow, so you are responsible for that extra packet. I also bought seeds for a couple of other squash varieties and some Bok Choy.
But guess what my big purchase was at the show! A worm composter! Yes, I’m going to be a worm rancher very soon, as soon as I finish reading all the instructions and get some red worms. I’ll probably keep the worm composter in my garage for awhile, but I’ve been assured that the worms like it nice and dark and will stay in the composter. They don’t want to come out into the light to see me as much as I don’t necessarily want to see them all the time. Anyway, it should be fun to see kitchen scraps and paper turn into nutrient rich worm castings that I can then use in my garden. If it goes well, I might have to change my garden’s name to May Dreams Gardens and Worm Ranch.
Anyway, because I went to the Flower & Patio show, I didn’t get a lick of anything done in my garden, even though it was a beautiful day. But I’ll be making up for that tomorrow. It looks like the soil will be warm enough and the weather will be nice enough (sunny with a high of 74 F!) for me to carry on the St. Patrick's Day family tradition of planting peas, onion sets, lettuce, spinach, radishes and whatever else I bought seeds for that should be planted well before the last frost. Then it will feel like the gardening season has really started around here!
That reminds me, I need to soak the sweet pea seeds overnight before I plant them tomorrow. I’ve got three varieties to plant: ‘Black Knight’, ‘Fairytale Blend’, and ‘High Scent’. Some years, I start the sweet peas inside and then transplant them out to the garden later. But I did that last year and they seemed to just sulk for weeks after I transplanted them, so this year I’m going to go back to direct sowing them. I’m off to soak them now…
Flowers (and veggies) to all,
P.S. Did one of you ask about my seed labels? I included a picture of one to show how I make them. I type the labels up in a Word table, print them, cut them out, and then use those sticky laminating sheets to cover them. Then I just tape the labels to a short wooden stick, like those wooden ice cream sticks they sell in craft stores. They usually last for a season out in the garden.