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Adventures in gardening

We started a garden this year, about two weeks ago. We went to the local nursery and bought some young (seedling?) tomatoes, jalapeños, bell peppers, basil, thyme, and parsley. They’ve been doing pretty well so far, which feels really good – I always say, They haven’t died yet! coming home. Of course, something that helps us a lot is living in Zone 8b, meaning the growing season is long and warm. While the Nor’Easters are raging in New England and down the Mid-Atlantic, we’ve had beautiful early-spring weather.

That is, until last night. It’s been chilly for the past couple of days, chilly enough that I haven’t been able to get the chill out of my bones in a satisfying way. And then last night, it was really quite cold, and I realized as I was getting into bed – the plants! I know that tomatoes like it warm and I was worried it would get too cold for them. I checked the weather and it read a low of 41F over night, so I pulled myself out of bed and put all of them inside. I took a little picture of them this morning:

The plants inside this morning
The plants inside this morning

and I went to work. They were doing pretty good when I got home for lunch, too:

The plants at lunch
The plants at lunch

And I went merrily back to work, mind at ease. That is, until I got home to Stella in her crate and an irate R, eye-gesturing between the dog and the pots. Finally I caught on: Stella had dug in the plants! She’d nearly snapped one tomato in half, and dirt was disturbed in about half the others. R did a great job re-soiling the plants, and I think that they’ll be okay, but this was unacceptable from Stella. I was hurt, and mad, and surprised at myself for being so hurt and mad. Turns out, I was attached to these plants.

The broken tomato
The broken tomato

I was also attached to this dog, though, so we had to come up with a solution. It’s still going to be cold for the next couple of nights (it’s actually getting down to 31F tomorrow; I am not pleased), so we couldn’t put them outside. We also couldn’t leave them on the floor, and putting them in another room was out – not enough sunlight and we couldn’t keep our eagle-eye on the pup (there was no trust anymore). Finally, I remembered we had a card table in the mud room. I brought it out, and now our plants are living in a high-rise:

Table plants
Table plants

We did have to put two tomatoes out on the porch during the day, since the table isn’t really built for more than the weight of a pack of cards and maybe some plates, but we can bring those in when Stella is safely crated for the night. And they’re actually getting a fair amount of light, so I’m pleased. I think R is too.