gardening update

Well, that didn’t take long. You know the prickly cuttings my elderly neighbour dragged me out of bed to go cut and plant last week? Yeah, Tuesday morning of this week they were GONE. All of them. It was definitely a guy who took them and I followed his shoe tracks to the spot on our front wall that he jumped over with his plant loot. He crushed my parsley plant to death and narrowly missed crushing the little lavender plants I put in, trying to make a little herb garden in that area of the yard, when he made his escape. I could simply spit.

Today I planted 16 radishes and sprinkled a whole bunch of the leaf lettuce seeds into a patch. I’ve not had good luck with this packet of leaf lettuce. Only 1 out of maybe every 15 seeds germinates and the plants are not strong and healthy but spindly. It isn’t the soil because it doesn’t matter whether I’ve planted them direct into the garden or in a container filled with planting soil and kept under “ideal” lettuce germinating and grow-to-transplant conditions.

I bought a shovel. Got my exercise in walking the 3 miles home with it from the store that sells them. I’m hoping to break ground with the big (yay) shovel next week on the first nice, sunny day that I am home…just watch, it will be beautiful and sunny on all the days I’m working and rainy on the spare hours I can use to garden. I’m hoping I can save the tree the vandals knocked over — it still has one root attached in the ground and the leaves are still green even though it is laying over on the ground. I’m going to try to move it to another part of the yard. The shovel will make flipping the compost pits much easier and I can dig them a bit deeper and wider and it is not going to take me a year to finish the garden expansion. I’m actually not going to expand it as much as I had previously planned both because I won’t have enough compost made to improve even marginally that much soil and because I don’t have enough bricks to edge what I’ve already excavated. I need to go on a brick hunting endeavour. I pass bricks and pieces of bricks sitting out on the sidewalks all the time but usually am carrying too much stuff to snag them.

I’m happy to see that I’ve got a case of mint gone wild! The two little cuttings have now seriously spread to take up a space about 2 feet by 2 feet and are putting out feelers further afield. One of my hot pepper plants now has 6 flowers on it! I’ve read varying things about whether the peppers will survive our winter here in central Israel. Theoretically, peppers are perennials but they are very, very frost sensitive. I’m of two minds trying to decide whether to start a whole bunch more from seed now, since the plants are growing like gangbusters now but grew so poorly over the summer months, or to wait until early march to start them. Since, without having heat, my apartment is colder inside than it is outside in the winter, starting them inside to transplant outside in early march, as is usually done in homes where people can put the heat up to above 60 degrees F, is not an option for me. Anyone grown peppers here that can advise?

5 responses to “gardening update”

  1. Lynne says :

    You should let the police know about the theft of the plants, and definitely let the other tenants know. Is he stealing plants near your garden? Your garden may be the next place hit, directly or indirectly.
    Other than the thefts, the gardening news is good!

  2. israeliminx says :

    Ema so far he seems to be primarily coming in the front entrance walkway, going to the right and grabbing whatever is planted there and then jumping over the front wall with them. On the left side of the yard there are equally desirable plants and a lower exit wall but we’ve got a lot of “trash” ground-cover (essentially weeds that make a really pretty flower display for about two months out of the year and grow thick and nearly hip tall) for a span of about 7 feet in front of the lower wall. Only two plants from the left side have been stolen and the tree attempted. They’ve not taken anything from the back area or from my garden area yet but that may be because the folks in the back apartment (left) on my floor have a dog that starts baying if anyone goes into that back section.

    • Lynne says :

      They haven’t take anything from the back area YET. Are plants missing from other yards? It happens here, too…plant thieves.

  3. Nicole says :

    The police won’t do anything if your house is being broken into, so they definitely won’t do anything about your garden. Not even worth reporting it. On the other hand, how about planting poison ivy or something else that will give him a nice surprise…

  4. israeliminx says :

    Nicole lol, I like that idea if only I knew where to get some poison ivy! But yeah the police are utterly useless in such cases. They wouldn’t even fingerprint my apartment and check the workmen — who even the officers said were 100% likely to have been the culprits — when my apartment was broken into at 7 in the morning and all my computers and equipment stolen while I slept. It was like, hello, workmen redoing the apartment just below, scaffolding hanging outside said apartment came right to the bathroom window which had been the point of entry (5 floors above ground level) and the workmen had come into my apartment the day before to check out some supposed ‘leak’ in my bathroom and had even made conversation about wow I had two laptops and a lot of computer equipment…so trying to file a complaint about some random person stealing the verge would simply be laughed out of the building.

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