Daily Tea: Time For a Gardening Update!


Daily Tea threads are not daily and generally contain no tea. They are posts for you to check in on Cat’s cat rescue project and other behind the scenes things we have going on. It’s basically an open forum with a few exceptions. One exception is to not talk about plots of TV shows we may not have gotten around to watching yet. For example, don’t ask what we thought about the Maury Povitch episode where he dramatically reads, “Apollo! You are NOT the father!”  That is just a random example that of course never happened.

This time of year a lot of us use the comments of these posts to update each other on our gardening wins and losses. I am currently on a planting break. I found some heirloom yellow plum tomatoes at Home Depot yesterday. I bought two pots containing three plants. I still have two to divide and put out. I actually bought more plants than I have spots for. Not sure what I will do about that. I focused mainly on plain old red slicing tomatoes this season rather than doing all the different colored heirlooms. My plum tomatoes are all yellow. I also realized I don’t have many peppers this year. I might stick one or two of those in my flower bed. I think I am officially done buying plants.


It’s been such a workout today lugging the huge bag of organic dirt, shoveling holes, and ripping out TONS of spearmint.  Spearmint has totally taken over my bed. It actually seems to be choking out every other weed except for grass, which of course flourishes everywhere except my front lawn, which is entirely weeds and clover. I have actually been trying to hand transplant the super healthy grass blades into the front yard again today.

I’ve seen a mating pair of robins around but they seem to have left since I had the yard guys come and cut all the bushes back for spring. This may be a good thing as I am still not over the year the giant hawk came and stole one of my baby birds who was trying to learn to fly on the front yard. The screams by the parents who flew off afterward the baby (and the hawk) will never be erased from my memory.

Plants were a steal at four for $10 yesterday so I bought some more basil in anticipation of killing what I already planted, but  the first batch seems to be thriving! That never happens. I accidentally bought a cucumber plant last time that I transplanted in a little pot while I tried to figure out what to do with it, it seems to be dying already.

Okay, I am going back out there to try to get some more done. Then I might actually go eat in a Mexican restaurant. I usually get take out but I’m sort of thinking a margarita would be good after all this hard work, and I won’t have to clean up too much to go there.

So what’s up with your planting?


Filed under Daily Tea, News

71 responses to “Daily Tea: Time For a Gardening Update!

  1. Hi all. Could use some moral support today. My son’s mood swings were very bad, yesterday. So bad, that he asked me to stay home from work with him. I did, of course, but felt anxious for leaving my co-workers short on a weekend. Joe says he is okay today and told me to go to work. I am at the hospital but having a lot of anxiety. Work starts in about 10 minutes. Trying to breathe but on the verge of tears.

    • Dee

      Lisa, you’re such a good Mom. I admire you so much! I would have loved someone like you when I was having anxiety.
      Cat I hope your new cats are doing well, getting used to you

    • Cat

      Lisa, I know you said you felt guilty for not going to work. But I think you did the right thing. You are a great mom!

      Cats are coming along, slowly. I’ll post details below. :)

    • tamaratattles

      LisaMia,it’s great to hear that your son realizes when he is having mood swings. If he just got a new script, and it’s generic, sometimes the active ingredients are inconsistent. I’m sure you know this, but just putting it out there in case.

      If he needs you today, he will let you know, just like he did yesterday! Take a deep breath and trust his self reporting. If there are any changes, he will call. Deep breaths!

      • Thanks TT, Cat, Dee.
        When we first tested Joe, way back in 2004, the tests showed clinical depression and mood disorder. The psychosis began a few months later. After years of dead ends, we were able to stop the psychosis, two years ago, with Haldol. The depression and mood swings have improved but he still has flare ups. Happily, they aren’t a intense and don’t last as long. His meds haven’t changed recently, but he is working on some intense stuff in his therapy that he believes is triggering the mood swings. He is hopeful that as works through it all, he will have some relief.
        I am suffering from burn out. I don’t bounce back like I did 10 years ago. Helps to talk about it here.
        Thanks everyone.

    • Cat

      Oh, crap! I just wrote out a long comment, and somehow lost it. I don’t know what I hit, but I don’t think I posted it.

      Anyway, if I plant anything, it will be catnip and cat grass. :)

      The cats are coming along SLOWLY. They have been here almost 3 weeks, and are finally coming out during the day.

      Jesse, the male tuxedo cat, for the very first time, came out after sunrise, and discovered the many birds and squirrels on the balcony. (Yes, I feed them, too.) :)

      I finally got to pet and brush Jesse. He is very affectionate. Sweet kitty. Calli, the female calico, also came out during the day for the first time, but only for a minute or two. She needs more time.

      These cats have lost the only human and home they have ever known. They were sent to a 2nd home, to relatives who didn’t want them. Then, they travelled halfway across the country. They are traumatized, confused, and in mourning.

      They need time. I can give them that.

      Thanks to all who donated for their transport. You helped save the lives of two rather old, but sweet kitties. :)

      • So happy they are in good hands! :)

      • Cat

        Damn! I meant to post on a separate thread. Oh well. It’s been a long day. These cats like breakfast at 4am. :)

      • Tomato planting is coming along slowly. I bought a tomato bag plant at Descanso Gardens. Instructions look relatively easy. I’ll send photos. :)

      • Dee

        Cat I’m so happy to hear, thank you for sharing.
        Lisa, you are the best Mom! My family made fun of me for being afraid to go to the grocery store. They thought I was making it up, til it happened to one of them. I admire you for supporting your child. You’re doing a great job.

      • Minky

        So many beautiful people who post on this site. It’s a privilege to interact with you all. I send gentle hugs and big MWAHs to Lisamia. And cute puppies and kittens to Cat: ? ?

    • A Little Birdie

      Prayers for you and your son

    • Lisamia, I know you’re so proud of your son for being self-monitoring and self-aware. You’re a wonderful mom. I always read your posts and am rooting for you and your precious son every day.

  2. Valour

    The seedlings I started in late March are still growing and standing upright. I do have a little mold growing on them. It’s been rainy for the last two weeks and my grow light can only do so much.

    It’s finals week so I’m not really sure whether I’m coming or going.

    Still loving the site?

  3. Classic Princess

    Thank you for the afternoon chuckle Tamara. First time poster, long time fan.

  4. rebecca

    I’m almost done planting for awhile. I have a few more perennials to put into the new bed that I dug a few weeks ago, but otherwise everything is done.

    My tomato is doing well so far. It’s grown to about 3 feet tall and already has little tomatoes on it. I am also pleased that my Meyer lemon tree seems to have several little lemons growing on it. I have never grown citrus before, so am very excited to see what it does.

    I’m glad that everything is doing well now, as I know everything will become very challenged when the heat of the summer sets in.

    • tamaratattles

      When did you plant the lemon tree? I’m envious. Does it need lots of sun?

      • rebecca

        I planted both the lemon and a lime last fall. The lime has been a bit slower to set blossoms on it than the lemon, but it has a few. The lemon is in full sun, which I think is key to its success so far. The lime gets partial shade. Since I don’t know much about growing either, it will be interesting to see how they do as the season progresses.

      • Minky

        You’re gonna love those citrus trees. Get your lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon mousse, lemon curd, and iced tea recipes ready! And of course all of the cocktails with fresh lemon juice. And candied lemon peel. And dry lemon zest to use in sweets. Invest in a good mechanized lemon squeezer now!

    • Tokrsa

      You will absolutely love the Meyer’s lemon tree. Mine is about five and a half feet tall and gives me so many lemons I have to “force” them on anyone who comes in the door. I live in an area that a lemon tree could not survive the winters so I bring it in before the first frost and it goes back out after the threat of frost in the spring. Easiest thing to grow, bears year-round and the blooms smell like heaven.

  5. tamaratattles

    I have tomatoes on two cheat plants, small green ones. My yellow plum plants are tiny so it will be eons before I can pick fruit.

  6. Planted some herbs pineapple sage, basil, and tarragon. Started moving rocks around for the path. Set up the watering system in the tomatoe and pepper bed. I am exhausted and in desperate need of wine.

  7. Just bought a home in TN, watching everything that was planted grow for one season to make the decision to keep or pull. So far I have figured out what is blooming are keepers, a lot more to be surprised by! However with everything good there are bound to be negatives – Poision Ivy is also growing in the “grass” which is nothing more than weeds and up the Popular Trees :(. This is going to be a long process to keep this nasty stuff at bay! Never going to rid the yard from it but at least I have something to keep me constantly busy! How I would love to run bare foot through beautiful grass but for now, it’s one pair of shoes that never come in the house and poision ivy kill in a spay bottle attached to me like a revolver :).

    • @immelza

      Find yourself a goat they love to eat posion ivy!

    • More Tea Please!

      Bonnie, I’m usually an organic gardener, but when we bought our house in the N Georgia mountains we found that we had 3 + acres of poison ivy groundcover. The dog would bring it in on her coat and spread it to my super allergic husband. I ordered a 3 gallon backpack sprayer, commercial grade Powdered Round-up ( better, cheaper and less messy than retail store strength) and started tackling it in a 200 foot radius around the house. The first year I sprayed 2 or 3 times, last year ( year 4) I only had to spray once and it was spot treatment at that. I also bought a blue marking dye for my sprayer ao I could see where I had already sprayed.

  8. Heidi

    I’m on day 9 of Whole30 and I want to murder everyone in sight, not sure I’ll make it 21 more days :( My tomato plants are also getting moldy in the house, they need to get outside but the weather here is only going to be in the low 50’s this week. Spring is never going to come to WI.

    • Toni Lee Gildea

      I’m in northern Michigan, and it is supposed to snow in a few days.
      I will just be gardening my tomato plants right about the time the rest are eating BLT’s.

    • Waterbrat

      I have completed it twice. Sucked both times but the results were worth it. Make the mayo it is great on everything

  9. A Little Birdie

    Today I am officially a college graduate. It took a few years or 20 but I am done and glad about it. I now hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentration in HR. I broke up with my bf this week so it’s been bittersweet but I am so happy to have finished the degree.

  10. Tigerlilly

    Tamara, you are not going to believe me, but I SWEAR this is true. I live in a crappy condo and my HOA is run by ISIS or some shit. We are not allowed to plant fruit or vegetable bearing plants ? outside. If we do, we will be beheaded as a warning to others. I have been DYING to participate in the tomato therapy experiment since its inception, BUT I prefer my head attached to my body. That said, I’ve planted some zinnias from seed. Zinnias are edible, so SUCK IT, HOA, YOU EVIL F*CKS! The chances of them actually coming to fruition, so to speak, is slim to none and Slim left town, BUT Ima gonna try, dammit. And that’s what’s important, right? Right? ?

    • tamaratattles

      So plant one INSIDE and then drag it in and out into the sun every day. If you forget once or twice, we will take up a donation to pay for the fine. xo


    • You can also do a hanging basket of those baby tomato’s.
      If they notice plead ignorance.

  11. Most of the fruit from my loquat trees have been looted by a roving gang of FAT savage squirrels. I did manage to harvest 3 big bowls for myself, but anything above arms reach the squirrels can have. God they amuse me though I fucking hate them with a passion. I have fig trees too and they’re starting to grow figs for the summer harvest. I think all the Spring rain has caused them to start forming early this season.

    • Minky

      The critters love figs. Racoons, opossum, birds and, of course, the squirrel is a freak for figs. My back yard is the local buffet for the wildlife in the area. And there are also peacocks. They love eating exotic flowers, like orchids, and they’ll fuck up some tomatoes too. Aaargh!

    • More Tea Please!

      I hear squirrels do not like beebee guns; the person reporting this said it does no hurt them but after a couple of sessions they learn to stay away and tell their friends!

      • Minky

        Oh my goodness. That sounds tooooo cute.

        Squirrel #1: Hey dude! Don’t go in that yard! Like, seriously.
        Squirrel #2: Why? They have plums and peaches! And FIGS!!!
        Squirrel #1: Yeah, dude. I know. But they also got a crazy lady with a bee bee gun and more ammo than you could shake your furry little bootie at.
        Squirrel #2: Dafuq! Okay dude. Thanks for the tip. I’ll go to the park and get some peanuts from that little old man instead.

  12. Lime Brain

    My 2 overpriced lantana trees that I ordered from QVC should arrive on Tuesday. It’s about 2 weeks to early in my opinion, so I will be dragging them in and out at night for at least the first week then I will say “f” it.

    I so hope I don’t end up regretting that I bought them.

    I just started black tail mountain watermelon seeds. These are supposed to be the fastest growing ones so they are good for the north and taste good. So they say.

    Had to commit tomato-cide this week and snip off the extra tomato plants in the paper cups, leaving just one. The guilt of it all!

  13. Keep it moving

    I’m officially in! I bought a pack of tomato seeds about a month ago and planted them in an egg carton yesterday. Is that what I was supposed to do or is it some recessed, misplaced memory from kindergarten? Anyway, the egg carton is card board so my little organic seeds may be doomed. Also waaaay behind since I’m in the mid-Atlantic but wanted in the club:) Bought two cheat tomato plants today too.

  14. More Tea Please!

    I almost sone planting for thear. So far I have planted:
    – 2 Mirabel plum trees whch ai am obessed with after being in France when they were in season, they will not bear fruit for at leadt two more yeare, in the menatime I have to protect them from deer and figure out how to keep bears fromt rashing them when they bear fruit.
    – 25 alpine strawberry plants
    – 6 dwarf tomato plants and 4 full size tomatoes. I have another 4 or 5 with no deginated space
    – spinach, kale, radish, lettuce, cilantro and basil are in their raised beds or in pots
    – cucumber and zuchinis have been tucked into flower beds
    – still on order, dill, marjoram, chive and Minnesota Midget melon

    Next year I swear I will only plant the two best dwarf tomatoes!

  15. GirlMe

    Sooo sad. Just learned Halos, Cuties, and many California fruits are highly toxic and have high levels of carcinogens.

    All because of the California water shortages, farming companies buy water USED water from CHEVOLET to water their crops. This water has crude and lots of chemicals in it. Not even 3rd world countries would use such water for crops. Its harmful to use because we consume those fruits raw. Google this.

    Gotta learn how to farm. You guys are on the right track. They put profit over health. Im avoiding ALL California fruits.

  16. natalie

    I am in the tomato club! Moved recently from New England to North Florida. Enjoying the weather and the beach, the tattoos and red necks not so much but the weather is perfect. Bought a pre planted tomato from Costco with green fruit and a small seedling from Home Depot. Also planted a pepper, zucchini and spicy oregano. The wild critters have not eaten anything yet and still have space left so I may go back and buy more herbs. Costco had lots of citrus plants that looked interesting, maybe next year.

  17. It’s too early to actually have the gardens planted up here in Minnesota but I am chomping at the bit to get it done. Everything is tilled up and ready for the plants. We’ve have a really early Spring but I’m afraid if I take the plunge and plant early I will lose everything. It has happened before. Memorial Day weekend is always the plan. I do have a bit of a twist this year. I am planting 2 cherry tomatoes out in front of the post office I run. I love being able to grab a hand full whenever I wish and I think some of my customers might too. A woman moved in next door to the post office and she works for a local Bauchman’s Nursery. She has been trading me flowers for fresh eggs, so I got that going for me. The neighbor at the farm has already been out to the farm and the corn will be going in this week. Woo hoo – I love me some Spring time.

    Sending prayers your way Lisamia and a huge CONGRATS to A Little Birdie.

  18. annie moore

    This is my gardening year. Last year we built 3 10′ x 5′ x 36″ planting boxes (tore out the lawn – fenced in the yard – no deer now). Finally able to fill them with dirt. Four weeks ago I got to planting. 3 beef stake tomatoes, 1 San Marzano (already have 16 tomatoes that have set), corn, beans, peas, 6 types of lettuce, arugula, egg plant, onions, 5 types of peppers, celery, strawberries (have a few now), and one section dedicated to herbs. It’s heaven!!! Lemon, lime and blood orange trees at the end (I’ve had those for years and get tons of fruit), and in the back we have grape vines – grapes setting now. Oh, one of the best parts is I had the boxes built so I don’t have to bend over to plant or tend to the garden! Wish I could post a pic – looks amazing. Now I just need a straw hat.

  19. HappyGal

    I have planted pumpkin seeds – I tried last year and got one tiny pumpkins and enough vines to cover half my yard – but I did not know about leaf mold – so I am going to give it a shot again this year.

    Today would have been my Dad’s 78th birthday. He has been gone 6 years. I really miss him. He loved to garden and had a really green thumb. I did not inherit that!

    He loved all animals and they always knew that and came right away to him – I did inherit that and I am involved in dog rescue – Pugs and Boston Terriers. Little snort monsters that I adore.

    I am going to plant my Mom’s garden this week for her – nothing much – a few tomato and squash plants :) She gets so excited watching them come up – me too!

  20. bluesuedeshoe

    Hey folks, busy planting here to in CT.

    Tamara, have done the yellow plums for years and dry them….so sweet later in the winter.

    My Dad (88) plants countless tomatoes and pepper varieties on Father’s Day in RI, which seems late, but wow, do they take off and produce. Digs deep holes, loads them up with aged cow manure, adds a little dirt on top, then plants the entire tomato right up to it’s top leaf set.

    Trying a new morning glory this year, Hart Seeds Picotee Blue. Anyone else have experience with this one?

    All best.

  21. TT, planting is delayed this year. My yard man is building a ramp today for my 12 year-old German Shepherd. She doesn’t need it yet, but I know she will soon. It’s very fancy with handrails, lattice sides, and pretty finials. I will be planting something twirly and pretty along the lattice (morning glories?) and cheating with tomato plants, peppers, and herbs already well underway. Hugs and treats to you and Banjo!

  22. Tara

    I am sitting in my car listening to Prince. Thank you free Sirius for Prince 24-7. Anywhoo….
    I hate dating! I am too damn picky, that is until I have lots of wine. Then my picky meter gets all kinds of crazy. So either I am going to become a wino or be alone. I swear all the men in NC are either short, or crazy as fuck. I am tall and crazy as fuck. It is Monday 4 p.m. I am going to go run and get a spray tan and a bottle of wine.
    Hope y’all are having a great start to the week.

  23. Totally ot here but I have a question. I was watching Southern Charm reruns this afternoon and what the hell is on the walls where Craig lives. It looks like in the kitchen they have framed a paint brush and hung it. On the opposing wall there is a bunch of kitchen utinsils framed and hung and I swear in the living room there is a piece of carpet that has been framed and hung as art. I know my taste might be all in my mouth – but is this art? Am I missing something?

  24. More Tea Please!

    Herb Gardeners! Got Mint?

    Aside from Mojitos, of course, what else can you do with mint?

    This weekend I made homemade Mint Stracciatella Icecream that was to die for! Look up the Mint Chip icecream recipe on David Lebovitz website. You steep fresh mint (I used chocolate mint) in hot cream and then strain it out and procede to make a classic custard icecream recipe. Melted chocolate is drizzled in layers as the finished icecream is packed into the freezer container. You will love it!

  25. tamaratattles

    Watering. Day 2. I’m already over it.

    Also, I planted a “Heinz 57 Heirloom Tomato” yesterday. I guess it will go well with my “Tabasco Heirloom Pepper”. I’m hoping the Heinz tomato is good. I have been saving up all of my cancer causing bacon chits for summertime BLTs.

    • Megsca67

      Another year, another bunch of leggy heirloom seedlings that died the minute I took them outside :( Going next weekend to find heirloom tomato plants that someone else didn’t kill. I planted a bunch of leaf greens to change it up this year after failed beets and carrots last year.

  26. Daintyfeets

    Bought a house last year that has a cooped in raised garden. I didn’t do anything with it last year though. This past weekend I planted 3 tomato plants, two jalapeño plants, 2 cilantro plants and 1 of lemon thyme because I love the smell. My little brother expects gallons of salsa out of my little garden. I still have a lot of room so I’ll probably add scallions, shallots, and maybe cucumbers, possibly some romaine lettuce.

  27. Semicharmd1

    I spent all Saturday pulling up crazy weeds ( basically small trees) and thorn bushes, then relocating tulips that I planted last year ( in what turned out to be a very awkward pattern). I’m new commenting, but long-time lurker. Love this site and finally convinced myself to put my fear of TT’s wrath aside and jump in!

  28. T D

    Going to try a purpley,white paisley bed.

  29. Lime Brain

    The weather where I am sucks. It’s been cold, rainy and very windy all week. All my tomato plants are regressing. The brandy wines are fairing the worst.

    I can’t even work outside to get the ground ready. The weeds are laughing at me.

    I feel bad for all the nurseries and charities that are having their plant sales this weekend for mothers day. They are going to lose a lot of money because it’s the weekend when neglectful sons take their mothers to go plant shopping and lots of impulsive buying.

    I did trudge out to the hospice plant sale and the Animal Wildlife rescue plant sale. I got a flat of snap dragons at one and a beautiful white caladium at the other. I didn’t last longer than 5 minutes at either sale.

    I’m hoping to go out tomorrow to buy some raspberry plants to replace all the ones I lost this winter. If I don’t get them in the ground this week, I might as well forget it for this year.

    I hope everyone is faring better than I am with their gardens. :)

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