Category Archives: Gardening

Jade plant update

The jade plant cuttings have been resting in the bedroom for a week or so; tonight we dragged Jake & Sam away from their computers for a bit of gardening, and put them in soil.

Jennifer bought some special, just-for-succulents potting soil, and a bottle of root-growth-stimulating hormone. (Isn’t science wonderful?) There’s no subtlety of technique – wet the end of the cutting, dip it in the magic root powder, stick it in the dirt.

At least, I hope that’s the right technique. I’m half-expecting all eight cuttings to shrivel & die. (That’s usually what happens when I try to grow plants.)

I have pictures. One of them will show up here, sooner or later.

The resurrection of the jade plant

Long ago, Jennifer & I bought matching jade plants, from the garden department at Lowe’s.

After a few years, Jennifer’s plant got all leggy & weird-looking, so it went away. I took mine to work, where I did my best to keep it from getting leggy & weird-looking. I had a plant-maintenance regimen that, I diligently followed:

Every Monday, I gave the flowerpot a quarter-turn, to encourage the plant to grow straight up instead of leaning in one direction or another. Every two weeks, I gave it some water. Once a month, I trimmed the longer branches, to encourage thickness over length.

That just sounds…naughty.

But it worked, for a while. Then my diligence lapsed, and this happened:

That picture was taken in mid-February, 2011. The years since have not been kind to the poor jade plant.

Last week, the right-hand branch fell off. Did it break? Did somebody break it? Did the roots fail? (Did it even have roots?)

Rather than throw it away, I decided to bring it home, take some cuttings, and start over on the jade-plant project. There are eight cuttings, currently resting on a paper towel in the bedroom:

Soon – next weekend, perhaps – we’ll get them into soil.

No more garden

Pulled up the hot-pepper plant this morning, and tossed it on the compost heap. The jungle of weeds that nearly took over the box this year met the same fate: and so Garden 2006 is concluded.

The basil plant is still out there. Jennifer was talking about moving it to the ground next to the box, to see whether it would survive the winter, so I left it.

Some kind of critter had built a nest in the box: in one corner, something dug a hole and lined it with grass and gray fur. A squirrel, I suppose.


The competely withered & dead tomato plants somehow managed to produce two more mostly-ripe tomatoes yesterday, bringing the year’s total up to one hundred thirty-two.

We’re making a big batch of pasta sauce out of them.

I don’t know if I want to grow tomatoes next year. Maybe something we can harvest & eat with a minimum of preparation, something that won’t pile up in the kitchen while we figure out what to do with it all.

Garden update

Twelve more tomatoes this evening. The plants are almost completely dead: dry, brittle & brown. There are still a few tomatoes left, but the critters have been eating them.

Jake & I also picked twelve hot peppers, 8½ of which were red.

It’s been a good year for gardening, but I think the growing season is just about over. Probably this weekend there will be a new yard-waste bag waiting for the free pickup (in October, I think).

Of tomatoes there is no end

Jake picked seventeen tomatoes yesterday morning, and I picked five more today: the year’s total is now one hundred eighteen. This year’s garden no longer qualifies as a failure.

We’re going to make a big batch of pasta sauce & freeze it for use this winter.

(Something’s been eating the tomatoes. I found three or four half-chewed ones in barrel #1 this morning. The leading suspect: squirrels.)


Just when I think the tomato plants have gone to their reward, another crop of vaguely straw-colored, almost ripe tomatoes appears.

This evening, Jake & I harvested twenty-five more. The year’s total: ninety-six.

I was going to pull up the plants this evening, but I think I’ll let them go a while longer. Maybe they’ll break a hundred.

Still more tomatoes

Picked every ripe, almost-ripe, and might-someday-ripen tomato from both plants: sixteen, in all.

The year’s total: 71, which seems pretty good after all.

(I don’t think there will be any more tomatoes. As soon as I work up the necessary energy, I’m going to pull up both plants & stuff them into a yard-waste bag.)


Six more tomatoes this evening, smaller than before (golf ball sized vs tennis ball sized) and a bit cat-faced.

That’s fifty-five for the year, or 98¢ each.

I neglected to check the basil & hot peppers, so no update on them. Maybe tomorrow.


Five tomatoes yesterday, plus two ripe hot peppers. (The peppers were an impressively vivid shade of red.)

Those, plus four on Sunday, bring the total to 48. I don’t think there will be very many more: both plants are just about completely dead.

The basil is huge. Looking at it now, you’d never know that Japanese beetles had eaten most of it last month. I suppose we’ll have to harvest some before it goes all woody or something.

The pepper plant is covered with peppers, of varying sizes. Only the two ripe ones, so far. (They really stand out against all the green.)