Mah baybees

By Mir
April 3, 2009

Warning: This post contains gardening p0rn. Proceed at your own risk!

It’s been raining and raining and raining here, and that’s good, both because of this pesky drought, and because it means I don’t have to water our garden. So instead of watering, on days when it’s not pouring—which would be, in the last two weeks… um, today—I can just go outside and pet the plants and feel smug.

That’s not entirely true, of course. I don’t pet the plants, because they prefer to just be hugged. And I don’t really feel smug, because I’ve never done any gardening from seeds before, and I am ill-suited to the uncertainty of it all. I’ve watched the tomato plants double in size since planting them less than two weeks ago, and that’s my kind of gardening. ZERO EFFORT leading to VISIBLE RESULTS. Yes.

But as the rain came down at the boxes filled with seeds continued to look… exactly the same, I started to fret.

“Maybe I put too much mulch over the top!” I would exclaim to Otto, often in the middle of a conversation about something else.

“What difference does it make?” he would counter. “It’s FINE. They’ll grow. Just wait.”

“But maybe the mulch is too HEAVY. Maybe all of the plants are underneath it, unable to break through! Maybe I am accidentally killing everything! WITH MULCH! I don’t know!”

Like I said—I’m not very good with suspense. Particularly when I have no idea what I’m doing.

Otto would attempt to soothe me with Zen-like proclamations, such as, “Roots grow down, leaves grow up. No one knows why. It’s the MIRACLE OF LIFE!” But when I would press him to clarify whether that scenario included a thick layer of mulch, he would become agitated for some reason.

Today I went outside and LO! MAH BAYBEES! They are GROWING! I’m so proud. And relieved. Apparently two weeks of rain does a seed good. So that’s the good news!

The bad news is that I forgot to mark where I planted what. So I’m kind of guessing on what I’m actually growing. It’ll be fun! The weeds can grow knee-high before I figure out they’re not food, I’m thinking.

Without further ado: Pictures of my labors. You know, the labor of poking seeds through the soil. Actually, come to think of it, the kids poked the seeds through. But I totally shoveled the mulch on top, man.

Look at that—it’s a two-fer! I think that when that gets a little bigger, I have to “thin” the seedlings, which is gardening-speak for “murder.” How will I choose? It’ll be all Sophie’s Choice up in my garden, man. Alas. These happy little shoots are oblivious to their grim fate, and are also… bush beans. I think. I’m pretty sure. Wax beans, probably. [Edited to add: I’m a garden dummy, I admit it. I looked up some pictures, and now feel reasonably kind of sort of sure that it’s spinach. Maybe.]

I’d become completely convinced that none of the green beans would ever sprout. So I was pulling back the mulch and found this and felt really happy, until I realized that it looks less like a green bean and more like a tiny alien. We’ll see, I guess. I leaned down very close to it and told it to CLIMB TOWARDS THE LIGHT and also please WIND AROUND THIS POLE I PUT HERE FOR YOU, but I’m not convinced it was listening. Just like my other offspring.

This itty bitty thing here is a yellow squash plant. I think. That or a weed. Or some spinach. Or possibly cucumber? No, I’m really pretty sure it’s squash.

My grape tomatoes are already flowering! That’s nuts. There’s still snow on the ground where I used to live, and I have flowering tomato plants. Crazy!

My Golden Jubilees are getting ready to flower, too. I don’t know if Golden Jubilees are actually tasty tomatoes; I was seduced by their cheerful name. Who wouldn’t want some GOLDEN JUBILEE happening in their garden, right?

Not pictured: The stupid undead aphids, who keep coming back in spite of my soapy-water spray-downs of the pepper plants. HMPH.

Also not pictured: A single sprout in one of the watermelon containers, which was SO EXCITING that every picture I took was sort of blurry. Though this may also be because the neighbors walked outside and I suddenly realized I was in my pajamas, outside, and they might see me.

Whew! All that hard work in my garden. I think I need a nap. Good thing I’m still in my pajamas….


  1. Otto

    Can we eat them now? Can we? Huh?


  2. mamajama

    Having pangs of jealousy over here, both over your success and your weather. We have snow in the forcast for Sunday. Bah!

  3. joaaanna

    JEALOUS! We haven’t even broke the ground up yet for our garden. What with all the snow we had here last week.

    Dear Kansas: You are not Minnesota. Sincerely, Me.

  4. Nancy

    I, also, am so jealous of your lovely plants. Yes, there still is some snow in parts where you used to live. Today is raining so maybe it will all go away. Massachusetts is not Georgia either. Rats.

  5. Rachel

    Ha Ha, joaaaanna, here’s my response:

    Dear North Dakota: You are not Canada (close, but not quite), Sincerely, Me too.

    Snow snow go away, come again some other year… doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the children’s song. = )

    I would love me some blue sky & green grass! Temps above 30 a plus (and probably required to make the grass green.)

  6. Crystal

    I’m so jealous! We got a foot and a half of snow last Sunday and they are still calling for more. That’s right, more! Grrr. Your garden pics are getting me through this stupid weather. (And yes, incase you are wondering I am in Canada, darn northern climate.)

  7. Tammy

    Dear Minnesota: Even though others (like Kansas) expect us to have snow at this time of year, we natives know better. You had your chance for a late-season snowstorm last weekend. It is officially April and time for Spring to have her turn at the Spinning Wheel O’ Weather. Sincerely, Me Three.

    Thanks Mir for allowing me to hijack your post. Mwah!

  8. Amelia

    The Extension service in Mississippi recommends ladybugs to control aphids. For aphids on peppers, they also say you can try insecticidal soap or neem oil. I’m pretty sure those are considered organic, but you’d want to check me to be sure. Of course the ladybugs are organic :).

    The Mississippi Extension publications are available free online at You probably have a wealth of information available to you through the Georgia Extension service, too, but I don’t know whether they charge for their publications or not.

    Good luck and have fun!

  9. Jill in Atlanta

    In addition to all the inches of rain, we also have inches of yellow pollen around right now (see y’all, there are parts of living in GA that are not to envy) Maybe you could mulch with the stuff instead of the bark. Maybe the baybees would like it. Ah-choo!

  10. RooBearMom

    I’m in Southern California and we had sprinkles for about 5 mins this morning. I would love some rain!

  11. Jenni

    I am also from Kansas. And I’m tired of the snow. And really…this weekend’s forecast is lame: 70 on Saturday, Snow on Sunday. What’s the deal? However, I’m planning to start my seedlings inside on Saturday. That way we can plant them in the actually bed by mid-May and actually HAVE vegetables sometime before August. At least that is the plan. We’ll see how it goes.

  12. meghann

    The garlic cloves I planted a few weeks ago LOVED all the rain. They are sprouting like crazy!

  13. EmmaC

    Mind if I geek out about something slightly unrelated to gardening? I mean, your sproutlings are adorable and all, but what lens did you have on that camera?! Or is it some photo-shopping special effects? I love the blurry around the edges and the sharpness in the middle. It makes your sprouts look extra super awesome.

  14. Sara

    ‘Thin is garden-speak for murder’BWAHAHAHA!! I am cracking up at the Sophie’s Choice reference…funny when thinking about it with plants. We had a pastor that showed the snippet of that crucial choice in that movie–ON MOTHER’S DAY!!! This man is still a friend of mine and I still give him a hard time about that.

  15. Yvonne

    Try diatomaceous earth around the plants, it sticks to the fleshy bellies of many insects and makes them die horrible deaths. If you can live with the morality of that, it’s good organic stuff.

  16. Flea

    When you have 40 pounds of squash, let me know and I’ll give you mailing address. Mmmm! Squash!

  17. Tracy

    Like you Mir, it has rained here (Louisiana) for 2 weeks. And next week we are suppose to get our Easter snap. Great! I have raised 2 river burch trees from seedlings and finally decided this was the year to put them in the ground. We’ve had 10 inches of rain and hurricane force winds ever since. But pollen season hasn’t been near as bad.

  18. Dawn

    We have very little snow left.
    Canada (Newfoundland Division)

  19. exile on mom street

    Well, I’m glad that something other than my Slow-Death-By-Toddler has come of the weeks of rain.

  20. Pam

    Here in WI, we are still expecting snow at least 2 times in the next week. I am sooo jealous of your planting and already growing garden.

  21. Debra

    Mir, You little gardening goddess you. Sweetness, I think the very first picture up there is of stuff called nut grass. it’s good to eat if you are a wild boar but if you are a sweet Yankee transplant in the South then it’s not so good. The roots grow very very deep, so dig it up with a fork. Not one of your good ones. Mercy me no. Go to the thrift store and get a “gardening fork” from their housewares section. You’ll know when it you see it as it will have the longest tines of any other fork on the shelf and it will be STRONG like Sampson. And if the sales lady looks at you all strange because you are buying only 1 dinner fork, then just purse your pretty red lips and raise one eyebrow to the very ceiling. I promise she won’t say a word to you.

  22. angelina

    I find your seedlings very exciting in a non-lascivious way. It reminds me that I need to get my ass out into my garden and get some seeds sown. My only excuse is that I have had the influenza and broke my rib coughing.

    There are few things more hopeful and exciting than seeing the first veg sprouts in spring. Good work!

  23. The Mother

    You folks with green thumbs astound me. I’m into killing silk plants, myself.

  24. Barbara

    Otto does not sound so patient and wise in his comment. (Must be an inside joke.)

    Yep, that’s a green bean plant in the making.

    Wasn’t the watermelon somehow associated with sell|ing Monkey?

    Flowering tomato plants! Call in the bees!

  25. Michelle

    That’s so exciting, growing your own food! Wish I had the patience, or will power, to plant and raise a garden.

  26. jen

    Try ladybugs for the aphids. You can get bags of them at Home Depot for pretty cheap. Just release them at night so they live. I learned that the hard way by releasing them in the middle of a July day and ended up with…well…it wasn’t pretty and didn’t do much to get rid of aphids. ;)

  27. MaryP

    I was going to suggest the ladybugs, pretty little aphid-eaters that they are, but I see a couple of people beat me to it.

    No veggies in my garden (too soon for that here in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada)and also, I didn’t plant any), but I have crocuses sprouting like mad. Makes me very happy.

  28. moosh

    Rain makes all the difference. I can water my plants and they grow but when we get rain they shoot up over night. You can almost watch them grow.

  29. Cele

    I drive around town all the time in my jammies, cruise my garden…whatever.

    Love the pretty greens.

  30. StephLove

    We started our garden yesterday. Just the green beans and cukes and in pots because we’re still getting overnight temps in the low thirties every now and then, but it was good to get dirt under my nails. Oh, and the dirt was from our own compost.

  31. Amy-Go

    Cracking up at Joanna…just posted the same thing on Facebook. Whereyat in Kansas, girlfriend?

  32. mama speak

    I’d say yes on the beans, those look like our bean sproutlings too (alien like and all). Watermelon, yeah!!! So. Much. Fun!

    Note on the ladybugs, they are made to fly once released, not sure how big your yard is, but you might want to try releasing them on one side or even in a neighbors yard. Or you neighbors yard will be aphid-free and yours, not so much.

  33. Katie in MA

    lol @Otto – Don’t make her turn that garden around, Mister!

    Mir, I am totally jealous of your DESIRE to garden. I feel incomplete without it. I blame my luck. I purchased a flat of mini-rosebushes for a fundraiser and planted them (finally. A week later.) this weekend. Now we have a hard frost scheduled for tonight. Sorry, Texas. Totally my fault.

  34. Lorraine in MN

    Our local garden centers (in Minneapolis) sell praying mantis egg pods. Hundreds of beautifully tiny creatures hatch in a week or so, and the few that are left at the end of summer get to 5 inches long! They’re called “beneficial preditors” or something like that, and they’re incredibly fun to watch. And they LOVE aphids!

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