Saturday, April 30, 2011

Garden Change of Plans

About two weeks ago, my mom got a call from the Exterminator.  Apparently, the guy who came out to spray for our monthly mosquito control, accidentally sprayed my vegetable garden.  Gasp!  Luckily though, they are the sort of company who will own up to their mistakes and offered to replace the plants.   They use a chemical called Talstar Pro, and although it may not hurt the plants, the manufacturer can not "recommend" using the chem on fruit and vegetable plants, and therefore, we needed to replace them.

After the initial shock wore off, I came to accept it.  I sent him a detailed list of all of the plants I had, where I got them, and etc.  I got them at local markets and organic vendors, and I had a feeling that replacing them exactly was going to be a challenge, and I was right.  Apparently, the company had a Home Depot account so he would be going there to get the plants.  I decided that was okay - I just wanted to grow something after all. 

Well that Monday when we got home, it was pouring down rain, and we looked on the back porch, and there were 16 new plants sitting next to the containers, looking very sad.  Leaves drooping, some cut and bent, and overall very sad.  I was beginning to regret my decision to agree to letting him get the plants for me.  And what's more, I was willing to take a chance on my original plants because they seemed to be doing so good.  I wasn't ready to give them up at that point.

By the end of the week, I had called the Cobb County Extension Office and explained my dilemma to them.  They called the manufacturer for me and confirmed that they could not recommend keeping the plants or the soil.  It looked like I was going to have to scrap my original garden, and start again, with the plants he provided me...

But then again, I wasn't exactly okay with what he got me.  So I called Home Depot.  I explained the story to them as well and asked if there was a way to exchange some of the plants for different ones.  They said that would be fine.  And so, as of today, we have a completely different garden than what we started out with weeks ago.  We have:
2 cucumber plants
2 crook-neck squash plants
2 straight-neck squash plants
3 Jet Star tomato plants
1 Better Bush tomato plant
2 Big Boy tomato plants
1 Black Prince tomato plant (heirloom)
1 German Queen tomato plant (heirloom)
1 Lemon Cherry tomato plant
1 SunGold Cherry tomato plant (heirloom)
1 Cherokee Purple tomato plant (heirloom)
1 yellow pepper plant
1 red pepper plant
1 green pepper plant
1 sweet banana pepper plant

A lot of plants with the best of results in mind.  You know me, always hoping for the best!  So, today has been busy.  I took out all of the plants and threw them into the forest on the other side of the porch.  I emptied out the soil, some into the forest, and  some into a big bucket to save for flower planting, and tried to get as much out as possible.  I mixed the rest with the rocks at the bottom, and then rinsed everything really good with the hose.  And then I started planting.  We had gotten two more small, plastic containers for easier planting.  And I think I have a better layout than before, which is good.

I put the cucumbers in their own smaller container, with a trellis for them to grow on.
The squash also got their own container.  The others were doing amazing, and I think putting them in their own container will make them ever happier.
The squash and tomatoes.  Pre-exterminator.
The German Queen got it's own smaller container, and cage.  From the picture, it looks like it bears big fruit, so I thought putting it on it's own was a good idea.
The Big Boys, Better Bushes, and Jet Star all went into the bigger container, with two cages. 
The Peppers also went into their own container, but I added the Black Prince in the middle, with a cage as well.  I can't wait to see the colors in this container - should be pretty!
And then the Lemon Cherry, SunGold, and Cherokee Purple went into a smaller container with a cage.

I'm still a novice at this whole gardening thing, but I think I have a fairly good idea of what I'm doing.  I have a lot of resources at work, and here with Google.  And I think I handled my minor set-back well.  It's one of those things that happened for a reason, and now I have more variety, which is awesome!  :)  The herbs are still doing great!  The cilantro is almost two feet tall now, and everything is thriving!  Love it!

I'll keep you posted!

P.S.  I have to say that I am extremely pleased with our Exterminator for coming to us with the truth and taking care of everything!  He has been extremely helpful, and nice about the whole thing!

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