Day 30: A return to the basement garden

We are two days from the start of April. The sun tried its best this morning to make it look like spring but the wind won out and my walk was cold. By late morning the clouds had rolled over the blue sky and what was forecasted as rain showed up as snow flurries.

In the front garden you can now see three of the four raised beds and the green fence around the tulip bed is visible but the ground is still at least a foot under snow. It is clear that there will be no early April spinach, the tulips will not be up until late April and no planting will happen until mid May.

peppersJPG.JPGWith this in mind I headed to the basement grow lights. My peppers plants have all sprouted but have not grown their true leaves yet. My tomatoes have acted like weeds and have grown tall and every last seed sprouted. So today was thinning and re planting day. I carefully took the little cells with three or four plants in them, jiggled the plants apart so as not to hurt the tiny thin roots systems and re planted 8 of each of the six varieties of tomatoesplanting.JPG.  There were two varieties I transplanted a few days ago and I kept 12 of each of those.

If you are doing the math I now have 72 small tomato plants growing under light. I threw away about 24 small plants that I just could not grow – no space inside and really no space for that many tomato plants outside. You would think I have a farm. No, I have 6 raised beds. Only one of those beds gets tomato plants so really I only need about 6 plants. What am I doing?  What am I going to do with all these plants?

Under the lights I also have 16 basil plants started, some parsley and all those peppers. I clearly need spring and hands in the dirt. I was happy to have dirt under my finger nails today even if it is was inside.

As to the plants – my daughter will get a few, I have a new friend who said he would like a few and maybe my daughter can find a few friends who could use a tomato plant or two. tomato transplant.JPG

Confession to make: I am so proud of myself to get the number of tomato plants down to 72. Last year I could not throw any of my little seedling away and ended up with close to 100 little tomato plants growing on my deck in tiny pots. It was crazy.

throw away plantsJPG.JPG



These are my throw away plants!!


They were healthy strong plants. The seeds were great but I just can’t grow that many tomatoes.

Don’t ask why I planted so many to start with?

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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6 Responses to Day 30: A return to the basement garden

  1. It’s cool how this slice veers from describing what you can’t control to what you can. I wish you a flourishing garden, eventually 🙂

  2. Trina Haase says:

    Wow! I’m always so fascinated by those who begin seeds in their basements! I bet your garden will be amazing come summer!

  3. Andrea Clark says:

    I live in an apartment and all I want is to grow tomatoes, but my patio just doesn’t get enough sunlight. I am jealous of all of your thriving tomato plants. You will get to eat so many delicious tomatoes this summer!

  4. Ramona says:

    Love that you were able to get some dirt under your nails, even if you had to go to the basement to do it! I wish I could take a few tomato plants off your hands, but ti would be a bit of a drive just to pick up tomato plants.

  5. carolee says:

    I’m still doing a lot of gardening in the basement, too. Today I up-potted tomatoes and peppers. Like you, I always err on the side of caution when seeding…some may not grow, it’s old seed, I’d rather have too many as not enough…are all rationales I tell myself. This year, not everyone has been happy with their LONG confinement in the basement…and I have too few of some varieties, so I’m compelled to start MORE seeds!

    • Joanne Toft says:

      Funny I am at the same place – to love in the basement and plants that looked great a few days ago and not doing well. I also realize I need to plant more but space is all used up. This weekend I will need to up pot, as you say and then plan from there. Happy Outdoor gardening to us both – soon!

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