Welp, a sad little day in the garden, but hopefully this will help things flourish. Per advice in another thread I started (a PETC award contender, I think...), I pulled all the peas and beans, and thinned the squash to 2 plants instead of 3.
The tomatoes are still far enough apart, I think (they look about 12" apart, maybe I need glasses still...), so hopefully they will be just fine. I need to either put the cages up for them or else just stake them. They're Romas, and I got two Tomato Tower cages from Lowes that look like they are just too big. Maybe they will work fine.
I intended to sort of double-purpose the tomato towers by adding some additional stakes and tying on some horizontal bars (either willow branches or some thin dowels from Lowes that I already have) to those, to use the tomato towers as part of the support for the peppers... BUT I am agreeing with advice given from Applestar that the peppers, whenever they DO sprout, will just not have enough time to fruit, since our season started so late, and I didn't start them indoors. If they do ever come up, I'll just pull them. I really doubt they will, though, given that the soil seems so cool still.
I learned my lesson for next season for sure.. well before this conundrum, actually. Many things I want to start indoors next year for many reasons. One, to beat the long last frost date, and two to know exactly how many plants I have. Also to work the soil with enough time for it to settle before plants need to go in. My only challenge will be where to start things indoors, as the south facing windows are both in areas that the littles frequent (one being their main playing area, the other being the dining area). I have good space that the kids aren't generally allowed in (the office) with western windows, but the western sun hits so hard here in the afternoon that it bakes the house, so we keep the blackout curtains closed past noon. I may just have to invest in lights. Maybe we will be in a different place next season anyway...
Anywho, the tomatoes survived the night, and everything else is still taking it's time. I hope the weather warms up at night soon, because these high 40's/low 50's at night don't seem to be doing anything any favors, and I fear that soon it's going to just suddenly be summer, and my greens will bolt before they had a chance to even put up much.
If we are still here next season, which we plan to be, I think I may unfortunately just go for raised beds. The thistle problem scares me a little bit (they are everywhere), and the native soil is just too sticky and full of rocks. Maybe after this spring crop is done, I'll just scoop the whole lot up off the ground (since the bagged stuff never got tilled in, just sitting on top), and put it in a compost pile for the winter. I'll have to plan out more efficiently what I plan to do, but that will give me a better chance of having warmer soil sooner, easier to put hoops up for shade and/or cold cover, and better separation between crawly climbs things and "don't touch me" things
So that's where we are. Grand total of:
2 Spaghetti Squash starting to set true leaves
2 Romas now in ground
1 row of Danvers carrots
1 row of Boltardy beets
1 row of Sungold dwarf sunflowers
1 row of Swiss chard that came up kind of spotty
1 row of Romaine that also came up kind of spotty
1 row of Noble Giant Spinach that only popped up about 4 or 5, one of which DD1 yanked out today announcing "WHAT'S THIS???"
1 row of Genovese basil
(and of course, Marigolds throughout)
On the porch:
a pitiful pot of sweet basil that still hasn't set true leaves (and it's been about 2-3 weeks..)
a slightly less pitiful pot of roman chamomile that is starting to finally show any sign of continued life
Lessons learned for next year:
- Forget the native soil. It's a wreck.
- Raised beds. Multiple.
- Better spacing, or else follow SFG (unlikely)
- Plant MORE of things (like more peas..rows of them... more beans.. several rows of greens and root veggies, etc).
- Start. Things. Inside. All the things.
- Breathe a little more. It's a learning experience and it's fun for the kids!