March 2013
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Thinning and Planting

It was a good day to work in the garden. I have two areas in the back yard where I grow vegetables, one on the East side and one on the West side. On the East side I have four tomato plants along with basil, 2 red bell peppers, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, onions, carrots and beets.

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The project this morning was to thin out the carrots and beets. This is a project I never liked. One has to pull up perfectly good plants and send them to the compost pine. I may pick this angst up from my father. Years ago, like 20, he gave me a palm tree in a five gallon bucket. He said that he could not kill it. This palm tree came up in his yard in a place that he did not want it and instead of pulling it up and tossing it, he put it in a 5 gallon bucket and gave it to me.

The palm tree was planted in a spot in my yard for a couple of years. I did not like where it was planted and I really did not want to get rid of it, so I moved it. The palm tree was then moved to a new spot between the sidewalk and the street. My father did give it to me so I had to keep it. A few years later, it was hit by a woman who accidentally hit the accelerator at the stop sign down the street. She ended up on the sidewalk, took out a couple of fences as well as the entire picket fence next door before careening back towards the street where she hit the palm tree and one of our vehicles. The poor tree was leaning at a 45 degree angle. It was my chance to put the tree out of its misery, and I could not do it.

The palm tree is now at least 25 to 30 feet tall, a little bigger than something that can be plucked out of the ground. It now drops seeds directly or via birds. The net effect is that I get these little palm trees coming up in my yard. I treat them like a week and take them out with a hoe. However, some day, I may put one in the five gallon bucket and give it to one of my children to put in their yard. They may all get one, we will have to see. As for now, I call it the Ken Palmer Memorial Palm Tree.

As for thinning, the carrots needed to be thinned when they were two inches high to a distance of two inches from each other and the beets needed to be thinned when they were 6 inches high to a distance of four inches from each other. Thinning out plants is a great topic that I could write a lot more on. As for now, I am not going to write about thinning the things out of our lives that keep us from growing to our fullest potential. I will save that for another day. But if you look at the picture, there are a lot of carrots and beets that cannot reach their fullest potential without a little thinning.

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It was then time to go to the nursery and purchase some more plants. Elizabeth and I made the trip. We picked up pepper plants in the habanero, Serrano and red bell pepper varieties along with beans in the Kentucky Wonder and blue lake varieties and a Japanese eggplant. The red bell pepper was to replace on the bugs munched up.

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As for the day, what needed to be thinned was thinned and what needed to be planted was planted. The herbs were trimmed and more broccoli was picked. There was even time to make a floral arrangement from some broccoli and chives.

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