i went to star market this morning in search of ripe avocados for the cafe (avocados for the sushi rolls). the ones i saw yesterday at market basket were very raw. star had both kinds, but were selling at $3 each. i was supposed to get 3 but just got 2. when the girl rung me up, the avocados (hass variety) came out to $2.50 each (there must've been a sale), a slight saving but still pricey (MB had them for $1.50 each). i then gathered up my things and went to the cafe to drop off the groceries. the cabbage i got yesterday? turns out my 2nd aunt wanted lettuce instead. there must be something lost in the chinese-english translation because this is the 3rd time i got cabbage instead of lettuce.

gardening seems like it could be my full-time job since it seems like there's always something to do. splitting my time between my own community garden plot and the belmont garden, i will definitely have my hands full this summer.

i was the only person home in belmont. earlier, after stopping by the cafe, i went to the watertown home depot to get some large tomato cages (6@$2.78 each) and a cherry tomato plant ($3.33). i also tried looking for a 3/4" thread tap tool but couldn't find one that size (later i ordered one from ebay; will be used on the rain barrels).

raised bed 1

i put some marsh grass in between the rows of growing vegetables. i couldn't do it all because some of the seedlings are still too tiny and i didn't want to overshadow them with mulching. mulching with marsh grass feels like building a bird's nest. not sure how effect it'll be against emerging weeds, but i'm also using it as a sunscreen to prevent the soil from drying out.

2 nasturtium seedlings have emerged. i was beginning to have some doubts on whether or not they'd ever germinate but nasturtiums are pretty reliable when it comes to sprouting. the pea plants are getting taller, getting ready to climb. i added a few more yesterday, to the spots where they failed to germinate for one reason or another. i may have to raise the trellis because currently they're only about 3 feet tall, too low.

raised bed 2 & 3

i've transferred the last three tomato plants into larger pots. these will go to my great uncle, but they won't get planted until my father gets back from china, so i'm temporarily putting them into bigger containers so they'll have some more room to grow.

i replanted the rosemary plants, one per raised bed with the exception of RB1. i planted some moonflower seeds in RB2. i planted the new cherry tomato plant in RB3. it's a husky cherry red variety that came in a biodegradable jiffy pot. unlike my other tomatoes, this one looks very hardy, almost like a little tree (i don't know whether it's nature or nurture). it's an indeterminate, so it will never stop growing, but the description says no more than 3-4 feet. also in between the 4 cucumber/squash mounds i planted a bunch of mixed sunflower seeds, and along the back of RB3 some flowering vine seeds (moonflower, morning glory, cypress vine - one of each).

raised bed 4

something's been eating one of the pepper plants in RB4! just a single leaf, but i'm worried whatever it is might come back again (a hungry beetle perhaps?). when i was planting the thai basil plants i had to thin out a few. reluctant to just toss away the surplus seedlings, i ended up planting them in a little space, hoping that they might survive.

in the 2x2' square in front of the bed i planted some parsley seeds. chinese people don't eat much parsley (our preferred leafy green garnish is cilantro AKA chinese parsley) but i like having it anyway for those times when i'm making some sort of italian dish.

the 2x1' space on the left of the box i planted some more dill seeds. the dill seeds i sprinkled next to the southeastern rain barrel next to the chinese chives don't seem to be sprouting and it's been weeks, so i'm worried they won't show up at all. that' why i'm planting more dill, just in case.

using the rain barrel action shots:

i'm a little concerned about the water temperature. for now it's cold, but i wonder if the water will get too hot during the summer. i don't think vegetables like being scalded. when i first checked the water level in the black barrel, it was already at the rim of one of the bungholes (that's what they're called!). after some watering action, the level decreased to about an inch below the bung.

something has been chewing on one of the peony leaves as well. not as bad as the pepper damage; maybe the leaves don't taste as good.

indoor seedling should probably be moved outside soon. they're still small, but my sister doesn't water them daily so occasionally they get too dry. at least if they're outside, if it rains, they'll get watered. they'll probably also get more sunlight.

in the late afternoon i stopped gardening (summer squash and corn still need to be planted) so i could watch game 4 between the lakers and the mavericks. with los angeles down 0-3, to say this was a most-win game is an understatement. but the lakers couldn't survive the raining of 3-pointers from dallas and ended up losing by 36 points, with 2 players ejected in the final minutes for dirty fouls (elbows were involved).

when my sister came home, so made some spicy chorizo pasta for dinner. i went home afterwards around 7:00, the weather suddenly getting cold enough that i could see my breath. i found victor working in the kitchen with 2 laptops simultaneously display 2 astrophysics related data sets.

i was sniffling the whole i was working outside today, courtesy of my newfound springtime allergy. i thought about taking a benadryl but decided against it because i still needed to ride the motorcycle back to cambridge. when i got back home though, i took one. full of energy initially, after an hour i felt drained and sleepy. oh diphenhydramine and your drowsy side effect!

i took a shower in the evening, getting an early start on my nighttime preparations. the bathroom used to be the coziest spot in the house, but ever since i turned off the heat over 2 weeks ago, the warm magic is gone. taking a shower is now particularly unpleasant, being wet and naked and cold. i noticed victor tried to turn up the heat with the thermostat when he was home alone today. i wonder if he's since figured out that i turned it off?