My jasmine loves the…

My jasmine loves the sun. Today the first new bloom opened; smells heavenly. There are at least two dozen budding, waiting to bloom in the next few days. I'm a bit mopey that I'm going to miss them, given that the poor plant has only managed 2-3 blooms a year for the last three years of sun-dearth. But Kevin seems certain that there will be more flowers after I get back. He better be right.

All the other plants are doing well -- wait, did I say all? Nay, not all, because my tomatoes are sad and dispirited. Their leaves are withered, their spirits are low. I don't know what to do to make them happy again. They get tons of sun, and I think plenty of water. Is it possible that I'm watering them too much? Could the fierce winds of my rooftop just be too much for them to take? The roses appear to be resisting the wind's bluster, but perhaps roses are hardier than my poor, fragile tomato plants. I am bewildered.

Yesterday was mostly a random catch-up day. I spent about an hour making a bedspread for the new bed -- not from scratch. I found some gorgeous crimson/purple sari fabric throws at CostPlus last week, exactly the sort of thing I've been wanting for a bedspread for forever, and haven't been able to find (couldn't find it in Sri Lanka either -- I think it's more of an India sort of thing). But they weren't nearly big enough. So I bought three of them -- sewed two together, cut the other in half and then sewed that to the bottom, making one large queen-size bedspread. Looks so pretty. I would have been even happier to just buy it already made, of course, but it's satisfying to know that I have the basic sewing skills (look, I can sew a straight seam! :-) to put a bedspread together. If I have time later, I may add a bottom sheet to it, and buttons at the top, to turn it into a duvet cover, but given that it's something like 80 degrees at night right now, that doesn't seem so urgent a project.

Otherwise, just trying to plow through various work. Not sure where the day went, but it surely disappeared. We tried and failed to buy Kevin a grill; we picked up my rocking chair from the old apartment, but discovered that it doesn't look quite right in our new bedroom. Ah well -- it'll do for now. We picked up my new desk chair, which is lovely. It rolls and swivels. :-) We were using a dining table chair at the old place; this is much better. Hopefully it will be conducive to my doing more writing. In the evening, around nine, I did go out for a bit, to a small party my sister was throwing. Mirna just moved too, and oddly enough, her new place is six blocks from our new place, even though we did completely separate housing searches. Clearly, Bucktown is just the hip place to live. (That sounds like a joke, but actually, I think it's true. We are not hip enough for this neighborhood; we don't have nearly enough tattooes, for example. Perhaps I should rush out and get a tattoo.) So I walked to her place, and hung out with her hospital buddies until eleven. Was a nice break. Must remember to take breaks more often.

A ton of stuff to do today before leaving town -- chief being to finish going through urgent paperwork and e-mail, and prepare my travel research lecture for Vermont. I just realized that I don't know whether I'll have any projection facilities for my lecture -- I was assuming that I could show photos along with the lecture, but possibly not. I guess I have to prepare it both ways, since I won't be able to check until tomorrow morning, and tomorrow morning is already quite hectic. Argh.

Hey, maybe y'all can help. If you happen to know any good quotes from writers about travel and writing, post 'em here. That would be hugely helpful. I know what I want to say about my own travel research experience (mostly), but I think it'll be a better lecture if I can intersperse some bits from other writers.

4 thoughts on “My jasmine loves the…”

  1. It is all too easy to over-water tomatoes, in my experience. And, overwatering makes them more blight-prone. If they do catch blight, it is probably necessary to discard the pot they were grown in, since it will be contaminated with tomato blight spores for years.

  2. It’s also possible that you have them in pots that are too small. Tomatoes have root systems that, in the earth, will go deeper than most fruit trees’ roots, so planting traditional, beefsteak tomatoes in pots is usually a recipe for failure. Make sure they have the biggest pots you can put them in, but for the most part I try to only put cherry tomatoes and romas in pots, the rest in the ground.

    If it is a watering problem, one thing to check is that you’re not getting any of the leaves wet; this can lead to mildew, ew!

    One year I didn’t feed my tomatoes, and the difference in the plants was very noticable; make sure you have them on a regular fertilzing schedule.

    You can plant marigolds around tomatoes… they help, but I think you have to plant a lot for them to work. Can’t remember the name of the thing they prevent (I don’t do this out here because of the slugs, who love marigolds, but it should be fine on a Chicago rooftop).

    That’s all I can think of for now. I wish I could make it to your party to see the garden! Sounds lovely!

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I didn’t realize about the pot size, or the over-watering. That’s probably it. Kevin’s trying to keep them alive, and I’ll see what I can do to fix things when I get back.

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