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Where things either live or die!

Apr 14, 2011

Have I mentioned how much I love my widger?


It’s the simple things that make life wonderful- I could make this post just about that- but instead, I’ll just tell you about my widger.

It’s a simple tool, really. It kind-a resembles a tiny shoe horn. All I know is that the other day I needed it. I was trying to transplant some of the lettuce I started a while back- some of them had to go into a 50 cell plug flat. If any of you have tried to get delicate seedlings out of one of these- you know my frustration! Trying not to hurt the seedlings, and the flat at the same time was tough…and then I remembered the widger!

I’d asked for it for Christmas year before last- I didn’t do much in the garden last year so I’d forgotten all about it until I needed it.

Lettuce variety ‘Focea’

What a simple but so very useful tool- it definitely belongs in my list of favorite gardening tools. You simple slide in around the edges of the plant, loosening it from the plug, and then scoop it out- nice.

So obviously some lettuce got transplanted- If I was sowing from seed there would be 12 rows of lettuce- across the bed, and eating baby lettuce to thin out. But I just planted 5 in the short rows.

The wind is still terrible right now so I had to protect them from both the sun and wind- I used a piece of weed mat for shade, and mulched too. In this group, starting front to back- organic ‘Speckles’, ‘Salad Bowl Blend’, ‘Focea’ and organic ‘Marvel of 4 Seasons’. I have to say that I really love the Marvel of 4 Seasons- it’s a new variety this year and it is really a beautiful lettuce…almost too pretty to eat.

The temperatures dropped again after planting out this lettuce and some prior to these- I was worried I’d lose them with just a single layer of protection- they were frozen in the morning, but bounced back…truly amazing.

Yep, Frozen lettuce. The temperatures under a double cover dropped to 26.4 degrees- so these were exposed to a bit lower than that. I did cover 1/2 of them with pots- not wanting to lose all of them, just in case.

This is the same lettuce later that morning.

Is this a pretty lettuce or what!- my photos really don’t capture it well.

We also managed to get the blueberry planted- now we have 4. The ones from last year weren’t as old as the ones we purchased this year- and I’m not sure how well they survived the winter (not to mention the colder and windier than usual spring!). So, hopefully we’ll have 4!

The smaller one on the right only gets to 30” I think- it has blossoms on it, I hope it will do alright. This is a berry bed- 4 blueberry, 4 raspberry (and we’ll plant more), and along the edges I’ll plant more strawberry.

Speaking of strawberry- The area that the cold frames will eventually go was planted with strawberry ‘Quinault’- all tucked in. It starting hailing lightly while I was planting and the day before I got sunburned…you gotta love spring!


Everything planted out has really gotten a beating by the wind. I’ve protected them the best I could. The next sowing will hopefully have better luck!

Lastly- I sowed 7 different varieties of tomato. This year I’m trying a few heirloom varieties that are unusual. These were sown in micro blocks.

Varieties include: ‘Stupice’, ‘Red Zebra’, ‘Ananas Noire’, ‘Green Grape’, ‘Tess’s Land Race Currant’, ‘New Girl’, ‘Woodle Orange’. I can’t wait to see how they do here and how they taste. Except for ‘New Girl’ and ‘Stupice’ were purchased from Baker Creek Seeds- so if you’re interested you can check them out.

And I found a nice video of Eliot Coleman sowing tomato in these micro blocks- this is from the days when he and his wife did the show Gardening Naturally (anyone remember that show- my favorite, I wish they’d do it again!). Enjoy.


Part two is on there too- all good stuff!

Happy Gardening,



  • Jenni

    Hi Teresa, I like your widger..seems very practical and useful. But what I really want to know on earth do you have such pristine and manicured fingernails..with all of the gardening that you appear to do? :) I tease only because I'm jealous! Cheers, Jenni

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Hey Jenni,

    How are things on the West side? Are you still getting rain? I've heard you've had some sunny days last week- that's great! Ha ha, you're funny! No manicured fingernails here! I just haven't cut them ;)What you don't see is my fingers(and nails) under that seedling- I play guitar so they're a mess! Too many expenses in the garden to afford manicured nails ;). All I do is push my cuticles back with oil. Cheapest manicure around.

  • Daphne

    My lettuce has seen a lot of sub freezing weather too. And it will again tonight. I don't think it cares that much. Some of the brassicas seem more upset with the weather.

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