Papering over the differences
Monday December 08th 2014, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Family,Garden

The squirrels still haven’t dared touch anything near any bubblewrap ten days after it first appeared outside so I added some to the upstart tomato plant today, given that there are several in there big enough for them to think about stealing.

It is December and for all the flowers on that September Surprise I don’t want my chances of tasting whatever variety it is and saving seeds to be any smaller than they have to be.

Meantime, I saw some photos online from Florida of individual mangoes hanging off the trees encased in produce clamshells and grinned, See? See? I’m not the only one who does that!

But dang. The squirrels in Florida like mangoes. Well, they don’t know a thing about them here–yet. My mother reminds me that they never touched the Page oranges in Maryland back in the day when the trucker dropped off all those cases in our carport when I was a teen, citrus wasn’t a food as far as those knew.

Re the Alphonso. The instructions that popped up after checkout last week said, Plant in a plastic pot with straight sides and keep out of the sun for 2-3 weeks while it acclimates to its new environment and to being out of that box after traveling by truck across the country all squished and in the dark. It will need to recuperate. Do *not* pull the tree out by the trunk to re-plant it into the ground; rather, pull or cut the pot away from the roots so as not to harm the tree.

Or words to that effect.

Me: hmm, how about that recycled-paper pot that demanded I buy it when we were at the hardware store a few weeks ago, before there even was a definite plan to buy a mango tree. And definitely before I knew I would need an in-between stage. We were there, buying stakes and a cover blanket for the Page orange and that out-of-season pot was sitting on a high shelf looking down at me, going, Well?

Well what?

Well it felt like the right thing. Richard asked me simply, Do you need it? and I said yes please, wondering why but going with the feeling (and it was going straight back up if the price was outlandish. Instead, I’ve seen packets of seeds that cost more.)

So he reached it down for me and so far it’s just been a holding spot for that anticipatory frost cover, unopened with the temps in the upper 50s at night. (Normal is 39.)

If we hadn’t bought it we’d be making a trip to go back to buy it. It’s too perfect. We’ll be able to plant the mango straight into it and then the whole thing straight into the ground in a few weeks. Under the awning, on the patio, right outside the window, the first little bit–I get to watch my birds trying out the strange new tree close up before it moves further out into the yard. (Note to Coopernicus: You Must Be This Small To Board This Ride.)

And as I was typing this I got an email from FedEx notifying me shipment has commenced, with the expected delivery date.

Which would be my birthday.

I like it.

(Oh, and, I knitted today, big surprise. Ho Ho Ho. Pictures? C’mon…)

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When you plant in that paper pot, make sure it is good and soggy and starting to fall apart, even tear a bunch of holes in it, or slit it to make holes – it is surprising how durable these can be and they have been known to block roots if they are put in the ground dry and whole. And tear off any bits that want to extend above ground – otherwise you have a wick that sucks moisture up out of the soil and sends it off into the air – not where the roots need it. Otherwise, yes, it looks perfect. As that first mango will taste!

Comment by twinsetellen 12.10.14 @ 5:44 pm

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