Well, the tomatoes have survived the first week in the ground. We've not had any rain, although this weekend we're supposed to see roving t-storms and showers, and it feels like muggy, like we might; but so far, no rain.
I get an electronic newsletter from a Doug Green, a Canadian ex-nusery owner and highly experienced gardener, who has relatively inexpensive ebooks on gardening for sale, which I recommend. One of his tips for watering raised beds like mine is to take a 2 liter soda bottle, cut off the end, punch a hole in the cap with a hot needle (don't drill it, the hole will be too big) and bury it cap-end down in your bed...voila, a semi-automatic watering system. It's stuff like this that makes me whack my head and say "duh!" Anyway, I did that this afternoon...the raised bed has three varieties of tomato, two varieties of basil, and as a sop to TLO, I sowed creeping sedum broadcast across the bottom third. I have some sproutlets too, which makes us both smile.
So far I seem to have lost only one tomato plant; I don't know which one, but it doesn't really matter if the others pull through. I purchased 2 of 6 heirloom varieties from the National Gardening Association; two of them are in a Gardeners Supply self-watering "tomato success" kit; others are in the 3X3 raised bed I put together last weekend; three are in the old rose bed I dug lo these many years ago, and one each reside in an old silk ficus container (on wheels) and in an old strawberry pot respectively...well, we'll just see how it all goes.
TLO wants a flower bed to call her own; and I want a butterfly bed; and so we have seeds awaiting planting in the newly re-dug bed beyond the rec room window. As I dug it out, I discovered a bed had been there once; someone had done what I've never done and added sand to our hard clay. (I'm not saying this is bad; I'm just saying I've never done it -- I've always added zoo doo or some other compost-y kind of thing to our crappy soil). I know someone once planted something there because I came across two bulbs. Now, we've been in this house 14 yrs this weekend, thank you, and I've never seen anything bulbous sprout from that bed, so I'm assuming the bulbs are dead; but what do I know? Is there a way to rejuvenate bulbs? Should I soak them in compost tea or something? Rooting solution? Anyone out there know?