2018 Container Gardening- Week Nine

So this week things have stayed pretty much the same in my container garden. Missing are both Walmart non-smelling
geraniums. Not only did they not smell like geraniums, they basically bloomed once and died. I have since visited a nursery and purchased a new geranium plant along with a new petunia plant plus more Purple Cow composting soil. My husband and I live in an apartment complex for now. We are hoping by this time next year to be moving. A few years ago maintenance came around and planted shrubs etc. near everyone’s front door. I am assuming they felt that the tenant should thereafter be responsible for all care and maintenance of said shrubs and plants. Well, the soil these plants were planted in was all wrong, not to mention the kinds of plants planted, and the fact they were hastily put in and during one of the hottest days of the year. For over a year I watered an entire courtyard near our door and four plants right next to our front door. I also fertilized all the plants that were around our unit. Unfortunately, most could not be saved–mostly due to the fact of the soil they were planted in, they were planted shallow, they were planted late fall during a heat wave, and then come spring the area was sprayed by them with a toxic weedeater. This spring nearly everything was dead so we decided to go out and buy hostas at our own expense. I thought hostas would do well near our front door and they still might. However, the spot near our front door gets extreme heat in the afternoon and shade in the am. Hostas need warm sun in the am and shade in the afternoon. This information did not deter us, instead, we went ahead and dug holes, filled them with Purple Cow composting soil, and planted the hostas. Today I made a sunshade for both plants and will cover with said sun shade for part of every afternoon. Keeping fingers crossed. My lavender is doing well since being cut back, and so is my rosemary. Our tree is still recovering, the lime coleus continues to flower and is about 2.5 ft tall, and I have a total of 14 green tomatoes waiting to ripen. How’s your garden doing?


2018 Container Gardening- Week Eight

This week I have teeny tiny pepper buds on my plants. It is so neat to see the flowers become fruit! As reported I am down one geranium,soon to be two, so I went out and bought a red geranium and red petunia to replace them. I learned my lesson at long last–no more plants no matter what from big box stores. I cannot believe I bought not one but two geraniums for $11.00 a piece and they didn’t smell like anything. For most of my life I couldn’t stand the smell of geraniums or petunias, but now my garden would not be complete without their unique smells. It sounds weird but it is true, and I can’t describe what they smell like–so next time you’re planting a garden buy some and see for yourself. They grow on you, I promise. Everything has doubled even tripled in size since plant. See for yourself–Happy Gardening All!

2018 Container Gardening–Week Seven

I’m thrilled to say my nasturtium flowered this week, just as I’d basically given up. One thing that I know I did wrong with it was that I fertilized it, and I’ve now read fertilizing it probably made the plant want to produce more leaves vs. flowers. I had an abundance of leaves so this pearl of wisdom made sense to me.

Temperatures this week were in the mid-eighties and I was able to harvest two more pear tomatoes. One of my non-smelling geraniums bit the dust so I replaced it with a lovely pot of petunias I found on clearance. Next up I am anticipating the ripening of half a dozen tomatoes on my two patio tomato plants.

2018 Container Gardening – Week Four

My fourth week of gardening was filled with clouds, then rain, some humidity, and then cooler weather. All of my plants seemed to benefit from this. There is definitely a rhythm to gardening this year–in that there is an abundance of mosquitos to deal with. We are still feeding the Baltimore Orioles and American Finches, but this week will be one of the last weeks to do so. So, between work and play there is dodging in and out with water (to avoid mosquitos) the constant feeding and watering of many birds (and clean-up), and of course the ever busy business of sourcing fresh locally grown food. This week in our area there is rhubarb and strawberries available. Usually, I buy a lot of both and freeze, but we haven’t been eating either as much as past years. So, I will buy enough to enjoy eating for a few meals and that will be sufficient. Until next time–happy gardening! P.S. Oh ya my nasturtiums still haven’t flowered!

2018 Container Gardening– Week One

My budget this year is tight and my container garden will be smaller than years past. There are two reasons for this- 1) the first one is the lack of space/wt. that our deck can hold is limited. Every year there is just too much out there and it takes weeks to clean it all up. 2) we plan on moving from this apartment by next spring so right now we are organizing, and downsizing everything in our life in preparation. I have $80.00 in my budget to buy plants for my container garden. We are in zone 4 and overnight lows are in the 50’s.

So far I have a container filled with Hens and Chicks that I got early for Mother’s Day ($12.96 Walmart), two tomatoes plants (local nursery $8.00 ea), one pepper plant ($2.00) one heirloom tomato ($3.00), one cherry tomato ($2.00), one coleus ($4.99), three ranunculus ($10.00) one lavender plant ($5.99), and one prairie grass perennial ($8.99) –all bought at Home Depot. Soon I will buy some red geraniums and all the money I have budgeted will be spent.

Right now I am taking things I have started inside, that I had seeds, dirt, and containers for, and planting them outside in soil–like my nasturtiums and some sugar snap peas soon. I’m also getting everything cleaned up on the deck and welcoming back the hummingbirds, orioles, and finches to the feeders.  I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before but I am in love with Floret Flower Farm. I asked for Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein last fall for my birthday, and for Christmas, I asked for the Cut Flower Garden Monthly Planner. I ordered both from her website and couldn’t have asked for an easier transaction. My items arrived quickly and well packed(with a free postcard) both times. For Mother’s Day I asked for the gardening notebooks (these are almost full-size notebooks, not the little notebooks one often sees) and they also arrived quickly and in time for Mother’s Day. I love love love all the pretty pictures and information Erin so freely gives. I have attended several of her online gardening tutorials.

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Update on my patio garden

Well, it’s been rough. We’ve had 7 bad storms in a 2 month period of time. My tomato plants have been through some pretty hostile rains and wind. One night during a storm, with 15 m.p.h winds, I stood out on my patio and held onto my tomato plants so they wouldn’t be destroyed. That’s how devoted I am to growing my own food.. But I can’t do that every night nor would I want to lol.

Here are pictures of the fruit on the vine.