Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 13, 2017

I had a half-day off from work, so I went straight out to the garden in the morning and worked for about 3 hours. I was hot, sweaty, and very, very dirty when I was finished but I got a LOT of work done! The plants I had ordered came as well, which was fortuitous.

First I laid down mulch and moved the pond. Thus making the surprising discovery that the fish is...gone. Not dead (although I assume it is) but MISSING. I think someone went fishing... I wonder who has been eating the food for the past few weeks? Anyways, I only paid a couple bucks at the bait shop for it. I haven't decided what I'm going to do next year - it will all depend on if the water plants live or not and if I can rig up a better pump. I planted a honeysuckle and added more dirt and bone meal. I also took the hummingbird feeder inside, since only wasps were using it.

Then I hauled pots and dirt back and forth. I ended up with 3 pots that still have things in them (I planted more pansies) in the herb and flower garden and two partially cleared stretches along the house that have mint and chives. Yes, I know mint spreads and is invasive. I am pitting it against the invasive ground elder. Mint is a LOT easier to pull up if it gets out of hand! It still looks very messy - I am planning to smooth out the whole area, shift around the bricks to go under the pots instead of as a wall, and mulch over the area heavily. I also have to dig in the hose holder, but there are rocks down there that I can't get it past.

I made good headway on clearing out the dahlia forest and expanded the berry plot. I planted my blackberry and added bone meal (supposedly this keeps squirrels off. We shall see...) took a couple more dahlias and calla lilies to the basement, and basically cleaned up pots and wire and so on. Right now there are a lot of empty or partially empty pots and the hose under the picnic bench, but it's not like anybody uses it anyways. I'm storing a lot of my wire enclosures behind the little shed.

Later that night I discovered my fuschia, which I had transplanted indoors, had acquired those little white mites. Sigh. I took it outside, sprayed it, and I'll bring it in Sunday when the temps are supposed to drop. It rained most of Friday afternoon and is supposed to keep raining so maybe that will wash it clean.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10, 2017

I got a start on the Four o'clock garden. I pulled out a bunch of the four o'clocks off to the side (and accidentally grabbed a wasp in the process. Ouch!). I also tossed the old pond pump. Then it started raining and I decided I was done, also my vacation ends today.

I have a crazy few days at work, then Friday morning off - it's supposed to be warm and cloudy so I'll hopefully finish the four o'clock garden then. Also, the rest of my plants should be here.

  • Empty and clean the pond
  • Mulch and reset the pond to the left
  • Shift the honeysuckle/hummingbird pot over (this requires delicacy b/c it's attached to a shepherd's hook)
  • Rake away some of the mulch, plant tulips, add dirt and mulch (some online gardeners have suggested bone meal keeps squirrels away.)
  • Sprinkle sluggo
If Sunday is nice I'll do more then, but right now they're projecting thunderstorms....

October 9, 2017

With the help of my friend Sara, I bought four bags of mulch, four bags of dirt, two more big pots, a hose holder, and a wheelbarrow.

I moved things around a little in the dahlia forest to create a smaller section (next to my neighbor's little shed) to create a space for my berries and tomato. The raspberry will be transplanted into a bigger pot in the spring, I have a blackberry ordered, and I shifted most of the strawberry plants into a pot. Whether or not they'll come back next spring, we'll have to wait and see. I'll also buy a tomato in the spring.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall/Spring Garden Plan

Well, we are not having a normal fall. This will come as no surprise to anyone with half a brain in their head, but it's still frustrating. It's October and the temps are still in the high 70s - we may hit 80 tomorrow. So, plans for the garden are going to change a bit.

Four o'clock garden

  • I'm going to shift the pond to the left of the hummingbird pot. Next spring I will try a water lily bulb and probably will need a new fish. I'm also going to purchase a new pump - I think I can run a cord through the air-conditioner which has holes in it.
  • I've purchased a honeysuckle plant for the pot and I'm going to remove the four o'clocks from the pot and dedicate it slowly to the honeysuckle. I will probably need to add some fertilizer.
  • I'm going to plant tulips in this area, which will be easier to mark and protect, so I'll need to weed, add dirt, and mulch. I'll also keep the four o'clocks and let them reseed themselves (hopefully).
    • Purchased
      • lonicera, scentsation (honeysuckle)
      • tulips - la courtine, johann strauss kaufmannia, triumph, darwin
    • Shopping list
      • pump
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring shopping list
      • water lily
      • fish
    • Fall To Do
      • Clean and shift pond
      • Empty, fertilize, and plant honeysuckle
      • Add dirt, plant tulips, wire, add mulch
Monet Garden
  • Any bulbs that come back, fine. The big calla in the corner will go in the basement for the winter, if it ever dies back (or gets its leaves eaten). I need to ask my landlord's wife is she wants her bamboo back inside for the winter.
  • I will wait until the nasturtiums die back - although that might take until December at this rate! And then plant daffodils. I'm going to fill in the small front section by the steps, which currently has anemones, with some more dutch iris and glory of the snow.
  • I've got some more nasturtiums and morning glory seeds - the nasturtiums will cover the main bulk of the garden, the morning glories vine up the two trellises
  • There's also a small pot that holds peas. It will need more dirt in the spring.
  • I'd like to redo the wall, but the thought of hauling more stones home, a few at a time, is exhausting.
    • Purchased
      • Blue diamond Dutch iris
      • Glory of the snow (chionodoxa)
      • Peach melba nasturtium (seeds)
      • Carnivale de Venezia morning glories
    • Shopping list
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring to do
      • swear at squirrels, keep morning glory from taking over
    • Fall to do
      • return bamboo, store calla inside
      • clean out bed
      • plant daffodils
      • plant smaller section of bulbs (add more dirt, fertilizer, and wire fence)
      • straighten wall (use mulch)
      • add mulch and cover with vines
Herb and flower garden
  • Since the weather is so odd, I'm going to add some more pansies. I tried to divide the chives, but it didn't go so well. I bought some more seeds for this area and I'm going to move all the herbs over to the long area to the right, which is currently covered with invasive ground elder.
  • I'll need to clean out and resettle all the pots which are uneven and it drives me crazy. The callas aren't ready to come in yet - when they are I'll store them in the basement. I'm going to get hose storage and in the spring I'll start working on cleaning out the elder and planting herbs - and tithonia at the corner of the house, where I dumped a bunch of old dirt and the sort-of-divided chives.
  • In the spring I'll do mostly pansies in the pots, miniature rose, some more aristotle basil, and I think I'll put the callas into the bigger pots. I'll also scatter some alyssum around.
    • Purchased
      • Johnny-jump up (seeds)
      • Moulin Rouge pansies (seeds)
      • Sorbet denim jump-up viola
      • Sorbet red blotch viola
      • Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) (seeds)
    • Shopping list
      • wheelbarrow, pitchfork, hose storage
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring to do
      • to purchase
        • black-eyed susan vine
        • miniature rose
        • thyme, mint, chives
      • plant seeds in pots
      • swear at squirrels for digging up pots
      • dig up more ground elder and mulch
      • plant herbs and prepare for the Battle of the Invasives
    • Fall to do
      • Plant additional pansies
      • Shift and resettle pots
      • Straighten wall
      • Dig out ground elder
Dahlia forest
  • Some of the dahlias are getting close to ready to come inside. I have peat moss ready for them this year and I'm going to try to see how many I can get to come back next year. Except...I might start running out of room! In fact, I KNOW I will be running out of room with the new ones that I've purchased and if they divide! I also have a lot of new flower seeds I want to try. Plus tomatoes, blackberries, and raspberries. Hmm. I currently have: Kasasagi, amber queen, Einstein (I think - it got some kind of fungus over it), Firepot? and a couple different variations of pink/purple and white. 
  • I think I will see if I can put the raspberries, blackberries, and tomatoes over by my neighbor's little shed (she keeps her walker in there). The picnic bench is in the way, but I will see if my landlord objects if I move it.
    • Purchased
      • September morn (dahlia)
      • Awe shucks (dahlia)
      • Teddy (dahlia)
      • Raspberry lemonade zinnia (seeds)
      • Double take cosmos (seeds)
      • California poppy (mixed sunset) (seeds)
      • Strawflower (tall mixed) (seeds)
      • prime-ark traveler, blackberry
    • Shopping list
      • 2 large pots
      • dirt
      • tomato cages
    • Spring to do
      • purchase gazania, tomato
      • transplant raspberry into large pot
      • plant seeds and dahlias (bone meal)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fall garden to-do list

So, there are still plenty of things to do in the garden, but this was enough for now. I will be off work next weekend and, depending on the weather, will take care of some of it then.

  • Store the rest of the calla and dahlia bulbs in the basement (after they've died back)
  • Clean out the herb and flower garden - straighten stones, put down more mulch, bring hose inside.
Bulb planting - I think I'm still going to stick to this plan, but I bought a bunch of cheap bulbs from Walmart and I'm going to sprinkle them around so when I see a squirrel eating a bulb I can tell myself it's a Walmart one!

Also, I think I might lower the pond and raise the clear area behind it.

October 1, 2017

The garden is winding down now. We've had some unusually hot weather, then cooler, then a little spell of hot is coming up again. Nevertheless, the garden is following its own timeline and starting to die back. I moved my houseplants outside for a few weeks to pick up the unseasonable sunshine - and give myself time to clean my apartment thoroughly.

I randomly planted a fuschia earlier this summer - I picked it up cheap at a plant stand after the floods in July and shoved it in the ground. It grew quite enthusiastically, and I was surprised to learn that it's difficult to grow. I really would like it to last until next year, so I transplanted it inside. There are lots of complicated instructions and I'm not bothering with those though.

My fancy double amaryllis apparently did not read the instructions for amaryllis bulbs. However, it has finally died back (ok, was eaten back if we're being honest) so I moved it into the basement for the next few months. Hopefully by the end of December it will be ready to return.

My random pink houseplant (I think it's some kind of anthurium) has been outside for a little. It produced a baby, which I gifted to my upstairs neighbor, and I repotted it with fresh soil for the winter.

I had a tuberose I was trying to grow - it never came to anything. I think it didn't get enough sun inside and not enough water outside. Now it's just limp. I'm going to try it inside again with regular watering and the plant lamp and see what happens. I repotted it in a much bigger pot and added some fertilizer.

My chives had formed a giant mat - I tried to separate them, but wasn't very successful. I ended up managing to peel of a handful of nodes, which I potted for indoors, and then I hacked out a section of dirt and dumped the rest there. Hopefully they will not be discouraged by the ground elder. I'm also trying to keep some of my aristotle basil alive inside.

I had a GIANT polka dot plant. I stuck it outside while I was cleaning and the squirrels (or possibly a helpful neighbor) trimmed it off short. When I finally dug it up I found I had LOTS of polka dot plants - I planted four small pots with roots on the mantel by my kitchen.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017

The unexpected heat continues to ravage the gardens. I got one blue/purple St. Brigid anemone (seen above) but it quickly withered. My Einstein dahlia that has some kind of scale or fungus is getting worse, but at least it's not spreading to any other bushes. The Gingeroo is producing smaller and smaller pompom dahlias. I put the strawberries outside - I got a few berries off them, but they got little webs of some kind of bug and the berries in my living room window were pale and didn't look good. I got a few more good berries off one and the chipmunk at the substandard ones. Still getting a few raspberries now and then. I've been watering in the evening, which isn't the best, but it's when I have time. It's in the 90s during the day. Ugh.