Sunday, March 16, 2008

More on Gardening

New Plants In The Family
There's nothing like shoveling dirt to get you out of a lazy funk! I purchased a Pink Jasmine today, which I put in the ground right away. I chose a middle-sized one with the idea that it will be somewhat showy and off to a good start right away. I tried the small pot once before and it went kaput. :/

I also purchased a Kangaroo Paw (Garnet), which I've learned is a great container plant and cut flower. It also attracts hummingbirds. It'll stay in the container (for now at least).

Now's The Time!
St. Patrick's Day is the time to plant Sweet Peas, so I've got mine soaking now so they'll be ready to plant tomorrow evening. I've chosen Royal Family for variety and Flora Norton for its lovely lavender-blue color and because it's an heirloom variety. I haven't had much luck with sweet peas in the past, but I'll just keep trying because they're my favorite flower!

Now (mid-March) is also the time for me to prune and care for the Blueberries and Cape Fuchsia (I don't know which one I have - it's one of the red/orange/coral ones).

Planning For The Future
I've still got the lawn and veggie garden to go. Instead of attempting to dethatch the lawn, I think I will do some localized dethatching, aerating, and weeding (along with a second dose of Weed B Gone), then seed and fertilize. I don't think I'll be able to dethatch, aerate, seed, and fertilize the whole lawn, no matter how much determination and gusto I have to do so, but I don't want to know how much it would cost to have it done professionally. Maybe a more "natural" lawn is a good thing! ;) I need to plant some berry bushes I have in pots and plan out my veggie patch.

9 comments:

My Inner French Girl said...

Dear AS, bonjour! Your post makes me want to head outside and get my hands dirty in the soil! Unfortunately, we live in a rental, so all of my previous gardening has been in pots. Last year I had a huge container garden (I think we had about 25 big 5-gallon buckets), but it was hard to maintain on our narrow backyard. Plus, we donated our potting table to the Salvation Army when we thought we were moving :-(. Anyhoo, you've inspired me to start thinking about my summer garden again! Yours sounds delightful!

Salut,
Marjorie

Astarte's Student said...

Yay! :) Gardening can be so beneficial, both physically and mentally. And it can be anything from watering potted plants to landscaping the yard. I try to do "hard" or heavy stuff outside because it's a way for me to get exercise that I enjoy.

Do you have a deck or a patio? When we had an apartment with a tiny (and I mean TINY) patio, I kept a long planter of sweet peas on a chair. I made lattice out of chopstick-size pegs and twine. They didn't bloom the best (not enough sun I think) but at least there was something green! :) Herbs are fun (and tasty) to grow inside too.

What kinds of plants do you like to grow?

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My Inner French Girl said...

Cherie, I heartily agree with you about the beneficial aspects of gardening. I love getting my hands dirty in some really rich, organic soil.

We grew about 3-4 different tomatoes (the Romas all rotted at the bottom before we could harvest them); cucumbers; onions (more like oversized scallions 'cause they just didn't have enough room to grow in the pot); romaine lettuce (easy!); 6-7 different herbs; broccoli (failure); wheatgrass (super easy!); 3-4 different peppers (easy!); okra (easy!); and a few flowers. I think I had 3 basil pots going all at once, but they didn't grow well.

Because of the desert heat, we had to water sometimes twice a day, which I felt bad about, so we'll probably scale it back to a handful of pots this year.

We have a relatively small patio, maybe 10'x 12'. We also have a decent sized front porch, but I'm concerned about dogs and cats wandering in and ruining the plants!

I like the idea of sweet peas. I just interviewed a lady from the local nursery for an article I'm doing, and she said that they're just now starting to get some customers trickling in. I'll have to pay a visit in a few weeks and see what's on offer this year.

Salut,
Marjorie

Astarte's Student said...

OLFA - are you spam? Either way, that's still a bit out of my price range (and I like to do as much as I can by myself). With the exception of the Weed B Gone, most of what I do is pretty harmless and harsh chemical-free as it is. Or at least I try to be that way. I use lots of natural, safe methods of pest and weed control, thanks to my mother. But I do like the idea of organic gardening...seems sort of an obvious choice!

Hi Marjorie! :) What type of tomatoes did you grow? We don't like tomatoes but love sauces and salsa, so that's what I'll be growing them for. I think I'll be trying onions, peppers, lettuce, and carrots as well. We'll see. I know what you mean about animals - I've got to keep an eye out for squirrells I think, and we even had a rabbit in our yard once - the dogs chased it off I think but I'll still be watching for thieves. ;)

My Inner French Girl said...

Bonjour, AS! Well, we grew Romas, but not very successfully. I can't remember what the others were, but they were all cherry-like, yellow and red. We'll definitely be trying for those again this year. And yes, peppers and onions are a must. Very easy!

We have an enclosed backyard, but still get the occasional birds. B. fixed up a few hanging CD's (old ones, natch) to catch the light and scare off birds. I think they worked. Now we mostly worry about bugs. We get plenty of spiders out here in the desert, but not enough to scare off a lot of the pests.

Salut,
Marjorie

Astarte's Student said...

Marjorie, what were the birds eating? It's too bad they became a nuisance because they could help with the bugs. I don't know what kinds of reptiles or amphibians are in your area, but maybe you should try to attract some of those - they'll take care of bugs. ;D

My Inner French Girl said...

You know, I don't even remember what the birds ate. I'll have to check with B. I was thinking they were ravens or something, but that can't be right.

Salut,
Marjorie

p.s. Reptiles. Shudder. Must we?

astarte's student said...

Starlings can be pretty annoying too. :/ Those darn black birds.

OMG! I love reptiles! :D