Friday, June 27, 2008


Here's my garden as it was ten days ago. LOL, I thought nothing was growing, that everything was just sitting there, but yanno, I've harvested herbs since then and the pots have filled out more than I realized!

The Greek Oregano and French Tarragon yesterday afternoon. The tarragon still looks wispy and needs cut back soon, but the pot is healthy despite my preoccupied state that allowed the plants to go a couple days without water. Luckily, the apartment manager watered them when she watered her own garden.

I have some new pots. These are more expensive than I would ordinarily allow myself, but the selection was VERY limited since this is, evidently, the end of the gardening season in Wichita; almost all the seeds and pots are gone, and all the plants were half-price.

Eggplant "Classic" and bell pepper "Valencia Orange." Don't they look lonesome?! I thought they did... so Burpee Stringless bush beans are along the back of each pot, and Yellow Straightneck squash are in the front. We'll see what grows, what lives, what fruits.... intensive planting like this means only the strongest survive and it also means the pots will need constant attention, water, fertilizer.

My lettuce seedlings after a watering... they didn't all stand back up again and I found myself very impatient with them. I had to actually bring them upright myself. That doesn't bode so well, yanno? I doubt they're going to last a real long time, and since they so far have no *flavor* to speak of, I so far don't much care. They're useful as a green mulch in the butternut squash pot to keep the roots cool, but at this point I have my doubts about their food value.

Ahhh, purslane! I have visons of this one filling the pot and spilling over the sides... purslane can easily do that. This one has such pretty apricot flowers, and the bees were investigating it this afternoon. There are Jack o'Lantern punkins planted at the back of the pot... again, we'll see what grows and what doesn't. The basil sprouts are there at the side.

Do you get the idea that I think of gardening as a vast experiment? *grin* Tis more fun that way!

The butternut squash has grown more than I thought it had! Tis so nice to have a record in pictures, so I don't have to rely on my faulty memory, lol... Wednesday morning I had a surprise... went to look at it and thought that silvery gray discoloration was mildew (AACCKK!!)... but a closer look showed me it was just the natural hairiness of squash finally showing up on the new leaves! Yay!!

Yesterday afternoon showed me a squash bug crawling around on those leaves... eeep. I flicked it away but I will not use pesticides; there are fireflies in the backyard behind us (where the daylilies are against the fence) and I just don't want to poison any more of their environment than is already happening. One has already come to investigate the plants and I would LOVE for them to come and play in my garden! So it has be survival despite bugs for my plants, and most likely survival despite any diseases, too. I will do my part to get everything growing fast--the rest is up to them.

The apartment manager mentioned plans for expanded garden space next year. I'm happy about that!

My own newly expanded garden! I still have some seedling pots but they dry out so fast that I think I will not keep them long... or maybe I will get another plant saucer to group them into, so the water doesn't drain away so fast. The worst problem with container gardening is that the water drains away before the soil is all the way wet, and the roots get trapped in the dry interior. Watering from the bottom and letting the plants suck the water up through the pots' drainage holes helps immensely with that problem.

The round pot that I put the purslane into was the very last one the hardware store had, and those two pot saucers were also the very last. Tis a little unnerving--since they had these things all winter long--that they wouldn't have any more now that it is summer. These are fourteen inch pots and really, that's a little small for serious container gardening; I wouldn't put a rose in one that small, for instance, and certainly not a dwarf fruit tree. But they will do for a start! And if my gardening neighbor is right about the squash vine borers, well, they'll all look good with full crops of green beans too.

Oh, I should mention that the potting soil I used was a little less than I expected, quality-wise, but again, little choice was left. These are forty pound bags, one per pot, of a compost/sand/perlite mixture... sticky, lumpy, and quite likely to go sour from watering--or to dry hard like a brick from lack of watering. But again... tis a start.

When we have some extra money, I'll go to GardensAlive! and get their potted plant fertilizer. It corrects a lot of problems with potting soils, and it's especially good at binding up soil salts. That was a problem for me in Phoenix because the water was so alkaline; it might not be a problem here, but the fertilizer will work on that "souring" problem also.

They sent me a sample of TomatoesAlive! one year and it shocked me how well it worked. I was sold right then and there, but once I tried HouseplantsAlive! I was hooked forever, lol... Anyhow, for veggies, I'll get the one meant for flowering plants.

There's a sale on right now, to get $20 off a $40 order... AND, this is the only company I know of that has vegetarian fertilizers! Plus they have organic pet care products. You should go look, lol... I don't often wax lyrical about any company, but this one's special.

Now if only I could have a compost pile, I would be a happy camper indeed! But that might be asking a lot of an apartment complex, lol...

Happy gardening!


  1. Just letting you know. email is wolf at gmail dot com. and i am changing the other blog slightly to be a bit better

    not happy with it being a actual telling my story blog, it wasn't.

  2. Well hi there! Thank you for the email! I'll visit your blog shortly.


  3. Everything looks yummy! And thanks for the -help- with our gardening....I'll be keeping in touch w/ my questions!


So... what do you think?