Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good morning, Everyone.  I thought it was time I took you on another tour of the patio and show you my plants.  I may not get anything done outside today.  Right now the sky looks like it may rain at any time.

This is half of the lemon balm that spent the winter outside in one of the large containers.  I split the original plant almost two months ago.  The two should provide more than enough leaves to dry for winter tea and maybe for some experimental lemon balm beer.
And this is the German thyme that overwintered in another container.  We got a very nice harvest last year so I may not dry any this year.  I told Mom she could harvest any fresh she might need. And she may be able to harvest through next winter as well.  The plant didn't die back at all.
 These, from left to right, are my mini-roses, cat grass (which Kuma loves) and mums.  The roses and mums also spent the winter in outside.  The roses were trying to bloom into December.  I have had a bit of a problem with black spot but the spray I found seems to have it under control.  I found a few very small buds on one of them.  I think our strange weather has confused it.
 This is my strawberry bed.  I bought eight plants about a month and a half ago.  This is the first bed I reconditioned.  I have often said that I like to repurpose things.  The containers is an old litter box.  The strawberries are supposed to be ever-bearing and hardy to zone 4, I think.  So these should survive outside with minimal protection.
The mini-greenhouse has been well worth the expense.  So far the temperature inside has stayed between 5 and 20 degrees above the outside temperature.  I have tomatoes, rosemary, spinach, a couple of varieties of lettuce, beets, and radishes in it now.  Can't see much because of the condensation.
 I have reconditioned all of these containers so they are ready for planting at any time.  I have to restrain myself because we are still about a month away from our average last frost date.  I may be putting some plants in the ground soon but with hot caps or plastic covering.  The plants are, left to right, orange mint, lemon balm (the other half) and one of the Top Hat blueberries.  All of these are hardy plants and all will spend next winter outdoors.
This is one of the two spearmint plants I got when I split the original plant I left in the gardens last winter.  I had originally put both plants in gallon vinegar jars (with the top cut off) that fit in my fence hangers.  I still need to transplant the other one because the vinegar jar is already too small.  I should have a nice lot of the leaves to dry for tea.  I found that one of my favorite mixes last winter was Red Zinger with spearmint, lemon balm, and stevia.
 I am going to have to bring these down sometime and take better pictures.  From left to right, I have the other spearmint, lavender, and oregano.  The lavender was a pleasant surprise.  I wasn't at all sure it had survived the winter.  It looked like a bunch of dead branches.  But it had enough green on it to transplant and see what happened.  Well it has sprouted all over the place.  The oregano came from Home Depot because the seeds I planted this year didn't sprout.  I have had trouble with a number of varieties of seed that hasn't sprouted or simply didn't thrive when they did sprout.

 Here are the other two Top Hat blueberries.  Right now they are about one-third their full size. I don't expect much this year.  Most berry and fruits take a couple of years to become established and start producing.  But I will gratefully take what ever they do produce and augment with berries from our farmer's market.
My inside shelf space is full now.  It won't be much longer as I move plants either to the greenhouse or into pots.  So far the two varieties of beans, marigolds, Betterbush squash, and vine peach have done fairly well.  The pyrethrum, lemon squash, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and oregano have not.  I am not sure why.  I have never had a problem before with tomatoes and peppers especially.  I did notice that the potting soil was not what I had been getting.  It was coarser and seemed to be shredded bark and twigs with some other stuff.  Reading on line I found out that there is a difference between potting 'mix' and potting 'soil.'  I usually get the mix.  I didn't know there was a difference.  I will be more careful next time.  I restarted the peppers, pyrethrum and started the dragon's tongue beans in vermiculite.  The pyrethrum and beans are sprouting nicely.  I hope the peppers do as well.  Thankfully, I have Home Depot and the farmer's market to fall back on.  I will see what happens.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I'm really impressed!!!! You really have a wonderful garden!!!! I applaud your hard work!!!!!