Posted by: Erin | May 16, 2009

Garden Update

Things are not going as well in the garden as I’d hoped. As of last week, half of the beautiful plants I got for my birthday have officially died. RIP Orange Symphony, dwarf sunflower, and yellow dahlia. I discovered that the unruly purple daisy that I never identified didn’t just need to be pruned: it had those irritating little white bugs that basically take over your plant and are pretty much impossible to get rid of. I don’t know if they’re aphids (I’ve heard aphids are squishy, and the ones I’m talking about looked too small to be particularly squishy), but I’ve seen them before, and I do not like them. So that one’s done, too.

On the more positive side, I got the stock cleaned up and repotted on Monday, though I don’t know how well that’s going to work out. There was enough to salvage, but I don’t know if they’re already beyond help or not. I cleaned up and repotted the two Gerberas, too. One seems to be okay, if still flower-less, but the other is looking iffy. Some of the leaves are okay and there are still new ones, but some are looking yellowish and droopy. I didn’t get to repot everything from last weekend’s nursery trip, but I did manage to get one large planter done: yellow garden daisy, two mini snapdragons (one definitely fuschia, hopefully the other is, too) and some lobelia. Will finish repotting the marigolds, celosia, lobelia, and snapdragons tomorrow, I think.

The chocolate mint, though not repotted yet, is like the happiest plant ever right now. I’m sure I’m mildly hallucinating how much it’s grown since last weekend, but I know it’s grown at least a bit. The leaves are nice and big, and there are some nice bright green leaves sprouting. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I want to try a layering technique to propagate it, so I’m torn on what to do with it: do I repot it now and try to propagate then, or do I try to propagate now and then repot once the 2nd bit was established? I want to put it in a terra cotta planter with some other herbs (the English thyme, and whatever I can find at the farmers markets next week), but I’m afraid the mint will basically take over the world. Either way, I’m still stuck on the propagating issue.

I also want to try layering with the thyme. I had to clean up the thyme last night, because out of nowhere, half the stems seemed to be drooping at the top. I mean, aside from the top parts falling over, the leaves and flowers on it looked fine, so I’m not sure what was going on. It’s about half the size now, but it probably needed to be pruned anyway. Have the same layering dilemma here, though I would prefer to just repot it once into the terra cotta, so I’m not sure if I should wait until the farmers markets to do something with it. I suppose once I put it in the terra cotta, I could just trail one stem over into another pot to get it to root, then separate the two when the new one is ready, thusly not having to do a second repotting or uproot the original plant. I’m just getting nervous about not repotting it soon, given the way most of the un-repotted plants went over the last two weeks.

In addition to all that, I need to get some seeds planted. Boxwood basil, more large-leaf Italian basil, common chives, and garlic chives are going in the window box (which I have to affix to the railing with the hanger brackets I got at the nursery), and I need to get going with the moonflower. I had some of the Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds soaking earlier this week, and then forgot about them, and after two days or so, they look kinda sketchy and sort of bug-like. At least I was smart enough not to soak all of them at once. I’ll put some more in water tomorrow and plant them on Sunday. In my trip down to the basement to get my containers the other day, I discovered I’d saved a pot with a little wiring over the top (I’m pretty sure it was from a clematis a few years ago). It was quite an exciting find, because it means I’m not entirely limited to the space along the railing for the climbers. I’m going to try a mix of moonflower and Heavenly Blue in there, and then probably a few smaller pots of each. Which reminds me that perhaps I should put the sweet peas out soon – they’re sorta falling all over each other trying to find something to hold on to. (In a good way – these are the only seeds I’ve started this year that are doing well so far. Well, the second mesclun planting is sprouting, but the first one did, too, so I’m trying not to get too optimistic about it.)

Oh, and this week, I got my first seed swap seeds! I saw a thread on MyFolia about herbs, and offered up some of my basil to a gardener in Wisconsin. In return, she sent me some French Marigold seeds and some Whirlybird Nasturtium seeds. I’ve only tried marigolds from seed once, and it did not go well, but I’ve had good luck with nasturtiums before, so we shall see.

And now, enough of my plant rambling. For now. 🙂

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