June 1, 2021 by Jeanette Rueb (Peachy00Keen)
May 2021 Garden Journal — Peachy00Keen
- Location: Mountain West, USA; Southwest/Central Idaho
- Zone: 7a
- Lot Type: Dense Suburban; Back of house faces due east
- Soil Type: Clay/Sand, Amended
Sprayed for weeds with a vinegar-based weed killer. It did an awesome job with the broad-leaf weeds, but it didn't do much to the grass, which is what I was trying to get rid of. I'll just have to turn it under and hope that whatever I plant takes over.
Widened and prettified my pathway, added a smaller path off the far side of the patio, started laying the border, planted my herbs, tomatoes, and flowers, leaving only my cucurbits and peppers to go. Hopefully it's not too early for the tomatoes. I've heard you can do it now and they'll be fine. I have backups in case I jumped the gun. My greens are doing well despite the thunderstorm two days ago that flooded the backyard. I had aphids on my basket of pansies this morning, but I saw about a dozen ladybugs over the course of the day, and I think they ate all of them. Go, buggies! The backyard is starting to really look like an actual garden!! I also sold a bunch of my extra plants today and taught someone a ton of things about beginner gardening.
Bought some rose fertilizer and bamboo stakes for the peas. I put in the stakes but didn't have time for feeding.
Bought and placed more stakes, this time for the BEANS!! They lived!! They're not even remotely where I planted them before the sprinkler explosion BUT THEY'RE ALIVE. I'm thrilled. The clover is coming up and looking lush, my seedlings are looking HUGE after being gone for a week (noped off to the coast for a brief getaway and left hubby to plantsit), and most everyone looks happy. Most of my ground cherry seedlings have mysteriously vanished from my garden (probably birds, the jerks), and my cucumbers may have succumbed to the elements because I put them in too soon. As far as I can tell, everyone else looks okay. Tomorrow, I've got more yard work to do to play catch-up, so I'll take a closer look. The worst damage seems to be aggressively-spreading grass, which I have no idea how to control without landscape fabric. I don't want to use an herbicide (especially because my vinegar one didn't seem to do anything to grass), but we'll see. I might try the vinegar one again and just go ham.
Today, I edged and cut the lawn, pulled some weeds, and PLANTED EVERYTHING. Well, almost everything. Everyone is now out in the garden because somebody had aphids and I didn't want them in the house. I still have some room for last minute impulse plant purchases, but otherwise, the garden is full. Here's what we have:
indoors until it gets a bit bigger. I moved it into a larger pot at the end of the day. It's my one and only, so I'm babying it until I'm certain it's warm enough out and the seedling is large enough to survive on its own. In the meantime, look at all the baby clover coming up!! The yard looks so lush and green!
So I had a realization this morning that the cantaloupe I planted yesterday might have actually been spaghetti squash. Or it might not have. I don't know. What I do know is that next year, I need to be better about labeling my plants, particularly the cucurbits. So, today, I planted one plant that is definitely cantaloupe (it has a label) and a second one that's probably cantaloupe. Best case scenario, I have four cantaloupe plants in my yard and I'll have melons for days. Worst case scenario, I'll have three spaghetti squash plants and a lot of reflecting to do on my life choices. I also planted a third pumpkin plant because it was big, I had the space, and my husband told me to do it, probably because he's hoping I won't make him drag a massive pumpkin out of the field at the corn maze this year, which has kind of become an annual tradition of spousal suffering in the name of love. Lastly, I potted up about 40 of the remaining seedlings for friends and family. I put out a call on Facebook asking if anyone wanted veggie plants and to please adopt the ones outgrowing my shelving unit. My mother-in-law took a few, my best friend and her roomie took a few, and then two of my other friends, a hockey friend and a plant friend, took like 15 each and I love them for it. I'll deliver Plant Friend's veg tomorrow (in exchange for some nasturtium and borage seeds, I think!) and I'll somehow deliver hockey friend's plants during this weekend's tournament. I told her she had to actually come to one of the games and get them herself (she's not actually playing in the tournament, her wife is) because it would be cruel to make her wife try to lug hockey gear and a tray of plants across downtown. Now, I'm down to just a few remaining plants — One squash, a couple of zukes, a surprising amount of pumpkins, a less surprising amount of bell peppers (considering I planted the entire packet of seeds because I was impatient), and some assorted pepper and tomato plants. If I sow the borage in a small container, I may end up putting peppers and a tomato in my remaining self-watering planter. We shall see!
I exchanged young plants for seeds! I've planted a mix of nasturtiums out by the mailbox, sowed columbine by the garage, re-sowed valerian (yesterday, and only in one planter this time), sowed borage in the empty valerian planter, and resowed ground cherries because the seedlings didn't survive. Here's to hoping for happy, healthy growth!
I planted a veggie basket with chives and mixed greens. I planted more okra and spinach, and I did some weeding. Everyone but Tantrum Pumpkin looks to be acclimating to outdoor life well. I'm still babying my passionflower. I would be out there putting down flower fertilizer, but I'm so tired from four coed hockey games since Friday night, I can barely move. 😅 Maybe tomorrow when I can do more than slowly waddle around the yard like a lame duck. My nasturtium seeds I planted in pots on my potting station are doing well, and I went out and tried to set my peas up to wrap their poles this morning while the wind was calm. The onions are HUGE! The tomatoes and peppers seem to be growing well. My transplants all seem to be faring at least reasonably well save for the ground cherries, which I reseeded the other day. I'm excited to see the garden starting to take shape!!
After learning that my passionflower that I'd been doting over was more than likely actually a nettle, I ended up ordering a maypop passionflower from Logee's. While I was browsing their site, I was reminded that ‘tis the season for lemon trees! Pretty much everything they had was on backorder, so I decided to go out and see if the local garden store had any. They'd just gotten them in today and about half had already disappeared by 10am, so I nabbed one, a bit of citrus food, and a feeling of satisfaction on the way out the door. I brought her home, named her Maya, and put her in a big clay pot I'd picked up at the discount grocer a few weeks ago because it was like seven bucks for a three or four gallon pot. After potting and feeding her, I placed Maya in the backyard next to my swing. I fed the flowers while I was out, too. The roses, lavender, honeysuckle, and jasmine all got a dose of flower food (which smelled like fish meal), and the rosebush and the forsythia bushes got a trim. I'm still pretty sore today, so I don't think I'll be out doing much else, but while I was watering Maya, I saw a honeybee taking a drink in the shade, so I think my outside time today has already been pretty fantastic. When life gives you lemons, make happy noises.
teach horticulture at the local community garden AND I should be able to become an apprentice beekeeper while I'm at it!!
My passionflower arrived and it's all tucked in and ready to grow!
A final note on a month of mostly waiting: My retaining wall may have insufficient drainage. My jasmine and pumpkins look a bit piqued from all the rain we've had. Hopefully, that goes away as we move into warmer, drier weather, but something to keep in mind for next year when amending the soil. Their topsoil they were so proud of when they installed the wall is basically straight clay. Why they're proud of that, I'm not sure, but I'm none too pleased about it. Next year, I'll have to see what I can do about the soil, particularly on the ends of the wall where it seems to be pooling beneath the surface.
Thursday, Part II
I hung up a bee hotel! I'm waiting for my leafcutter cocoons to arrive to help my summer crops along. Here's to hopefully a happy harvest! I also planted some onion starts in a bunch of yogurt containers and put them under the grow lights. We'll see how that works.
I finished the border!! Finally!! There are no more rocks piled up on my patio, mostly thanks to the new path I put in by my potting station. I added a stake to the bean plot and, once again, attempted to convince the peas to use their poles, not their neighbors, for support. At the community garden, I harvested a ton of excellent dandelion root for roasting at home, and I GOT TO GO IN THE BEE YARD. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I SUITED UP AND GOT TO PEEK INSIDE THE HIVES. I borrowed one of the children's suits, which was still too big for me, and while in the bee yard, I got to help feed the bees by refilling the sugar water feeders. It was a good day.
Get gravel for the swing area, trellis back fence, sow indoor greens.