5/5/15

Grow Where You're Planted

No sewing on my slow day yesterday, but all the planting is finished. Now I'm seriously hoping for a nice soaking rain over the next couple of days.

Since I was out at the hottest part of the day and the sun was shining, I decided to start in the greenhouse with the tomatoes. My hope was that the clouds would move in in the interim. The tomatoes are all repotted in their big-boy pots now. In about six weeks, I'll transplant them yet again into their largest pots of the season.


We've had problems with leaf curl on the tomatoes in the past couple of years. I've read and read and I can't really tell whether our problem is caused by fungus or by insects. In any case, we've taken to spraying them with a mixture of detergent and water and also dusting them with sulfur dust. I noticed just a hint of leaf curl the other day, and so they've been dusted with sulfur dust already. Hoping to nip that in the bud, so to speak.

The lettuce is looking good. Unfortunately, the leaves got burned a little bit the other day. I had watered the plants and some moisture remained on the leaves. When it got hot in the greenhouse in the afternoon, the moisture burned some of the tips of the leaves. With the plants so small, this is hardly a tragedy, but that will teach me to water them later in the afternoon from now on.


The other day I purchased a basil start. I love this for pesto. It too got repotted into a larger pot.


I noticed that one more of the late sunflowers has sprouted. There are still two more that have yet to do anything. I dug around in the pots and found one seed that seemed to have germinated and then died. I buried it again, but I doubt it will do anything. I couldn't find the other seed at all. Oh well. I have plenty of sunflowers.


As for the other ten, I transplanted them into the culinary herb garden along with the herbs. In the image below is some English lavender and one of the sunflowers.


Here's another one with some Spanish lavender.


Here, I have three different kinds of thyme. In the lower left is orange thyme. Upper left is English thyme, and on the right is lemon thyme. All of my thyme plants died this past winter.


Here is some tarragon to replace the tarragon that also did not come back the spring.


This is Italian parsley, although since purchasing the start, I've realized that I have Italian parsley growing everywhere. It has never come back in the spring, and so you gotta wonder: What killed the usually hardy herbs when the usually weak ones are flourishing?


My Kentucky Colonel mint died this year, but this spearmint below is still growing. I have not done anything to encourage it in quite some time. You can see that it is planted in a pot buried in the ground. That is because (if you've ever grown mint, you know) it grows and takes over everything like the thing what ate Los Angeles. When we realized that some years ago, we dug up both plants, put them in pots, and then buried the pots. It still puts out runners through the bottom of the pot, and it is a constant battle to keep it under control. The leaves are looking yellow on this...probably from lack of fertilizer. As I said, I'm doing nothing to encourage it.


When I noticed that it was growing like crazy in one of the nearby whiskey barrels, I decided to just let this pot go. I've asked Mike to dig it up for me, along with the pot containing the remains of the dead Kentucky Colonel mint. This in the whiskey barrel is growing along with some of the remaining tulip bulbs and volunteer mini iris bulbs. It may kill the bulbs, but I'll sacrifice those if it means having the mint in a controlled container.


The chives are really starting to blossom now. I wasn't going to make any chive blossom vinegar this year, but I gave my two remaining bottles from last year to the kids when they were over. Now I have just a little bit left, so I'll make some after all. It's kind of fun. I love the chives for the double duty they do in the garden.


Now here's something: This is the lilac plant we have had since we moved into the house. It was planted near a pine tree that grew up tall and that leaves the lilac in shade 100% of the time. The lilac appears to be dead, but each year it puts out a smattering of leaves. Just yesterday, I noticed it is blooming.


Wonders never cease.


And this is our poor sad little apple tree. It was planted ten years ago, and it has never done a thing. I think it might have produced one apple in all that time, which the deer ate before it ever got near ripening. Mike was planning to take it out years ago, but this is what happens when you combine a full-time job with 7 acres of property to care for. Some things just never quite get to the top of the priority list.


Yesterday I noticed it is blooming. Like I said, wonders never cease.


I've been looking at the plum tree almost daily to see if any plums have shown themselves yet. Yesterday I noticed one high over my head. I'm sure others will show themselves soon, but this is the first one I've seen.


It's the best year ever for the dogwood tree. Yay!


And the flowers are trying to open on the little daphne.


The strawberries were knocked back severely by the ice storm in November, but the ones that are left are blooming. They'll fill in soon enough.


Of course I had my trusty cat along with me on the day's gardening excursion.


Remember the pictures of the Anna's hummingbirds from yesterday? I told you that when the light catches them right, they have brilliant ruby heads and throats. Smitty and I were sitting outside drinking a Mike's lemonade when the hummingbird wars started up and I was able to catch this one.



Also, we were able to get an image of one of the Rufous hummingbirds. They are small, even by hummingbird standards, but they are tough little buggers. They have more orange on their little bodies. You can see it a little in these images.



And that was our day in the garden. It's good to have all of that planting done.

Today is going to be all sewing all the time. I've missed out on sewing for the last several days, and I'm ready to get back to it.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I just love walking your property with you. So many delightful flowers, plants, activities. Apple trees can take 15-25 years to reach mature producing age depending on the type of tree (that's why you see large orchards with various maturing planting areas). When we lost our large orchard to a tornado, we replaced it with mini's because they mature in less time. It took them 8-10 yrs to start showing fruit and just now coming into age.

Marei said...

Happy Birthday, dear friend! Enjoy your day of "all sewing, all the time".

quiltzyx said...

Isn't interesting how some of the hardier plants gave up the ghost & some of the weaker ones made it through the winter? It's great to see all the ones flowering & sprouting & surprising you too.
Hope you're having a terrific birthday & do whatever you want to today!!

Dana Gaffney said...

It sounds like you're having a nice birthday, hanging out with Smitty and just relaxing. I love the hummingbird pictures, they're not from the bird cam right?

works4me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natureluvr57 said...

I live in Illinois and we bought this house in 1977. It had an established lilac bush-who knows how old it is because the subdivision was built in the 50's. It really had seen better days and every year it looked more tired and dreary. It does get plenty of sunshine. Five years ago it looked really pathetic and barely bloomed so I decided to prune that baby back. If it killed it, so be it. I cut it back to about 15 inches high and pulled out all the old dead wood in the center of it. The next two years it grew larger but had very little blooming going on. The last three years it has outdone itself. It never looked better since I moved here. I'm so proud of her and the scent is awesome.

Brown Family said...

I have my tomatos in pots in the back yard this year. They will get more sun so maybe I will get more ! I have 2 let to move to big pots. We have has enough rain to fill the lakes to overflowing. First time in 5 years.