Catching Up

For those of you who have been reading from the beginning, I have been posting about notes I have taken in the past. In this post, I hope to catch up on everything I have not yet mentioned, as briefly as possible, so as to allow me to post what is currently going on with me. I feel like I’m doing so many things that I want to share.

So, I planted arugula, and radicchio in containers. I used bone meal and green sand in that mix. The arugula sprouted in 4 days, and the radicchio in 5. Something’s been eating the arugula, so yesterday I added a seashell mulch to the container, hoping that would help. I need to get more of this; I’ve run out.

A friend gave me some plants from his garden for mine. I’ve dug up all the buttercup and dandelion that was plaguing south wall of my tiny yard, and I’ve planted geraniums, ornamental grass, rose campion, foxglove, lady’s mantle, poppies, and borage. There is another plant, that I have yet to identify. I am growing my appreciation of the outdoor space we have.

south wall of my yard before the dig with arugula and radicchio in foreground

south wall of my yard after the dig and transplant.

I planted my garden plot at the community garden. I did this in spite of the rain, as the slugs on my patio were stalking my squash. A couple leaves were seriously chewed before leaving here. In this plot I’ve planted buttercup squash(2), cabbage(3), pumpkin(2), yellow zucchini, green zucchini, delicata squash(3), cayenne pepper, jalapeno pepper, cinnamon basil(4), genovese basil(3), marjoram, smoky fennel(3), and borage, calendula, and alyssum to attract beneficial insects.

I used the Gaia Green fertilizer (4-4-4), 1 C/100m sq. I need to get some more mushroom compost for mulch. There is compost provided here, but after seeing what goes into the compost bins, I didn’t really want to use it. It is mostly uprooted weeds, and sod. No one has been adding any vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, or any of the other goodies that make compost great.

With Joe’s help, my husband, I got the tomatoes planted yesterday into two large self watering containers made from storage totes. It goes much faster with help. I used the same mix as for the beans and strawberries, and added about 1 C rabbit manure to the rooting area. In one container I’m growing Black Krim and Yellow Pear, in the other Bonny Best and Super Italian Paste. The Bonny Best was a surprise as I thought I grabbed a Green Zebra. Sometimes while searching for a better looking transplant, I grab a completely different cultivar. This also happened with the cinnamon basil. I wanted thai basil, and honestly, I’ve no idea what to do with cinnamon basil, any ideas? Plus, if any of you have grown any of these tomatoes, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

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Herbs in a Strawberry Planter

On May 20th I planted a collection of herbs into my terracotta strawberry planter. I tried growing strawberries in it a couple years ago, but I found they just dried out . I got very little fruit, and they eventually died. Most herbs thrive in the drier conditions provided by terracotta. So, I made up a combination mix for this planter. It was half organic potting mix, and half soil given to me from a neighbour. You can’t get much more frugal than free; however, I’m a bit of a control freak about details. I was told there was coffee, and seaweed in the soil. I don’t know how much of either, so it’s difficult for me to gauge how much of other amendments to add. Apparently, coffee’s great for acid loving plants, and worms especially love it while slugs don’t. Yea for that. So, I didn’t add any green sand or other soil amendments, other than vermiculite and perlite. I will say the soil is lovely and dark and full of worms.

a strawberry planter full of herbs with extra rosemary and marjoram on the side

Here’s a good tip, that I wish I had considered before I started this: when planting a strawberry planter, plant as you fill. So, in other words, don’t fill the whole container full of your soil or mix, and then try to cram the poor plants into the little holes, the way I did. (Marjoram is a wimpy ass plant, by the way.) It still hasn’t properly recovered from the abuse. Fortunately, I did plant some in its own terracotta pot as well, as it will need to come in for the winter with the rosemary. I do love the smell of marjoram, and apparently it has a beneficial effect on the plants around it, improving their growth and flavour. I’ve never cooked with it before, but I feel fancier just knowing that I have some growing on the patio.

The other plants in the planter are tarragon, italian parsley, sage, thyme (which is now blooming), winter savory, and I seeded some genovese basil in the top. It took 12 days to sprout. I can’t wait to make pesto, one of my favourites.