Thurs. Sept. 15, 2022: Harvests and Marigolds

image courtesy of yganeshbabu via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Sunny and cooler

The morning glories finally bloomed, just before my friends arrived for their visit. Finally! Really pretty, too.

The marigolds are blooming – well, the ones where the squirrels didn’t eat the blooms.

The night blooming jasmine is starting to bloom, too!

We’ve used the last of the lettuce. That did well.

I’m giving up on the tomatoes and yanking them out. The plants never grew beyond shoots. It’s time to harvest the rest of the basil and make pesto. The chives are just about done. The rosemary gave up (I’m so tired of it acting like an annual). The parsley still has some life in it, thank goodness.

Slowly, we are putting plants to bed, and we’ll start bringing in some of the ones that need more warmth as things cool down.

While this season was disappointing, I learned a lot, and hopefully, I can apply it well next year.

I want the hummingbirds to be happy next year, so I’m going to grow flowers out on the back balcony that they’ll like. I’m even thinking about growing some Angel’s Trumpet (datura). Since the balcony is up on the second level, random people won’t mess with it to get poisoned, and the flowers are so pretty. We’ll see.

I need to update this season’s garden journal and then do an assessment. That way, I can plan for next year. I need to get a bigger binder. The plan is to keep that season’s notes in the smaller binder, and put the previous season’s notes in the big binder, with yearly dividers, so I can go back and see what worked and what didn’t.

Now that we have to factor climate change into every evaluation, too, that will also make a difference.

How’s your harvest coming?

Advertisement

Thurs. Sept. 8, 2022: Finally Rain and Too Much Rain

image courtesy of Steve Bussinne via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 8, 2022

2nd Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Mercury turns Retrograde TOMORROW

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy and cooler

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again: it feels like we’re in a seasonal limbo. The calendar says September, but it doesn’t feel or smell like it. Although it’s a little cooler, thank goodness, it still doesn’t have that crispness, nor are the leaves turning colors yet. Some of them are turning brown and giving up, but there’s not that wave of color change.

We finally got rain, and then it rained steadily for more than a day. While we needed it, it was a little too much too quickly, and many of the plants and shrubs outside got battered.

Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow, to pile on to all the other retrogrades, so September will be a challenging month on multiple levels.

We’re in the Celtic Tree Month of Vine right now. It’s about harvest and passionate emotions (both good and bad). Pile that on top of the retrogrades and yeah, challenges.

On the garden front, the marigolds out back are starting to bloom and are lovely. The black-eyed Susans and four o’clocks are doing well. The rosemary has had it. I don’t understand why, here in MA, rosemary behaves like an annual. The dahlias, which had died back and regrown, are dying back again. I have friends coming to visit this weekend with lovely gardens, and I am digging up those damn dahlias and giving them away. In spite of all the coddling they got, they were spiteful and didn’t bloom. Outta here!

The annuals are starting to fade, so I will cut them back and pull them out as needed. The lettuce is done and has bolted; some of the basil is bolting, and the rest I’ll turn into pesto in the coming week or so.

We’re in the process of emptying/scrubbing pots and storing them for the winter. Pretty soon, we’ll have to bring the plants inside to overwinter – and decide where to put them! That will be a challenge, at times. But we’ll figure it out.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. July 21, 2022: Blooms and Bombs

image courtesy of S. Hermann & F. Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 21, 2022

4th Quarter Moon waning in Taurus

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Holly

Hazy and hot

We finally broke into seasonally hot weather. It’s nowhere near as hot as it is in other parts of the world, but it’s in the low 90’s, feeling like the high 90’s, and humid. Since we don’t have air conditioning, it’s a challenge.

Some of the plants are doing very well; some are not. One of the dahlias is doing well, and we’re getting the first blossoms. The other dahlia is dying, and I have no idea why. The cucumber got pollinated and was growing cucumbers, and suddenly, it’s up and died.

The tomatoes still haven’t grown up into anything. They should be big enough to start blossoming. I don’t know what’s going on.

The pumpkin is happy out on the back balcony, and pumping out blossoms. Hopefully, at least one of them will turn into something.

The geraniums, impatience, and herbs are doing well. The marigolds are doing well as long as I water them every day. The hollyhocks are doing well, although they’ve stalled, height-wise.

Spiro Squirrel kept digging up the tansy, so I brought it to the front porch instead. I’m hoping I can save it. The other tansy is doing well, the one that was always on the front.

The peace lily is quite happy out on the back balcony and blooming like crazy.

Well, it’s a learning curve. I’m making careful notes in the plant journal, so that I can adjust from next year, and learn from what didn’t work.

I’m getting ready to order the tulip and hyacinth bulbs. I bought long window-box style troughs. We’ll plant the bulbs in them in October, so that they’ll come up (hopefully) in the spring. We’ll overwinter them on the front porch, which we close off in winter, because of the cold. So they’ll be protected from digging squirrels, but still get the cold they need.

It gets cool by around 3 AM for a few hours, before it starts heating up again. It’s supposed to break on Sunday night into Monday, and only be in the 80’s next week.

I’m disappointed that the vegetables aren’t growing well, but it makes me even more grateful for the Farmers’ Market, which is just bursting at the seams with wonderful bounty.

How’s your garden growing?

Thurs. April 14, 2022: More Planting

image courtesy of eko pramono via pixabay.com

Thursday, April 14, 2022

2nd Quarter Moon Waxing in Virgo

Celtic Tree Month of Alder

Partly Cloudy and warm

This past weekend was about planting.

I planted the snapdragons, two pots of marigolds, cilantro, and mesclun greens. I also planted Thomas Edison dahlia bulbs. I planted a “growing kit” of dwarf sunflowers, and one of lavender. A Twitter pal has stepped in as my “Dahlia coach” which is a lot of fun, since he knows a lot about growing dahlias, and I have someone to whom I can ask questions.

The greens started coming up in just a few days, and the marigolds had germinated by yesterday.

I also replanted the lemon plant I’ve grown from seed to a bigger pot.

The peace lily is so happy in its new pot. It’s not pulling its usual drama queen behavior, because now it has room to thrive. I hope it likes this pot for a few years, because the next size up will be a challenge!

The pots I got for the dahlias are tall, although not all that wide. They are textured, to look like birch bark, and are really pretty. The Thomas Edison should be a dark reddish purple, with the blooms 8-10” in diameter. My dahlia coach said the stems would grow up about 5 feet, so I wanted to make sure the pot was big enough not to tip over. We don’t have much space, so I didn’t want to go wide. I decided to go tall, but that could still hold enough earth to hold it. I’ll probably have to stake it at some point. I’m regretting giving away so much of my gardening stuff before the move.

The” growing kits” are bizarre. A peaty disk that is dropped into 2 ½ cups of water. It soaks up the water, expanding. Then, you put most of it into the pot, drop in the seeds, and put in the rest. It can take up to a month to germinate.

The cats decimated their pot of cat grass. I reseeded the second pot (even though it wasn’t a planting day), and am waiting for it to sprout. They love sitting in the various windows and watching the birds, who are getting busy. They also sit on the chairs in the kitchen by the window, to watch the birds in the birdhouses – and Spiro Squirrel, who is being a total brat all the time.

Some of the seedlings have stalled in their growth. They’re staying tiny, and not growing up or getting stronger, which puzzles me. They’re not overcrowded, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

We kept moving the plants onto the front porch during the day, and moving them back into the living room at night. Yesterday, it hit 79 degrees F here – and to think, we had snow flurries on Sunday! We could finally throw open the windows and leave the plants on the porch overnight.

This morning was the first day this season I could have my first cup of coffee out on the porch, and do my first writing session out there, with Tessa’s company. It was wonderful.

It might hit 80 today, and then thunderstorms tonight. It’s supposed to cool down by Saturday, and be cold for the following few days, so we might have to bring everything in again by Saturday late afternoon. But the plants will enjoy their time on the porch.

I have to find my teak oil and oil the furniture for the summer. I didn’t do it at the end of the season, the way I should have.

I’m eager for it to get warm enough to start putting things outside. I want to get indoor/outdoor rugs for the back balcony and the front porch, and I want to start setting up The Enchanted Garden again back there. Later in the season, I will add hanging baskets of petunias to the back, and more herbs to the front porch. I want it to be magical and cheerful, a place of joy and enchantment.

How is your garden doing?

Fri. March 8, 2019: Steady Growth

Friday, March 8, 2019
Waxing Moon 1st Quarter in Aries
Mercury Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Ash
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

I completely forgot to post yesterday.

Every morning, I’m absolutely delighted to come downstairs and see how much the scallions, leeks, eggplants, Roma tomatoes, and chocolate cherry tomato seedlings have grown. Still waiting for the peppers to sprout.

Sunday is the next planting day; I’ll be repotting some of the scallions (and maybe leeks). I’ll also start the Gardner’s Delight tomatoes. I may have gone a bit overboard, with six kinds of tomatoes. Plus, I’m planning to buy a six pack of Sun golds when it’s time.

I’m going to need a lot of basil and marigolds to go with them!

But we’ll have a very healthy summer, if even half of the plants are productive!

It’s cold here; not much snow, but cold. When the snow melts and it warms up a bit, I have a lot of work to do to clean up the yard. I got the front in pretty good shape in the fall, but not the back. I’ll pay for it now.

Still, it will be worth it, once it’s done.

Of Radishes and Rabbits

I’ve seen these labelled as both “sun drops” and “evening primrose”. Since they bloom all day, I’m not sure the latter is correct, but I think they’re pretty and I like them, no matter what they’re called. They’ve planted themselves all over the property. Fine by me!

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Waning Moon Third Quarter in Aquarius
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny, hot humid

I must be the only human being on the planet who cannot successfully grow a radish. I’ve read articles by ten year olds who grow them. They don’t work for me. They send up beautiful foliage, but don’t make radishes. I have one Mega-radish that flowered over the winter and has an inedible radish, but the ones I planted this year are doing the same as they did last year, acting like trophy wives — pretty and unproductive.

We’ve got a pair of rabbits – -which means, by summer’s end, we’ll have a lot more than a pair. They’ve awfully cute, and, except for the marigolds and one set of greens, they’re leaving the garden alone. They’re pillaging the neighbors’ gardens instead. I usually see them early in the morning and at twilight. Since we have an owls, I worry that one or both of the bunnies will wind up as someone’s supper, but so far, there seems to be a truce.

The peas are happy, one of the spinach plants came up well, and the bok choy has gotten over itself and it coming along nicely. Although mulched, the vegetable bed has more weeds this year than usual. I’m about the stake the cucumbers (don’t want them hollowed out on the ground like they were last year), and we can’t keep up with the chives, which are growing beautifully. The lettuces and mixed greens are all doing well, and we’re having a Summer of Salads. I don’t mind eating lots of greens when they actually taste interesting.

The round bed I prepared is not doing well. None of the herbs planted from seed came up, nor did the sunflowers (a shame, since it’s sunny). The marigolds were eaten. The pale yellow petunias I planted are doing very well, and the rosemary I planted is happier in that bed than the other rosemaries I have around the premises. The thyme is still making up its mind.

This is a good year for hydrangeas and lilies. The Stella D’oro lilies were gorgeous this year, and the Tiger Lilies prove to be even better. The lavender I planted in the terraced bed last year bloomed this year, and the catmint is stunning and spreading (not that I mind).

The poppies never came up, unfortunately, and the red salvia, which was perfectly happy last year, is struggling this year.

I’m growing three different kinds of tomatoes — Silver Fir, Principe Borghese, and Eva Purple Ball Vine Tomato plants all look good, the eggplants are making eggplants, and the zucchini and pumpkins are in bloom. Even the mystery pumpkin, which took nearly four months from seed to a shoot, looks good. I’ve got more zucchini in the veggie bed, along with heirloom squash (gift from a friend) — growing slowly, but growing.

Of the 10 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation, 8 of them are doing well, along with the Red Maple sapling. All of them are happy, for the moment, in pots. The lilacs and bush cherries and Rose of Sharon are doing well. I think we’ve lost one of our Everbearing Raspberry bushes (which is a shame, since it had the most berries on it).

We harvested our first strawberries (Seasacape) to have with our breakfast this morning. This year’s are much bigger and tangier than last year’s. Yummy!

The small hydrangea, which we thought was dead, has a new shoot. Glad I was patient with it. The Sea Holly, I’m pretty sure, is just plain dead, which is a disappointment.

This is not a good year for herbs — all of my herbs are struggling, which is frustrating. But I think we’ll have lovely zinnias and sunflowers.

The clematis and I debate every morning –it does not want to climb the hoop it’s supposed to, it wants to go elsewhere. The wisteria had a growth spurt and needs a solid trellis, or it’s going to wind its tendrils around the kitchen door and either yank it open or trap us inside.

A friend gifted me with a butterfly bush. It struggled the first few days after planting, but seems to be doing well. The impatiens down at the bottom of the driveway are doing well, but the black-eyed Susan is still unhappy, and I’m worried it will die.

The pansies are soldiering along in the urn. I did what someone suggested and didn’t dig up the pansies in the front bed, but overwintered them — and a few brave ones are sticking up their little heads behind the marigolds. The marigolds in the front are happy — they’re close enough to the house not to get munched.

I moved some hostas which had planted themselves in an unhappy clump, and lined them down one side of the driveway. They look nice and are much happier.

My chrysanthemum in front is about to bloom. It’s going to be gorgeous, but isn’t it a little early?

My heather, however — it’s turned orange. It’s a lovely color, and it doesn’t feel dead — the foliage is soft and yielding. But I didn’t think it was supposed to do that. I’m watching — maybe cut it back hard this fall and see what happens? I can’t find this situation in any of my gardening books.

The roses are fine as long as I leave them alone, and only deadhead. The minute I try to do anything else, they snap at me. A lovely pink bush (all my bushes are red) planted itself near the fence — it’s gorgeous, so I’m not arguing.

It’s fascinating to watch how differently the same plants react in a different year.

Devon