Garden Diary 2009
This page was last updated on 11-5-09.
This will be the first season we do monthly succession planting following the new South Forida Edibles to Plant by Month guide. Click here for a comprehensive chart by crop. Also, many of the crops will be planted in homemade self-watering containers, for which I will soon be posting directions.
1 to 5-09 Too much to do these months and not enough
time to write, so this has to be a summary. Sunflowers did not do well,
but the Hollyhocks in the
5-24-09 Lawn men
came a few weeks ago and did a major pruning and general cleanup in the
entire garden. Looks much better for the most part, so I am glad, but
they accidentally limbed up the Jackfruit tree to about 6’ up, and the
top 4’ is a bush maybe 5’ across – it looks like a
lollipop! Very upsetting, and of course, no fruit will come from it
this year – again. Need to make better labels for everything, in
English and Spanish. G & L came and cleared the Potager boxes and
Finally planted plants behind front wall: Philodendron
9-22-09 Went to Alexander’s and got: 2 Russian Sage (Perovskia), 1 Goldenrod, 1 Native Green Shrimp (groundcover butterfly plant), 2 short bromeliad-like Sanseveira with striated leaves, 2 Sanseveira with tall rolled-in spear/snake-like leaves, 2 Aristolochia with small leaves (and 7 Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly larvae on them), 1 blue Spiderwort, 1 Basil, 1 Marjoram, 1 Dill, 5 green Tomatillos – took them 2 Malabar Chestnut plants maybe 10” tall grown from sprouted seeds off my tree – left a message for Brian about them, as he was out on a job
9-25-09 Spoke to owner of landscaping company, M, about his helping me with the design of the garden – faxed him some ideas and lists of plants.
9-30-09 Went to Flamingo Road Nursery and got: 7 orange Portulaca, 5 magenta Portulaca, 1 Rose Mrs. B.R. Cant, 1 Aristolochia with large leaves and flowers, 1 Black-Eyed Susan vine with coral flowers, 2 Sensitive Plant (Mimosa).
10-2-09 M had
his landscapers plant most of the plants from Alexander’s and Flamingo
Road – did not plant the ones that need something moved first –
some of these don’t look good – may lose the Goldenrod and
Perovskia, which are sitting in their pots in the R/P Court where I want them
planted. The Aristolochias and Black-Eyed Susan Vine will go on the
arch over the patio door. The Rose, Spiderwort, Mimosa, Native Green Shrimp
and 2 orange Portulaca went in the
10-3-09 Had a
migraine so decided to go on out and do what I could. Ended up working
in the garden from around 10am to 3pm, and after a late lunch (having snacked
at 12:15) and a two-hour rest in bed in the dark, my head was no worse than
it had been when I got up this morning! Having just as many headaches, but
they are less severe and I have more energy, so am getting more done in spite
of them. Cleared the
10-4-09 Planted vegetables and herbs in 4” pots (34 total) on patio, Carrots in a medium pot by N fence, and Nasturtiums in SW Potager box.
Planted Violet Cress (Orychopragmus violaceus) in SE corner of NW Potager box
– have high hopes about this one! Planted Leeks, Onions &
Garlic in a shallow self-watering container by N fence, three flats of herbs
and flowers on patio, and Spearmint and Oregano plants in
10-10-09 Planted Cuban Oregano cuttings (non-rooted) in NW Potager box to root.
10-11-09 Planted Lemon Balm, Stevia, Bee Balm in HC, Culinary Sage & Thyme in pots in center of Herb Circle, and two more seeds of Zucchini Cavili in sw container on patio (first ones did not come up).
10-14-09 Planted sprouted new Potatoes in bottom of large pot on patio (12 red, 6 purple), and moved flats and seeded pots to Potager boxes for better light and protection.
10-15-09 Presprouted seeds on refrigerator and prechilled others in freezer, and placed some older prechilled Alpine Strawberry seeds from freezer on top of refrigerator to presprout. Planted flat of Marigolds and one of Milkweed, and some 4” pots of Celery (not prechilled or presprouted as an experiment) and Sunfowers. Placed potted seedlings in trays in Potager beds for more sun.
Celery seeds planted without prechilling or presrouting have come up, so we
will soon see how they turn out in the garden. They will be planted in
a Potager box as part of the November succession planting. The
landscapers came and planted waiting potted plants: 3 pink Pentas in bed
between front windows; 1 red-striped Canna, 1 Goldenrod, & 2 Perovskia in
R/P Ct E end; 2 small-leaved Aristolochia vine & 1 apricot Thunbergia
vine (Black-eyed Susan) on S side & 1 large Aristolochia vine on N side
of white plastic arch over patio door. Moved Irises from bed between
front windows to
10-29-09 Planted seedlings in their final locations: Sweet Alyssum, Basil ‘Dark Opal’ and Borage in Herb Circle, Eggplant and Garden Berry ‘Litchi’ & ‘Wonderberry’ in deep self-watering containers by N fence, Sunflowers ‘Mammoth’ in front of Sugarcane and ‘Evening Sun’ two in center of each Potager box. Transplanted Tomatoes into 1-gallon pots. Thinned Broccoli, then fed everything in SW Potager bed with worm castings & covered w/bird netting, weighting it down with the surrounding bricks. Can’t leave this on long, as it will stunt the plants or they will grow through it, causing more problems. Hoping to keep outthe raccoons for just a little while. Planted Monstera deliciosa from Claude O’Neal in TVA behind Jackfruit tree for shade. Measured distance from N gate to end of house where patio begins (28’) and decided on final size of potting/storage area. A 6’ x 2’ potting table made of 2” x 4” pressure-treated wood and heavy galvanized wire will sit in the NE corner, with a 2’ wide pad of brick in fornt of it. To the W of that will be a 10’ x 4’ area of gravel for pots and potting mix and mulch, etc. W of that will be two compoost bins made of 4” x 4” pressure-treated posts with heavy galvanized wire to their insides to hold in the materials so they don’t touch the posts much, or the fence at all. They will be about 3’ high and each will be 3’ 4” square on the inside. To the W of these will be the extra concrete roof tiles, neatly stacked for easy access. Dad will build the table and bins and install them with concrete poured around all the posts so they will not blow around in a storm. The current pile of compostable debris is in the way, as are the tiles and some gravel and sand in deteriorating bags, but the landscapers will move these. After Dad installs the table and bins, I will construct the brick pads (one in front of the table and one across from it, around and under the water main and pipes there), then the landscapers will install the gravel. I am so excited about this! The area has ready access to water, unlike the patio, and the table area is always in shade and cool, while the patio is often sunny and hot. I can spray water right through the table when washing pots, and not have to worry about standing water. The plastic trays and small pots will go under the table to keep them from flying around or looking messy, and Andy will be thrilled to get all that clutter off the patio. A winning situation all around!
10-30-09 Potted sprouted seeds in flats and small pots. Received plants and tubers from Oikos – gave one Groundnut Nutty tuber to B, who came to visit tonight.
10-31-09 Planted plants from Oikos: Groundnut Nutty (1 tuber in large green glazed pot on patio – to share trellis with Cucumbers & Malabar Spinach), Strawberry Intensity (3 plants in 1-gallon blue glazed dragonfly pots on patio), Mallow Green Gumbo (1 plant in medium blue glazed pot on patio), Nettle (2 sprouting crowns in medium blue glazed pot on patio), Chinese Mountain Yam (1 tuber in large green glazed pot on patio – to share trellis with Cucumbers & Malabar Spinach – not sure if this one is alive). Later this evening I went to Home Depot for 8 bags of potting mix, then Target for worm castings & Nasturtium seeds, then to H’s to plant her vegetable garden with her grandchildren, T & D, who were very involved and in fact, did most of the planting once I showed them how. We put in an entire but a month or two’s succession planting in 2-1/2 hours, using one shallow self-watering container for salad greens, one pot with a teepee for Beans, three pots with stakes and string for Tomatoes, and grow bags for everything else (just the bags of Lambert potting mix, with holes poked in bottoms and squares or long rectangles in tops for plants or seeds). It is so fast and easy planting this way! Not to mention cheap. No pots to buy, no digging, no filling pots with soil, and it is a simple matter to drag a bag anywhere you want it, even after it is planted. The hardest part is getting the soil thouroughy wet down before planting. After coming home, I made a detailed list of what we planted and an instruction sheet so they will know how to care for everything. And I have gotten a lot of things off the patio that I would not have used and would have had to move to the new potting area. Yay!
11-1-09 Gave 2 large plastic pots and the last 6 stakes to H for planting Cucumbers and Zucchini on her screened patio. Also gave her some seeds for these, along with the instruction sheet. She is so happy – we have been planning this for months and she has been eagerly anticipating it. I hope it will be successful, but judging by the neatness of her garden – hardly a weed in sight – she will probably do better than I do! Several people have heard about the grow bags from H already, and are asking how to do some for themselves. News travels fast!
11-3-09 Went to Flamingo Road Nursery on the way home and bought plants to fill out the front beds. Also got 4 flamingo-pink tomato cages, which are made of heavy-gauge wire (not quite as big or heavy as the ones from Target, but bigger and heavier than the usual ones available in previous years at most garden centers – someone is finally wising up about these), and can pass well enough for purple. These should be fun!
11-4-09 Ordered seeds off eBay: You Mai Choi Fragrant Lettuce, Peperomia pellucida, and Clitoria ternatea double. The first is an Oriental Lettuce, the second a common edible weed that I don’t have, and the third a gorgeous edible flower with a sweet taste and the most amazing deep cobalt color! Have been looking for the latter two for a while, so will be very excited to get them.
lousy this morning, but planted the new plants anyway, making good wells/dams
to hold the water for them. Purple Portulaca (5) and pink Pentas (1) got
planted in the bed between the front windows. Everything else went in
the R/P Ct after I pulled some purple Ruellia to make room for them: pink
Cleome (3) inside the E side, double red Blanket Flower (3) outside the E
side and in the SE corner, a pink Mimosa by the sprinkler in the NW corner
(to protect it from anything tall growing too close, and to cover the sandy
ground there), and red Dwarf Chenille (5) on the W side. Need to take
most or all the purple Ruellia out of this bed, but will leave some on the
Mound. It is just too much of a thug to mix well with the othet things
I want to grow in the
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