A garden is the best alternative therapy.

There was no shortage of things to do this past weekend and the weather was perfect.  Even Sunday with the overcast sky and misty air provided a break from the direct sun as I pulled up the broccoli plants.  I wasn’t too happy to find a couple handfuls of grubs happily munching away at the roots.   I put them in a shallow pan and let the birds have a snack in the side yard.  Don’t want such a  delectable bug go to waste, and they certainly don’t need to be in my garden boxes!   I was surprised at how dry and compacted the soil was, so I worked it over pretty good.  Then I added half a bag of compost and about a cup of bone meal and worked that into the first six inches.  In place of the broccoli, I transplanted two jalapenos, four cayenne peppers and three Cal Wonder orange bell peppers.   They were all growing in paper pots, which made the transplanting go pretty quickly.

I also spent a couple of hours transplanting a Double-Knockout Rose bush next to where the hibiscus was last year.  It gets about 6 hours of sunlight a day, and will be shielded from the hot afternoon sun.  Right now it’s about 1′ x 1′, but it should grow to be 3×3′.  On the South side of the house, under the dining area window, I transplanted two Whirling Butterfly Guaras.   They have lovely delicate-looking white flowers, grow 3-4 feet tall and spread to the same width.   They also attract butterflies.  I was told that they do really well along a warm southern wall, so hopefully these will thrive where I put them.

Other than accomplishing these tasks, I took a look around the garden to see what else is goin’ on:

Carrot tops are forming near the forest of spinach that is full of fresh growth.

The spinach has had enough of the warmer weather already and has started going to seed.  I can collect these for sowing this fall.

Meanwhile, in the herb garden, one can barely tell that the curry plants have been removed.  The sage, oregano and thyme stretch their legs a little to fill in the space.

Wildflowers, in their first wave of blooms, come to life with shades of purple and pink.   We even got our first red poppy.  There are a host of other plants getting ready to bloom in the next wave.

The squash is doing quite well and needs to be thinned to two or three plants.  The zucchini is having a rough start.  I discovered that the neighborhood black birds have been camping out on my zucchini hill.  They left a little present for me, and a few broken stems.  😦  I had four cukes planted, but lost one to the wind and another to the heat.  It looks like the last two will survive, which is good, I needed to thin them to the strongest two anyway.

And our dog, Libby, gets in the picture as if to say, “I’m prettier than spearmint, so pet me already.”


Comments on: "Highlights from the Garden" (2)

  1. Question on blood meal, I was told to buy some to put in the hole for my bulbs. Then after I purchased it, I was doing some research on it and bulbs period and came across several people saying that the blood meal attracts all kinds of animals (becasue of what it is made from). Do you get problems with using bone meal or have you noticed anything. I know they are different, but just was wondering. Thanks.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      That’s a great question. You know, it seems that most of the organic fertilizers I use have a funky smell to them. I use the blood meal as well as the bone meal and fish emulsion. My dog likes the smell of all of them, but she’s not brave enough to go digging in my beds!

      I think the trick with bone meal and blood meal is to work them well into the soil. That way it’s less interesting to neighborhood animals as a concentrated smell. I think you’ll be fine putting a tiny bit in with your bulbs, but I’m not sure what your area of town looks like and what critters you have. I wouldn’t use too much because too much nitrogen might give your flowers lots of foliage but not enough blooms. Maybe 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, and then I’d work that into the soil in the hole a little. Perhaps you should try that with a couple of bulbs and see if the neighborhood critters come digging! Also, be aware that, unlike bone meal and fish emulsion, blood meal can burn a plant with too much ammonia.

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