We found this adorkable little gnome recently. My wife said if I was a gnome, I would look like this one.
We have had several days over 80* this week so the garden is taking off quickly! I planted the blackberry lilies, lavender plants, and dahlia tubers this week.
I also planted the tomatoes & jalapeños. I used Epsom salt, egg shells, & bonemeal in the holes for each plant. Epsom salt provides plants the needed magnesium to grow thick and healthy foliage. It’s a well-known folk additive for gardens. Egg shells provide calcium to the soil, which staves off blossom end rot, a dreaded problem for tomato gardeners. Bonemeal is made from real beef bones. It provides phosphorus and additional calcium for the plants.
Unfortunately, it also attracts animals. I planted an heirloom chocolate cherry tomato I purchased at the Master Gardener show…only to discover it dug up & broken in two pieces less than 30 minutes later. #naughtlayla apparently loves bonemeal.
They say this is an invasive, but Sara & I love QAL. We had lots of it at our wedding – which I picked wild along the roadsides.
I planted this rosemary the first spring we were in the house (2013.) It’s up on Berry Hill in our backyard, and was 1/2 of a 4″ Bonnie peat pot plant. It’s now over 3′ tall and about as wide. It’s a VERY happy rosemary!
This is the smaller of the two blueberry bushes. It was newly planted halfway through last summer.
This is an echinacea plant. It’s a perennial in our zone, which means it comes back every year. This one was planted in either late 2014 or early 2015. It’s also known as a coneflower.
This blueberry is going on it’s 4th summer on Berry Hill. We planted it our first spring here in the house (2013.) It’s about as tall as me and has had some berries the last couple years. I hope we’ll have lots of berries here in the coming months!
If you can see it (the dead grass is still there so it’s hard to see) the fennel is on the edge of Berry Hill, where I had lemongrass last year. It should grow to be 4′ tall, give or take.
This bed WILL have cucumbers soon, but for now it’s got some radishes, garlic, and petunia. Those plants should prevent/repel cucumber beetles, which kill the cucumber plant by transmitting a bacterial wilt. It killed all of my cucumbers last year so I’m hoping to prevent the bugs from landing at all this year. I also have a wee borage seedling in the lower left corner, which will grow up to 4′ tall and will help repel the beetles as well. I’m trying to be strategic about companion plants in an effort to not have to use insecticides.
This is a thornless blackberry variety. I pruned it a couple weeks back and gave away several baby plants – it likes to root itself wherever it touches the dirt. We planted this in 2013 in our first spring here and it’s HUGE now. I need to be more mindful to prune it twice a year.
This bed currently has a large oregano (planted 2014), some radishes, garlic, and petunias. It also has a borage seedling. It will house zucchini squash once things warm up a bit. It was a straw bale bed last year so it has a lot of straw left over, which I left for compost additive. Since I had a huge problem with squash bugs and borers last year, I hope that all the radishes and garlic I’m using this year will keep them away. This photo also shows the deterioration of the cedar garden bed. These beds are going on their 4th summer and I’ll have to replace them this coming winter.
This bed will have scallop squash in it once the weather warms up a bit. Currently it has garden sage (4th summer) and pineapple sage. It also has a lot of radishes, some garlic, and some petunias in an effort to stave off the squash bugs. I also added some borage and dill to the bed to add additional support to prevent the bugs.
I’ve got basil (purple and sweet), dill, 4 jalapeños, garlic, radishes, borage, rosemary and a Roma tomato in this bed. I know it sounds like a lot but the garlic and radishes are there to deter squash bugs from taking over the squash plants that are going in the bed to the left. This bed was OVERRUN with squash bugs last summer so I’m trying hard to fend them off from the start. I rotate crops each year. The main plants here will be the Roma and peppers. The rosemary is on it’s 4th summer (is the 2nd half of the one on Berry Hill) and does ok here. It’s not as happy as the other one up on the hill. The basil will stay about 1′ tall because I keep them pinched off. The dill will get pulled before it ripens, because at that point it will stunt the tomato plants in the garden. It’s beneficial at warding off squash bugs too…as long as I pull it in time. I cage and/or stake my plants when I plant them, so as to not damage their root systems later when they actually need the support.
This bed currently houses a chive plant going on it’s 3rd summer (2014), a curled parsley, a sweet basil, a purple basil, a bunch of spinach seedlings (to grow under the tomatoes), a Roma tomato, a Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato (from the Master Gardener Show), and a thyme plant (2nd summer.)
I started these little guys from seeds. They are Marketmore cucumbers, which are rumored to be somewhat resistant to some diseases we see in cukes around here. I’ll put a couple in the bed where these sit now once it warms up a bit more and they get a little bigger. I’ll also put some in the main garden. In an attempt to save these guys, I have nasturtiums, petunias, marigolds, radishes, and borage throughout the garden. There is also dill right here, which will help repel the beetles, but will have to be pulled before it ripens so it doesn’t stunt my tomatoes. Companion planting is like a dance…
So, I bought a “lettuce bowl” at Pike’s a few weeks back. We cut the leaves, had a great salad, and then I planted the heads. All 4 are now coming back with new leaves! I also planted a gazillion mesclun lettuce seeds, which I will have to thin shortly. It’ll be too warm for lettuce here in Georgia by the first of June so we’ll enjoy it while we can.
This corner holds 3 types of lavender: English (right), French (rear), and Fernleaf (left.)
This mint was one that was growing on the edge of this bed when winter ended, before I built the raised bed. I think it’s peppermint? It was growing in the ground, which is weird because I never put my mint in the dirt, only in pots (it’s invasive) so I’m not sure exactly what kind it is. I’m thinking peppermint or spearmint. Whichever variety it is, it’s happy!
Here is the new strawberry bed, all finished! I sprinkled marigold seeds from last summer’s garden along the edges of fresh dirt. The berry plants will spread and fill the gaps soon but marigolds are nice. There is a borage seedling in the middle, protected by the whirli-gigs. #naughtylayla likes to dig and help me garden.
Two tomato plants. Yes, they’r awfully close together but that’s because I don’t think the one in front will make it. #naughtylayla dug it up for the bonemeal and who knows if it’ll root again. Yes, I’ve fenced now. There are small spinach plants all around and the seedlings in pots are borage.
There is bee balm in the turquoise pot, lemongrass in the purple pot (protected by a black nursery pot that I cut up to keep #naughtylayla from eating the lemongrass), a mystery mint in the right corner that I found in the compost, bachelor’s buttons in the left bottom and right middle.
This bed has 2-3 kinds of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, spinach (seedlings), radishes, will have cukes, has some nasturtiums, petunias, marigold seedlings, basil, and jalapeños. I said 2-3 kinds of tomatoes because #naughtylayla dug up one of the tomatoes. It was an heirloom chocolate cherry plant from the Master Gardener show. Lore is that if you plant a broken tomato plant in the dirt and keep it evenly moist, in a week or two it’ll have rooted again. In the meantime it should look wilted or dead. That’s definitely happening…I bought a black cherry tomato to replace it so if it doesn’t root, I’ll end up with 2 plants. If it does, I’ll have 3. Either way, Katie will love them!
I’ve planted St John’s wort, lemongrass, catnip, lemon balm and more. I had to protect the lemongrass from #naughtylayla with a black nursery pot (it’s in the turquoise pot) and added bamboo stakes to the catnip in an attempt at keeping my cats from rolling on the pot. The oregano in the right corner is a volunteer I need to give away and the wormwood (white plant) needs to go in the dirt somewhere away from the edible garden plants, yet near enough to ward off pests. No idea where to put it. I’m excited about the lemon verbena!