Gardener's Grapevine 2013.07.10

This past Saturday my husband finally had time for his beloved garden. Well, he loved the thought of it until he started weeding it so he could tie the tomatoes up. He came in once or twice for a fresh shirt and looked like someone dragged him through the garden on his belly while the sprinkler was on.

The high point of his day in the “Garden of Weeden?” We have cherry tomatoes turning red. Thank God something is producing with all this rain. I saw a picture on Facebook this week that showed a tree holding a sign that said, “Please help my family in the rainforest.” Apparently it wasn’t a Michigan tree or it would have felt like it was in the rainforest.

We finally got the lawn mowed, but it still needs a good trimming. Every time we get it mowed- monsoon season sets in again. The farm fields look great. The corn is so tall this year. I hope it’s not too much for the wheat though, as it has been just beautiful.

When I look at farmers’ fields I feel really inadequate at my gardening. They look so perfect. I do not use any chemicals on my gardens so I guess I should expect weeds. I like organic vegetables, so I guess we keep weeding. 

Not sure if it’s the rain or what, but my lettuce did next to nothing so we replanted. It may have been bad seed also, as the flowers and herbs planted all around  it are thriving. Sometimes I wish plants could talk.

When you plant seeds it’s a toss-up if they will grow or not. That is why there are dates on the packets. Old seed does not grow as well as fresh. If it is more than 12 months old it could have problems growing. We have used old seed and been very successful, but if it’s something  I absolutely have to have I use new seed.

This week I got some awesome deals on perennials. I always look for deals, but they can be a gardening disaster if you don’t follow a few guidelines. Rule #1: if there are bugs or bites on the leaves, walk away and don’t buy anything. Bugs can infect everything, and why take the chance of infecting your garden? If you don’t mind chemicals you can buy it and treat it. I don’t use chemicals so I don’t buy buggy plants.

Rule #2: check to see if there is a green healthy plant in the pot. Part of it can be dead, but to have a successful plant you have to start with something healthy. I turn the plant over and look at the roots—Is it rootbound in the pot? Are the roots white and healthy? Both are positives. If it’s rootbound, break the roots apart when planting it to help them spread out in the earth.

I wanted a flowering almond bush for quite a while, but was too cheap to buy one at full price. I found one on clearance that had literally two sticks coming off the base—one dead and one alive—and it was about six inches tall. That $2 clearance bush is now three feet tall and three feet wide. It is very beautiful.