So I spent yesterday doing yard work, and I’m definitely paying for it today. But I got a lot done, and I’m pretty proud of myself dang it! I cut back all the frost bitten plants in the yard, got the last of my seedlings in the garden and pots, cleaned and hosed down the front and back patio, and got some marigolds and lavender in to deter the bad bugs and attract the good ones. This year, I’m doing an experiment with pots, since the garden gets the full afternoon sun and it wreaks havoc on the tender stuff.
Plus, it’s super unappealing to go out there and tend to the garden after work when it’s 110 degrees outside and full sun. I still put things in there this year, as well as in pots throughout the yard, so I can see which does better. Potted plants tend to need more attention here because it is so dry and hot. I’m not sure I’m dedicated enough for that, but I guess we’ll find out! I made sure to put pumice in all the pots to retain some moisture for longer. And I’ve got my fingers crossed. That usually does the trick!
My elephant food plants were so beautiful before the frost hit this year! I don’t have much left of one plant other than the stalks, and here is a picture of the plant that fared better. My poor babies!
The lilies will be fine-they’ve survived MUCH worse! They are my little zombie plants at this point!
Marigolds are a companion plant to tomatoes. When planted together, they help produce better yields, deter crickets, whiteflies & grasshoppers while attracting butterflies & other beneficial insects. They are good protection for strawberries and roses too, which I am also growing!
A couple different views of our front patio. I have strawberries in the hanging baskets, marigolds in the terra cotta pots, and a tomato plant in the larger planter pictured earlier. I’m really looking forward to when all my plants get fuller! Barely pictured on the lower left is a planter that has a twin on the other side of the garage, they have seedlings of purple basil in them. They are itty bitty right now!
My first tomatoes!
My rose bushes are exploding with buds and new growth right now! I was supposed to cut them back last month but couldn’t bring myself to do it. To kill the aphids, I spray the disgusting buggers in the morning with a mixture of 2 TBSP blue dishwashing detergent and 1 TBSP vegetable oil mixed with 1 Gallon of water. It really does the trick! I always cut back the spent blooms too, to make sure the plant’s energy goes to the new ones. I planted lavender between my two rose bushes to repel the aphids too. Plus, bees and butterflies are really into lavender, so that’s always good!
In the back yard, I have more planters with lettuce, spinach, kale, thyme, tomatoes and marigolds in front of one of our Pineapple Palm trees. It’s called that because it looks like a pineapple, not because it produces them. Don’t I wish? And not pictured to the right are our Mexican Primrose vines–they’ll be flowering soon, I can’t wait!
I also added to our raised bed garden. Every year, we have a pumpkin carving contest at the end of October, and I’m usually left with at least a dozen rotting jack-o-lanterns because people tend to forget them at the end of the night. I throw some of them in the garden, and pumpkin plants sprout up around this time of year. I killed them all last year, so I’m hoping they survive this season! In the very back left is our artichoke plant, making a comeback from last year. I have tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach, lettuce, basil and marigolds in there too. I will probably add a few more things, but I like to give them room to grow. This picture is just of the last quarter of the bed, it’s pretty big!
Happy Gardening! 🙂