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BONNIE'S GARDEN--It's That Time Again

Remember to fertilize my vegetable plants regularly.  Sometimes in the heat of the summer, I get so busy keeping everything watered that I forget to re-add fertilizer.  This year, I was really good about fertilizing until the first part of July, then the unrelenting heat got to me and I simply kept everything watered and enjoyed my garden from the shady spot on the deck, sipping a glass of ice-cold tea—or from the INSIDE of the sliding glass doors in the nice air-conditioned house.  However, any plant that blooms and sets fruit need energy—food helps.  So I’ll try to do better this year.

Plant more Dahlias.  I’ve planted dahlias in pots the last few years—after all, they bloom all summer long, as long as you dead-head them.  This summer, while I was sitting in the shade, I noticed quite a few butterflies around them.  Wow, a plant that not only has gorgeous flowers all summer long but attracts butterflies, too.  Definitely plant more dahlias.

Repot my plants when they need it.  I’ll admit, I put off repotting as long as possible.  And that’s not a bad thing really.  The problem arises when I put off repotting something for so long that it literally is drying out every single solitary day.  My poor Meyer lemon was beginning to droop every single solitary evening when I got home, as well as my seriously overgrown hibiscus.  I was tired when I got home from work/it’s been too hot/I don’t have the time because I have to water everything else…  Repotting plants too often or too soon is a big problem.  Not one that I’m guilty of, for sure. 

Develop a harder heart when it comes to sick plants.  We’ve all had that one plant—you know the one.  It never seems to thrive.  It’s always dropping leaves or it’s supposed to bloom and doesn’t.  It has a disease but we’re sure that a little TLC will bring it around.  It has a few scale/aphids/mealy bugs but we’re sure we’ll get them under control.  Well, my space is limited and I have plants that are doing very well but there always seems to be one that isn’t.  I need to know when to let go. I have a hibiscus that I have to cut way back to fit it into the house for the winter.  Then, because the citrus, the hoyas, and the orchids are hogging most of the light, the poor hibiscus just sits there and sheds all winter long—and usually comes down with a case of white fly or aphids. Then, because I had to cut it so far back, it doesn’t even bloom again until mid-August.  Why am I wasting space on a plant that wants to share its white fly and aphids with everything else—and doesn’t bother blooming until the end of the summer?

Above all else, I need to make time to enjoy my garden.  I resolve this every single year.  But’s it’s important.  It’s so easy to get bogged down in the details of watering/fertilizing/checking for insects that I forget why I do this.  I need to make sure that when I’m sitting in that rocking chair in the shade and sipping my iced tea, that I spend more time appreciating the butterflies dancing around the dahlias. the taste of that just picked Sunsugar tomato, and being glad there are black swallowtail caterpillars on my dill (that means there will be butterflies later).
Posted: 12/27/2016 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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