BONNIE’S GARDEN – Last January, I Made Some Gardening Resolutions. So How Did I Do?

I resolved to be better about feeding my garden during the growing season.  Fast-growing summer annuals and vegetables need to be fed but I usually get so bogged down in just trying to keep things watered and weeded in the heat, that I forget.  How did I do?

Better—but not great.  I did get an application down of Tomato-tone when I planted my summer veggies.  And I did get another application down around six weeks later.  But the plants, including herbs, I grow in pots, well, I didn’t do as well.

The ones in the raised beds do okay, despite my haphazard feeding, because I do take the time to top dress with extra compost at the end of the season, but the ones in pots don’t get that extra top dressing.  So I hereby resolve to—yada, yada, yada…

I resolved to cut the flowers off my lemon balm before they set seed.  And I did.  I also pulled lemon balm up and pulled it up and pulled it up (because I forgot to cut the flowers off last year).  I hereby resolve to keep pulling it up until it learns who’s boss—or until I give up and let it take over the whole yard….

I resolved to try one new variety of something in my garden.  I did okay with that, too.  Now, not all of the new varieties were a success, but I wouldn’t have known had I not tried them.  The angel-wing begonias, in place of the wax begonias in my front flower bed, were a beautiful change of pace however the pickling cucumber I planted in place of my favorite Suyo Long was only half as productive as the Suyo Long planted in the other raised bed.  Still, now I know.

I resolved to plant more milkweed and I did.  However, much to my dismay, I did not see one single solitary Monarch butterfly.  On the other hand, I planted a lot of extra parsley for the black swallowtail butterflies and they must have brought friends because I’m delighted to say I ran out!

Late summer I had to go looking for a few more pots of parsley and, finding none, began transplanting caterpillars to rue—which they’ll also eat.   At least I’ll have the milkweed there in case the Monarchs come back.

I resolved to stop keeping plants past the time I should have given up and tossed them.  I did “okay.”  I did toss a Duranta aka Sapphire Showers, but only after it broke its end of our bargain.  I promised it that I would toss it if it got white fly again.  It did so I did what I promised.  On the other hand, I’m still nursing a Meyer lemon with scale—but it bribes me with fruit….

I promised to actually take time to smell the roses, not just water them, feed them and prune them.  I actually had time to do that this year—mostly because Mother Nature was a little overly generous with the precipitation.  I had more time because I had to do WAY less watering than usual.  But I did find a certain serenity in watching the honeybees fight over the blossoms on the Meyer lemon tree (yes, the one with scale—yet another reason, I keep it.)

This year, one of my resolutions is to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year.  May your gardens grow and bloom.

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