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Filtering by Tag: spring

spring gardening thus far

Emily Oster

This spring has been rather mild and excitingly we have had time at home to enjoy it! Last year, our spring was spent inside as Jeff prepared to take his licensing exam and I rushed to finish painting our hallway and stairs before our carpet runner was installed. It also was a record year for rainfall and our yard was a jungle so having a manageable yard and cooperating weather has been a dramatic improvement. 

So for the past couple weekends, we have gotten outside and started our spring clean up and planting.  It has been mostly weeding with some new planting but we are both really enjoying it. We have even instituted "Green Thumb Thursdays" in which we plan to garden for an hour or so in the evening and then enjoy an outdoor meal. 

In the front, we started working on our main bed that was quickly being overtaken by day lilies. We pulled out a bunch and created a border along the driveway. Ideally, we would have dug out all of them as I don't like them very much. But, we don't yet have a plan for what to replace them with so we opted to wait. We also weeded (still a bit left to do), transplanted a few hostas and brainstormed what to plant in the bed. 

In the back, we put in a climbing hydrangea in what is set to become our herb garden. My hope is that it will wrap the rather unattractive lattice work and add some "green" interest to an unsightly corner of our porch.

Adjacent to the herb garden is a small bed that has our hellebore which is continuing to do great - ya! And a bunch of lily of the valley that I successfully transplanted last year! So just a bit of weeding effort in that particular bed. 

Finally, we expanded a bed along our driveway and planted two lilacs (the old-fashion kind), a bridal veil spirea, two little henries and transplanted some form of a monkey grass and two patches of irises. I am super excited about this planting effort as 1.) I finally have my lilacs! 2.) the bed went to bare to almost filled out and 3.) the little henries and irises should help with our water problem. 

Tomorrow, we plan on hitting the first Saturday farmers market of the year and picking up our herbs to plant! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

garden fencing  july 22, 2013

garden fencing
july 22, 2013

lilacs  april 25, 2014

lilacs
april 25, 2014

garden questions  june 10, 2015

garden questions
june 10, 2015

end of may garden report

Emily Oster

Let's begin with positives...

I am happy to report that my raspberry starts are doing very well. They have grown on average about a foot and have begun to shot out new canes. There are even some visible berries! I have been trying to read up about how to keep them healthy but not knowing their variety has made this a little challenging. Also it seems like there is a lot to know and that growing berries can be sort of difficult... What I have learned is that I shouldn't plant anything in the night shade family - tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and others - near them as they spread disease, garlic is a good companion plant, they only need an inch of water a week and pruning is important to get a bountiful harvest. I keep a close eye on the patch and think I will spread some more leaf mulch this coming weekend. I have noticed several yellow leaves and I am hoping it will help with maybe a lack of nutrients in the soil. Fingers crossed is this all it is...

lots of leaves and a new cane

lots of leaves and a new cane

berries

berries

Another win is my back pots. I used these metal buckets as my pots by just drilling five holes in each and I am really liking how they look. I planted two pots of Diamond Frost and two of Victoria Blue Saliva and so far both are looking good!

diamond frost and victoria blue saliva

diamond frost and victoria blue saliva

Another successes include progress on clearing out over grown flower beds, successful transplanting of a peony bush (I think), starting the relocation of a patch of lily of the valley and buying an ever bearing strawberry plant that I hope will be the start of a delicious little strawberry crop. 

Unfortunately, there also has been some failures in this year's spring planting. The first is our edible garden. If you recall from this post, we planted our lettuces in our planter in sort of a risky spot for sun. Well it turned out that there was almost no sun. The plants were alive but not growing at all. So in a hail mary attempt I moved them to a patch in the ground near the raspberry starts. They haven't died or been eater by rabbits but I am not so optimistic. 

before transplant

before transplant

after transplant

after transplant

The other big disappointment has been the front pots. I had my doubts that the white Ageratum would bush out like I told my local "knowledgeable" gardener that I wanted and indeed it has not at all. In fact, I don't think they have grown at all and the stems just sort of gets caught in each other. I added six sort of ground coverish plants (can't remember their name) per pot to try to give it more life but its not really doing anything for me either. In addition to me just sort of not likely my selection, the front is in a lot more shade than I realized so they probably aren't getting enough sun. I think I will move them and see what happens. 

all twisted definitely not bushy

all twisted definitely not bushy

probably not enough sun

probably not enough sun

This weekend I plan to spend another good chunk of time in the garden. Cleaning and transplanting the surrounding beds is a big task and I am currently debating where, what and how much I want to actually plant for our summer edible garden. It might turn out to not be that much but we will see.

sunday in the garden

Emily Oster

This past Sunday, I spent the whole day in the garden. I got two front pots planted, cleared a bed and planted 10 black raspberry starters, weeded part of one flower bed, located, filled and planted my veggie planter and put down mulch. Needless to say, by 6pm I was in need of a shower, a beer and a burger. 

On the front of the house, I went with two of these 16" pots from Home Depot

I didn't realize just how expensive pots can be so I was happy to find these for just $17.98 each. I would have preferred to do something clay or concrete like these below but it just wasn't in the budget.

If you recall from this post, I wanted to find an airy, white flowering plant just to keep it simple and soft. After consulting with a knowledgable gardener at a local nursery, she recommended Ageratum 'Mediano White'. I filled the pots with a combination of local Bluebird compost, soil saved from last year planting and leaf mulch. I decided to plant four Ageratums per pot which I am hoping will be enough to really fill out the pot. Right now, I am having my doubts. The four look rather small and I think they will grow more up than out. This is why I am considering adding a few Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' to each as well.  

The front pots were the easy part of the day as the majority of my efforts were spent in the back. This is where the veggie planter is located as well as the bed I cleared for the black raspberry starts. I filled the veggie planter with the same combination of soils as the front pots as well as a bottom layer of smashed up terra cotta pots to help with drainage. In it, I planted 3 kale, 6 spinach and 6 lettuces. More than I was planning on but its so hard not to plant what comes in the whole flat! We positioned the planter in a spot that is a little risky for sun exposure so we will have to see how things go. I love all the big trees in our yard but it makes for limited usable growing space. 

The black raspberry patch is across the yard in what I hope will be a nice sunny spot. It took me 3+ hours to clear a 2.5' wide by 10' long area so fingers crossed they take. A few look a little iffy...

There is still so much to do but I had a great time working outside and am excited to keep at it. Any readers have experience with black raspberry bushes? I would love to learn some tips!