Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning!

So I spent about 3 hours working outside on this little garden bed. I finished cleaning out all of the weeds, raked out some of the dead leaves and stuff. I broke my rake because it kept getting caught on roots.

My little garden seems to be a nice haven for lizards. When I started working, they all ran out of the garden and congregated on the screen to watch me work.

I've come to the conclusion that Mexican Petunia IS a highly invasive plant. I believe a lot of the roots, including the roots that broke my rake, belong to what SHOULD be Mexican Petunia. There were little 3 to 4 inch stalks of Mexican Petunia all over the garden bed. I pulled most of them out. I left one bunch of 3 inch stalks...and if it develops into something, then I'll move it to where I want it.

I decided to cut off the parts of my Hibiscus plant that were covered in Scale. Then I sprayed all the plants with Listerine mixed with dishsoap. The Listerine because it has alcohol in it, which is supposed to kill scale, and dishsoap to make the Listerine slide down the plant. I'm considering cutting the plants down even more. I wonder if I cut them down a lot, if they will grow leaves and look like a bush again...instead of a bunch of wooden sticks. (Can you tell that I know nothing about gardening?) Here is a picture I took of one of the 3 blooms on my Hibiscus plant. This was after I sprayed it with the Listerine can see soap bubbles on the flower itself if you look closely. (Oh, by the way, pictures can be viewed full size if you click on them).

After I cleaned out the garden bed, I tested the soil. The pH is neutral, but everything else was very low.

Then I watered the whole bed, and even gave my rose some "rose food". Here's a picture of my rose "bush".
I did get some good blooms on it last year. And that was without taking care of it. I am hoping that I can get some more off of it now that I will be taking care of it. Here is a picture taken in July where it has some blooms. (You can even see that all of the plants had some foliage on them at that time, but they still weren't very healthy. But the Hibiscus were doing very well). And I forgot to mention that I do have some Purple Heart in there also. But that's died way back, so today there is maybe 3 little piece of it. I hope that comes back, but I don't think I will leave it in this garden.

I think the previous owner planted this bed all wrong. He planted the plants too close together for one thing. And then, he planted a small palm tree behind 3 Hibiscus plants, which get very tall and full when they're healthy. The purple heart is growing under the red Hibiscus plant. Mexican Petunia is growing like and there and all over the place...but not where they were planted. I found the tag still attached to the yellow Hibiscus plant. It's called Fort Myers Hibiscus. And as I raked, I found tags for various plants that are not in the bed. Which tells me that he planted them at one time, but they didn't make it. I think the garden was not well thought out, and not well maintained. But I'm going to change all that. As soon as I've nursed all these plants back to health!

After all that work today, I was very itchy, and one of the plants (not sure who the culprit was) gave me a 3 inch long scratch on my left arm. After I showered I stayed inside to plant some herbs. I planted basil, chives and parsley in a little greenhouse kit I bought yesterday. I have to take the other greenhouse kit back to the store, because even though it was supposed to have 3 different herbs in it, all it had was basil. So I'll take it back, and probably won't get a new one until I see how I do with the one I planted. I should have only gotten one to begin $6.99 each. I don't even know if I will be able to grow anything....or even maintain it if I do. I also planted some flowers; Lobelia, Marigold and Verbana. We'll see how I do with those.

My co-worker emailed me today and told me that she has my Confederate Rose there at work. I may leave it at work for a while, just so that if I need her help, she's right there. If I bring it home and start having problems with it, then I'll have to bring it back. But if I can maintain it on my own at work for a while, then I'll feel confident enough to bring it home.

I can't wait to go to work tomorrow so I can see it. lol. More to come soon. I hope that in the next couple of days, I'll have some little sprouts of herbs and flowers to show.

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