Diary of a Novice Gardener- Part 3

I’m not pretending to be anything close to an expert. Gardening is something I’m very new at (so if you’re reading this and you more experienced, I welcome any tips!). I just thought as I went, I’d shared my ups and downs and perhaps something I discover or find out along the way might help someone else who’s starting out too.

This week my strawberries are giving me a bother. First, I realised that they were rotting before they were ripe. I have said before the pots don’t have great drainage and we’ve had a lot of rain. So, I have researched a little and bought some straw mulch (sugar cane to be exact) to put around them, which will stop the berries from sitting in the wet dirt. Then today I noticed one had most defiantly been eaten by a bird. I like the birds in my yard, I like watching them as I’m doing my dishes. But I do not want them eating my strawberries. So, my plan to tackle that will be to install some kind of reflective object near my strawberries. I have read about hanging CD’s and the inside of foil chip packets, but I still want my yard to look pretty. I’m still having a think about that. I also read about putting fake snakes in the garden which can detract birds. Not sure about that. I also thought an interesting idea was to paint rocks to look like strawberries. The birds peck at those and learn that the berries aren’t edible and stay away from your real berries. Another tip was to give them a bird feeder (which I have done but they aren’t interested in it) and a bird bath. I have already been thinking of getting a bird bath, so I’ll pop that on my list. All things to try anyway. I do have some netting if all of that fails, but I just like to be able to see all my plants.

We’ve had some really hot weather in the last couple of days (today is 38 degrees Celsius). I’ve been watering early in the morning and also in the evening. I’m making sure the plants have some shade. I’m considering getting my dad to help me set up some shade cloth over the garden bed as they get some pretty direct sun in the hottest part of the day, I’m burning out there so I can only imagine what my little plants are doing.

My cucumber plant is still hanging on but not looking great still. My lawns were mowed yesterday so I chucked a bunch of grass clippings on the pot, in hopes that it is helping. I’m also continuing to spray with my bug and slug essential oils spray every few days too.

I got very excited when I saw some tiny green tomatoes appear on my tomato plants the other day. They are looking so great! The tomato that never really grew and then broke. I just cut it off all the spindly twig in the hope that it might rejuvenate. A tiny little green shoot has appeared so I’m hoping that it’s resurrected itself.

I’m really turning into a nerd but when my potato plant broke through the soil it was actually really cool. Seeing the way it pushed the dirt out of the way. I just looked cool.

I think I have over planted my zucchini so while they are still small I’ve bought some new pots and will transplant them out. Hopefully giving them some more room.

I bought some more potted colour for around the yard too.

I think it’s going pretty well! And I’m very much enjoying spending a little time out there each day tending to my plants.

I spent a couple of hours in the garden this morning. I transplanted my zucchini, so there is only one plant per pot (gave my mum 2 of the plants because I really don’t think I can eat that much zucchini). I’m a little worried disturbing the plants will impact on them negatively so I’m keeping a close eye on them. I finally planted the rest of my marigolds- I had run out of potting mix. They aren’t looking fabulous as they have been in the seedling tray a bit long. I’m hoping with a good water (with added soil wetter) that they’ll come to life now that they are in their homes. I replaced one of my lavender plants. I think it must’ve been sick. I planted all of my lavender on the same day, did exactly the same thing for all of them and one just never thrived and eventually died. Anyway, that’s been replaced. I planted another daisy. I planted a couple of Delphinium’s. I found these lovely red pots on sale and thought the beautiful blue colour of the Delphiniums was a stunning contrast. I also planted an Achillea, I’m not sure if it’s the same plant but it reminds me of these little flowers that were everywhere in Holland. I already have some Dahlia’s and Nemesia’s planted in pots so the potted colour is looking lovely. I tried to drill holes in my strawberry pots, but the drill wouldn’t go through the plastic. I’ve asked my dad to come around with his drill and have a go, he might have a more suited drill bit. I did move my strawberry plants, the stand is now closer to the house where there is a hook. I will fashion some type of reflective wind mobile to help with my bird issue. Oh, and I weeded and cleaned up some trees too. It was a nice morning. Just love having more flowers to make everything look pretty.

I have been spraying the mint which is taking over everywhere with vinegar everyday and it seems to be doing the trick. The mint is shrivelling up and dying.

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