Diary of a Novice Gardener- Part 5

Today is going to be 37 degrees Celsius but I really wanted to get in the garden today. I headed off to Bunnings very early and spent a couple of hours in the garden before the heat of the day (it was still pretty warm at 10am!).

I potted the rose I was given at work. I love it. They gave me a pot with it, but it was far too small. So, I bought a PrimoLite pot in 55x47cm. The same pot but different colour that my Mum gave me for Christmas with my lemon tree. I sprinkled it with some osomcote rose food.

I also bought some ‘potted colour’, although I’m not sure what the name of the plants are. They were sold as ‘Boom’ and ‘Potted Colour’. One to go in the pot they gave me from work with the rose. The others are just in the plastic pots I have scattered around my garden beds. I weeded the garden bed too.

I planted some watermelon seedlings. Planting those feels like a bit of a novelty. So hopefully they turn out well. I also planted some spinach beet and cucumber seeds for my remaining pots in the veggie garden. I watered them in and fed with the vegetable food I have.

It’s all coming along so nicely. Now I’m filling up my blow-up pool in the backyard and I’m going to spend the afternoon going between my hammock and the water in an effort to enjoy the sunshine but stay cool and enjoy my little corner of the world.

The heat is hard work! I ended up half putting a towel over my new watermelon plants to help them not fry. I thought if I fully covered them, they’d bake but at least this way the sun wasn’t directly on them. One of my new ‘potted colour’ flowers was not looking good by the end of yesterday. I have given it a ton of water and it’s looking a little better. I emptied my pool out today by bucketing all the water onto my plants so hopefully with a really good drink and a few cooler days they will perk up a little.

I also remembered that I have an app, called PlantNet, which you can submit pictures of your plants and it identifies them for you. So, I managed to work out my potted colour plants that I bought are a Moss Rose and a Zinnia.

I’m definitely developing a problem, I can’t stop buying pretty pots and flowers! I bought another geranium and Moss Rose. I’m actually quite in love with the little flowers on the Moss Rose. My favourite flowers are Lisianthus and they have a similar but smaller flower. I also bought a pot for the hydrangea that I got for Christmas and a pot and Begonia, which I actually picked because it matched the bright yellow pot I fell in love with (which was also on sale!). I also ordered some cheap pot saucers on eBay. I know some plants won’t need this but with the hot Aussie Summer still upon us and my longer working days at the moment I wanted to make sure they will stay well hydrated. I have found it has made all the difference to my Hydrangea.

I have been patiently checking my little cherry tomatoes everyday because a few were almost ripe to pick, and I went out one morning and something had stolen them, nibbled on them and then discarded them. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been as annoyed if they’d eaten them properly but it’s such a waste. I think the most likely culprit is a possum. So, researching I went and found that possums hate garlic! I put a few tea spoons of minced garlic in a bowl and covered it with boiling water. I left it overnight and strained it into a spray bottle the next morning. So hopefully if I spray that every so often it will repel the little pests. I can put nets over them, but it is nice to be able to look at everything. I also re-staked my tomato plants. Initially I had two stakes per pot, but the plants are growing like crazy and this wasn’t enough. Each pot now has 4-5 stakes and it seems to make a difference to the plant having room to grow.

My sense of safety has been rocked with my strawberries. Since I had moved them close to the house line the birds had left them alone. But alas this week one has been eaten (again just a little hole in the centre, such a waste). I haven’t really had the time to get onto some of my other strategies (I talked about options in part 3 https://justalittlejojo.com/2018/12/10/diary-of-a-novice-gardener-part-3/)  so I resorted to a net. Because I don’t want to look out my window at a big net, I moved the strawberries around to the side of the veggie garden.

Because the Strawberries have moved, I have been thinking of other ways to set up my little court yard. I have moved the lemon tree to the spot where the strawberries were, this is closer to the house and creates a little closure around the courtyard. My plan is to get 3 more of the big cream pots with hybrid tea roses and line the fence with roses. I think it’s going to look pretty.

My zucchini plant and pumpkin plant have flowers so that’s a bit exciting. My new cucumber and spinach beet seeds sprung up in less than a week, must have been the glorious warm weather we were having. Some of the capsicum plants have suddenly sprung to life, they always seemed very spindly but 2 have taken on a new lease! My Patio Cucumber plant is doing great now, it’s a lovely rich green colour and growing in size. It also had a flower or 2 on the end of the baby cucumbers. My potatoes seem to have stayed mould free since sprinkling with cinnamon. I resprayed everything with my slug spray and sprinkled a little plant food on everything in the veggie garden.

I also have been trying to be diligent in cutting off anything that is dead or dying like old flowers, dried up leaves etc. I feel like this is what made all the difference to my cucumber and it makes sense that if you remove anything dead or dying the plant can put all of its energy into the strong parts. Seems to be helping at the moment.

Moss Rose- 06.01.2019

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.

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