The Growing Season

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May 9, 2017 by phicks2012

I’ve experimented over the years with several gardening locations around the castle, but most have either been too shady, too far from a water source, or out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

If the area is too shady, the plants won’t get enough sun and simply won’t grow. If you don’t have a garden hose long enough to reach the plot, your plants are going to dry up and DIE (except maybe in Seattle) πŸ˜‰ If you have to go out of your way to see your garden plot at ALL, you’re not going to know when and if it needs watering, weeding, or just fire-bombing.

Well, the perfect spot for me turns out to be the narrow strip between the castle and what was supposed to be the garage, on the southwestern side of the house. Of course, I can’t plant crops like corn, but I’ve lined all the foundations with raised beds — not raised enough for my preferences, but not bad — where I plant stuff, and this usually works very well for me. Add on the plant shelves around the elevated side porch, and suddenly you have a place for some fairly healthy-sized pots there (as well as on the porch itself). Handy! There’s also a water spigot right there, so I can stand up on the porch and water literally EVERYTHING! Well, almost. πŸ˜‰

My Dill, Rosemary, Asparagus, and Sage come back every year, and for years I had Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon and Oregano that resurged every year. Those last four finally died, but they had a good run!! My mint took over the world for a span of years, and catnip came up wild for a while in the lawn — maybe not this year though, so I put some of that in a pot. Tea and cats. What can I say?

I’ve planted Sweet Bananna Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Mexican Tarragon, French Tarragon, Lavender, Oregano, Summer Savory, Thyme, Sweet Basil, Artichokes and Bee Balm. I also planted Salvias and Mexican Heather and a few other blooming plants to attract bees (along with my Irises, Day Lilies, Azaleas, Blueberries, and Crape Myrtles), and I got a hydrangea (still potted) that I really hope will thrive as well. I dropped some Nasturtium seeds (now well sprouted) into two other pots, and I planted some Spearmint in a pot as well because I didn’t really want to wind up living in a mint forest again. πŸ˜‰

I also made another change this year. For the past 3-4 years every tomato plant I’ve tried has failed to bear, and the leaves have turned brown and fallen off long before blooms could (theoretically) appear, so this year I said “To Hell with the hybrids!!” I planted 6 “Heirloom” tomato plants, and so far they appear to be thriving. They even have blooms on them already, so I’m hoping it’s only the hybrids that are suceptible to whatever’s been killing my tomatoes (including those in pots) since about 2013. Wish me luck!

But I have a bit more space to fill, and am still considering what to put in that space. I might get creative. I’ve saved some cantalope seeds and spaghetti squash seeds, and I’d dearly love to be able to sprout and grow an avocado plant. You used to be able to sprout those seeds easily, but I suspect the growers are now sterilizing the things because I haven’t been able to get an avocado to sprout in YEARS now.

The bed along the foundations right behind the garage was a failure year after year until I just planted Irises there, but they do well in that spot when nothing else (except dill) will. Unfortunately the strawberry bed behind that was a total squirrel-magnet, so I finally just hosed that down with RoundUp. I need to figure out something squirrel and deer-resistant to put there, I guess, but thus far I haven’t really thought of anything. Maybe I’ll plant a fruit tree of some kind right in the middle, or some more blueberry bushes, or maybe that Hydrangea.

So what else do I put on my list?

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I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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