Gardening; A lesson on getting more plant for your $$$

Yesterday  was a pretty nice day here.  I had some cleaning up and planting/moving chores to handle in the front bed.  Our yard is participating in the neighborhood Halloween contest.  The Husband is out of commission with a nasty back injury and the kids were  entranced in they new toys they got at their combined Birthday Party Saturday.  So I  opened up the front door, turned up the itunes and got to work.  The Home Office windows look out at the front yard and beds so I often get the front bed chores done with music blaring from the windows.

Last summer I planted some pretty annuals in my hanging baskets.  Begonia  with a dark leaf and a hot pink flower,  A pink and green Coleus and some spiky little white plant/flower I can’t remember the name of.   I’ve talked  before about how you can sometimes  get more for your plant $$ buck by allowing this years annuals to either make seed heads or simply stay in the ground and wait and see if they come back next year.

Pics below

Plants I have that will make seeds I can use to get free plants next year:

Zinnia  Snap Dragons     Sunflowers   Marigolds

Tomatoes ; I should cop to the fact that these are always accidental. As in the maters dropped and rotted and then I got new volunteer plants next year. But this happens every summer.

The best way to do this is to let nature take it’s course, leave enough heads on the plants to get seed and in  late fall or very early spring rip off the seed heads and work them into your mulch and soil around where you want them.  You can also get all control freak and collect the seed heads and store them in a paper sack in a cool dry place over the winter.  Make sure they are very dry and in breathable sack or you could have a moldy mess on your hands next spring.

This year I got crazy and dried a bunch of pepper seeds from these awesome peppers we got from the local organic produce delivery place called Green B.E.A.N.   We shall see how that goes next spring.

Mums

Now I did turn some small sunflower heads into the soil in the front bed, but I was there to plant mums, move mums, rip apart the baskets and plant the annuals in hopes of having them survive the winter.   It is probably a bit late to be planting mums.  I got great ones at Lowe’s for $4 each.  When you plant them be sure to break up the bound roots with your hands or hand trowel.  Also be sure to plant them deep enough and pack and mulch them well enough so they don’t heave out of the soil when we have our harsh winter.   The spindly little mum is one from last fall that didn’t get much sunlight this year.  He had to relocate to a sunnier part of the spotted front bed.

Re-potting the annuals from the baskets.

You don’t really need all that much root ball from the annuals in the baskets. I wanted all the Coleus because even if it does not make it over the winter I can and did plant it along the walk to assist with my design for our porch and yard.   I also planted the two begonias, but i tossed the white spindly things.  I have three of them in the front bed already and am out of room.

As with all transplants  be sure to water well.

Still to do

I have one Hosta to rip out and relocate further back to allow more room for the Lilly of the Valley to spread. And one Football mum that needs a much sunnier home.   He is kind of puny though so I may just have to mulch him really well and check on him in the spring.


Indian Summer in the garden or why we still have peppers growing

I took a good look at the garden last Thursday and took some pics.  I am pleased that we have been blessed with almost 2 weeks of good warm weather which has allowed my late tomatoes and peppers to keep growing.   We have had two light frosts already, but neither of them made to the raised beds or the retaining wall.   I will have to pull off  the produce by next Saturday or Sunday  depending on temps and frost.  So I hope they grow like heck this week.  I also have a ton of clean-up and fall bed creating to do, some plant moving to plan and accomplish and a yard to get ready for the hood Halloween Decorating contest.  And I must have more mums and spring bulbs.   Now sure how I’m going to pull all of that off in the 50 hour work weeks I have going on right now.  But I’m betting you won’t be hearing from me as much.   But for now The Husband and the Destroyer are at the game and MiniMe is off exploring on her bike.   I am going to start the laundry and pick a project from the very long list of things I need and want to do. Meanwhile enjoy these pics of the garden in Indian Summer.

PS. Wasn’t the moon just awesome last night.  I was out enjoying in until around 4:30.  I good time was had by all.