Digging In

Insight into garden design, photography and growing life.

July 27, 2010

beginning the dog days

It has been hot for a while. That's fine. It's summer in Texas, wouldn't expect different. I keep reminding myself this is the first summer for ALL of the plants I planted. Of course every gardener fights an ongoing battle for perfection/plant health. Hot & dry means higher water bills and now spider mites (I'm pretty sure) and leaf miners (possibly).

What I've been doing now:
1. Watering, new soaker hoses and a slow-dripping hose
2. Fertilizing (not recommended during the dead of summer but better late the never)
3. Adding Super-Thrive in w/my liquid fertilizer, hoping this helps perk up the very sad redbud and lessens the stress on the newly planted

What I've learned:
1. Grass REALLY does like fertilizer. If I keep this up, I might have a lawn my husband will be proud of - but he doesn't realize this just means more mowing.
2. I need to maintain my yard tools & lawn equipment better. The combo of inaccurate drop spreader and way more hurricane rain than anticipated completely negated the first lawn fertilization application. Application rates make a HUGE difference, very visible after a quick test.
3. I've got a lot of plants. Imagining each one as a baby demands a lot of attention. I shouldn't get any more. But a birthday coupon from the nursery is burning a hole in my pocket. It's too hot to plant. I should buy compost instead. The lawn, thus the hubby, will be happier.

FYI: still no design commitment for the "kitchen garden" area. But my current yield of three tiny orange cherry tomatoes (pot-raised and ignored, cannot believe they are still alive) were quite yummy. Two larger red tomatoes succumbed to grasshoppers and heat.

Seriously, I only wanted a veggie garden to relive the childhood memories of sun-warmed, home-grown tomatoes. Turns out Texas isn't the easiest place to raise 'em. A challenge. Great.