Raising Marigolds

I’ve tried a few times to grow flowering plants with no success. In the past I’ve always purchased the potted flowers that already have bloomed and as soon as I get them home and planted, the flowers disappear and the plant stops growing. I know with more research and time and effort I could probably figure something out, but I am not that patient and don’t have extra time for that.

So this year I decided to start from seed and see how that went. Well, so far it’s been a success. Along with my wildflower pots, I planted one pot with just marigold seeds and they are doing very well!

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Besides planting them in the pot and making sure they are thoroughly watered, I don’t do anything else.

2One thing that I feel has made a huge difference is that I water them with rain water. A few years back our water company had a deal on rain barrels so Hollywood invested in four of them, placing one at each corner of our house. These things always stay full, especially with all of the rain we’ve been getting lately.

If I manage to keep these alive, I’ll definitely plant more pots next spring!

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Wildflower Pots Gotta Lotta Green

I check my wildflower pots pretty much everyday. They haven’t flowered yet, but they have definitely been growing. I didn’t keep track of which packet of wildflowers I planted in which pot so I have no idea what they are going to look like. The suspense is killing me! Sad, I’m literally watching grass grow 🙂

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This pot has a ground cover type flower with bluish purple blooms on the top side and what I thought were going to be taller flowers on the bottom. I dunno, we’ll see!

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I have eight in total and all should be different. I had to move one because it was not getting enough sun and was lagging behind. It’s the runt of the litter.

Throwing in the Towel

I’m done with our raised beds. I’m leaving all responsibility to Hollywood, he has the patience for it.  I did everything besides stand next to the garden with a machete and nunchucks to keep ants and Blue out.

Even with the extra boards stretched across the top, Blue managed to squeeze in and damaged our other cucumber plant. After that, I was done. I prefer to spend my time cooking anyway.  Blue can’t sit on my lemon cake if it’s inside!

Hollywood found another alternative to the boards and it seems to be working. Blue hasn’t tried to sleep in it for about a week. I like the pink twine 🙂

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I really like the idea of gardening, but for now it’s all Hollywood. Have fun and let me know when the cucumbers are ready for eating!

The Robinsons are Not Welcome Here

We spent a couple of days making sure our raised beds were all prepared and had everything it needed to make sure our veggies had a comfy home to live in and prosper.

Come to find out, our plants are not the only ones that think it’s a great place to hang their hat. Introducing, the Robinsons, and there are over a 1,000 of them.

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Yup my friends, we have fire ants. How very annoyed both Hollywood and I were. He sat there for a good 20 minutes, finger smashing quite a bit of them.

While Hollywood was occupied, I quickly ran inside and searched websites on homemade ant poison. Well the only thing I could find that was compatible with the ingredients I had in the house was to mix borax with sugar. Apparently they don’t know the difference between the two, eating both, but the borax poisons them. And I am not quite sure how I ended up with Borax in the house because I don’t remember buying it. Oh well.

After making the toxic mixture I found over at The Happy Housewife, I followed her directions and put some of it on cotton balls and set them outside the opening where most of the ants seemed to be setting up shop. This is when I start to giggle at myself.

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Surely this is a preventative measure and not a solution to completely eradicate fire ants on contact. All of the ants just scampered past the soaked cotton balls and I think a few even laughed at me. Hollywood did. I ended up dumping the rest of the liquid on a mound that was close by. (Going to come back and check to see if that did anything later.) On to plan B!

So instead of making a liquid solution, I went with a powder. I mixed one cup of sugar and one cup of borax together and sprinkled it around the entire raised bed.

3I didn’t mean to get it on the raised bed itself so I brushed that part of later. On top of that, Hollywood went around the bed about a foot out and sprayed some ant poison. We were trying to keep everything away from the plants as much as possible.

We probably should have made efforts before this all happened.  Luckily they had not really started colonizing yet, we caught them very early. I think they were just checking out the scenery.

There still are a few in there, but I am making their stay as uncomfortable as possible. Each morning I check and finger smash those that come out and disrupt whatever attempt they are making to create a colony by shoveling them out along with the dirt.  Each day there are less and less so I still have hope!

Poor Pear Tree

We planted a pear tree two years ago hoping that one day we’d get some pears. Well after Grasshoppergate of 2014, we thought we’d lost her. Honestly, we have no idea how to take care of a pear tree besides water it and give it some new mulch in the spring.. We did learn, however, that grasshoppers love pear tree leaves.

This year we are looking into some preventative measures to make sure our poor pear tree is not bald by the end of the summer. She barely had any leaves on her by July of last year.

But, there’s good news! She did make a full recovery this year and looks pretty healthy!

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She even has little bitty pears! At least I think that’s what those little knots are.

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Our options so far are to cover it with netting, place bird feeders, bird baths or bird houses nearby, spray it with a natural grasshopper terminator, or just keep plucking the grasshoppers off.

I’m in favor of terminating. Or maybe we should just get some chickens. They get an all you can eat buffet of grasshoppers while we get pears and some REAL free range eggs! It’s a win win-win situation!