Friday, July 10, 2009

Fertilizer Friday!

Yay - another week comes to an end, and another Fertilizer Friday finds me feeding my plants. Be sure you check out our hostess, Tootsie, for a look at her beautiful garden and the gardens of all her friends!

My veggies are just growing like crazy. My yellow squash has gotten even bigger this week, I think eclipsing my zukes. Nice big bloom ready to open!

Blooms getting ready to come up on my zukes. Should I be concerned about these leaves??

The hanging bell pepper plant had two blooms this week. One doesn't look like it's going to make it, but the other looks good today. This plant has really surprised me - the fertilizer has really done the trick.

That's is for this week. I hope to come poke around in everyone else's FF posts over the weekend. Hope everyone has a great Fertilizer Friday and a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nothing like waiting until the last minute...

I've may have mentioned (maybe I'm thinking of my other blog...) that my husband and I are in the early stages of possibly building a new home. Part of this process will include selling our existing home. It's cute, well kept, and was updated throughout just three years ago. The market is sagging, but I'm hopeful we've got enough to offer here that it will sell.

Hubby and I started discussing a few days ago that we probably ought to spend a little time and money in some landscaping to help with curb appeal. We've done absolutely nothing to the exterior of our home in the three years we've owned the house except replace the roof and dig up two dead trees. We've planted nothing, done no weeding, no trimming of bushes, and no watering to our yard. Remember - I am a very new gardening enthusiast, only very recently taking an interest in my yard. My husband' thumb isn't black, green or otherwise - for him, it's about money. He's tight with it, and hasn't considered the yard a valuable place to spend it. This arrangement worked fine for us until a) I decided I wanted to dabble in gardening and b) we found ourselves in the position of worrying what OTHER people thought about our yard.

So, here we are in the dog-days of summer in Texas - in an especially warm and dry summer at that - thinking of what we need to do to spruce up our space. And I'm so clueless that I don't really know where to start or which plants would have a running chance at surviving transplantation in this weather. I think first we'll need to get a sprinkler and be willing to spend a few dollars a month reviving our grass. Hubby picked up a new weed eater yesterday (his died a while back in the middle of trimming along our fenceline. I wasn't convinced of the coincidence of that at all.) I perused what was left at Wal-Mart's plant selection: not much, and even less that looks healthy. There is one other nursery here in town that I will likely go check later this week.

Okay, here is where I embarass myself with photo confessions of just how neglectful we've been.

Front and center of my house. It's an 80's ranch style. See my dead grass?

Left angle: there are overgrown shrubs flanking the front porch (read: 8x3 concrete slab).

Here is a right angle showing the right-hand corners of the house.

Here is a close up of the overgrown shrubs, or in this case, the absence of one. It was dead when we moved in but we never removed it.

Here is another shot of my gangly rose bush I posted about a couple of weeks ago. This shot was taken then, so it does look slightly less dead now that I've been fertilizing it, but I've learned it's too late to prune it for this summer, so there it sits in all its leggy glory.

Go ahead - you can feel sorry for my yard. I do too. Too bad I didn't take an interest until now.

So my questions for you, oh wise garden gurus: what would you recommend for a fast, inexpensive make-over? Fast because we will likely be putting this house on the market in the next month or so, and inexpensive because we only want to invest as much time and money as necessary to add curb appeal. I don't want to labor or dump a lot of money into something I won't be able to enjoy myself. I'll save that for landscaping my new home!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fertilizer Friday

Happy Fertilizer Friday everyone! Be sure you drop by Tootsie's blog to admire everyone's well-fed gardens today!!

Okay, last week was my first, and I am a believer!! My veggies LOVED their food so much! By mid-week I could already tell a difference. Wow, wow, WOW! I found that Friday couldn't get here soon enough this week so I could treat my babies to another round of Miracle Gro.

My yellow squash has just about doubled in size over the past week or so! Even the one that had been eaten up is doing so well!

For comparison's sake, this was the squash one week ago! Can you say WOW?

My zukes look hardy and healthy! I see a bloom or two starting to come up - I don't know if it's really ready, but I guess we'll find out.

Again, zukes one week ago. [big grin]

My hanging bell pepper really had a good week. It's suddenly got so many new leaves and a small handful of tiny peppers starting. Should I pinch these off too and wait for the next round? The bell peppers in the tub also have new growth, but not as much as the hanging pepper.

My only real disappointment for the week is my tomatoes. The one bloom I had last week never opened up and seems to be turning brown now. And not another bloom in sight. Phooey!

And another beautiful rose! Now that I'm paying so much attention to this poor rose bush, it's all I can do to ignore how badly it needs pruning!

My impatiens sure got leggy this week. I need to read to find out if
that's one I should prune to help it keep its shape.

That's all for this week. I can't wait to see what another week will yield! I'm heading over to Tootsie's place to check out everyone else's gardens!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peeling Bark

I have two crape myrtles, one at each of the west corners of my house. One is really good sized, and the other is rather diminutive. The smaller always blooms a good month ahead of the larger but both are just gorgeous in full bloom.

I was taking a walk through my yard, as I do now some days to take note of growth and conditions of the various things growing in it, when I noticed something about my larger crape myrtle. What do you make of this?

I have never noticed this in the three years we've lived here, but it's entirely possible I just never paid any attention to it in the past. Do any of you know - is this peeling bark normal for a crape myrtle? Or, is this the sign of a sick tree?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Impatient for impatiens...

About three weeks ago I planted impatiens from seed (see this post) in a large clay pot on my front porch. I had been so thrilled to find seedlings had popped up just days later. Well, those 11 or 12 seedlings turned into 24 or 25. Yes, in case you're wondering, I planted the whole packet of seeds in that pot. I plead ignorance, but in my defense, I didn't expect so many to come up anyway. And, when they did, my plan was to weed out the weakest and smallest so that the the healthiest would have plenty of room to grow.

Well, less than two weeks after my planting, suddenly one morning as I was watering I discovered that something had come along and eaten 80% of my seedlings. This literally happened overnight. I was perturbed and baffled because I couldn't see any obvious offenders. I sprayed and hoped for the sparing of the remaining seedlings.

As of yesterday, I felt sure the bugger who'd been munching hadn't been back, but it also appeared that what meager seedlings were left would not survive the shock of the massacre. They were wilting and starting to shrivel. Maybe I could have continued to nurse them along, but I confess that I am just not patient enough for my impatiens.

So, yesterday being my go-to-town day, I stopped and made a little purchase, and now, in the former resting place of my once-prolific impatiens, you'll now find these:

Welcome, little Red Wax and Olympia White Begonias!!

- it is the end of the planting season here in Texas. Selection is limited, especially in the partial shade varieties, which of course Begonias are. I got these for half-price, and if they make it,
YAY, and if they don't, I won't be shocked. I also recycled the potting soil, so if something in the soil is what killed my impatiens, these may suffer the same fate. I guess then I'd know for sure, wouldn't I?