At the end of April, I published “Growing a Garden Post.” There I showed several plantings and planned to update the post as things grew. Now that fall is nearing, I thought I’d give an update on my plantings by posting 5 lessons I have learned.
I probably should preface this by saying I wasn’t the best with regular watering or fertilizing. As a bit of an excuse, we were gone in our travel trailer 25 nights from the time everything was planted (end of April) until now.
1. Pruning is a Priority.
The Superbells did not do so super. Once in a Master Gardener class, our instructor said you had to cut back petunias; otherwise, they would grow spindly. Our instructor was right. While Superbells are a different species than petunias, in this way, they are the same. I only pruned them once. You can see what happened. Next year, I plan to plant petunias, and as painful as it is when they are just getting started, I will follow through with the pruning protocol. Promise.
2. Don’t take on too much.
I planted basil, lemon thyme and spearmint. I had big plans to harvest the basil, make spearmint oil to use as a mouse repellent in the camper, and research something to do with the lemon thyme. It was too much. I believe the basil is so yellow because of all the rain we’ve had, and I don’t plan to harvest it. I have cancelled my plans for the spearmint and lemon thyme because they did not cooperate with me.
3. Go with the Flow.
I moved this pot of Flamethrower and Coleus to our front steps, so they’d get rain while we were traveling. The leaves have lost a bit of their vibrancy; otherwise though, I am pretty happy with the result.
4. Planters Must Have Drainage Holes.
I plant petunias every year in the pots in front of our home. As I mentioned, we have had a lot of rain this year. One of the mysteries of the universe, to me, is why in the heck do they sell planters without drainage holes in the bottom? When I originally got these pots several years back, I did put drainage holes in one of them. It occurred to me to do this after one of the pots had already been filled with dirt, and I didn’t bother to go back and redo it. In years past, the effect hasn’t been too bad, as I would tilt the pot and dump out any excess water. But this year with all the rain and us being gone…. well, you can see the result. So, my lesson for next year is I must get holes drilled in or buy new pots with holes. I plan to end this misery very soon by replacing these flowers with some colorful fall chrysanthemums.
5. Fake it until you Make it.
While I am partial to the splendor that nature provides, sometimes you just can’t beat a good silk flower.