Six on Saturday

Thanks to The Propagator, who summons all who love gardens to share Six each Saturday.

1. Fertilizer. I admit that I have a tendency to neglect my plants’ needs for fertilizer. Particularly the vegetables, which I have been made to understand are “heavy feeders.” It’s not that I don’t have organic fertilizer. It’s just that I tend to become overwhelmed by navigating the different feeding requirements of different plants at different points in their growth process, and paralysis follows. A recent distribution of fertilizer around all of my perennials and shrubs was followed by a panicked discovery that several of my native shrubs may have been stressed and their lives shortened (!) by my misguided ministrations. Self-castegation, guilt, and further paralysis ensued.

2. Raspberry trellis. In a fit of activity, some of the pressure treated posts uprooted from the back area, where they were supporting a rotting fence, were de-nailed and moved to the front to form the basis of raspberry/blackberry trellises. Holes were excavated and the posts situated. And that’s where the activity ceased. And has not been resumed, partly because I suspect that I may have to redo the post holes with cement if they are to support the weight of the (hopefully eventually) growing vines. I have also weighed the virtue of their “weathered” appearance vs. the potential advantages of cleaning them up further and adding a coat of paint. A decision has yet to be reached.

3. Melianthus major scare. Several larger leaves were flaccid, their beautiful blue color giving way to a sickly, jaundiced yellow. Panic stricken, I hosed it down, then read a series of articles purporting to educate me in the art of distinguishing between The Underwatered and The Overwatered plant, as well as those providing background on Melianthus major’s growing conditions in the wild (by streams and ditches). Thoroughly confused, I checked back in an hour to find my beloved plant seemingly restored. Tentative conclusion: Underwatered.

4. Cistus x aguilarii “Maculatus.”

5. Penstemon pinifolius.

6. Blooming.

14 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. You are lucky to have recovered your melianthus major. Here, I think that mine has completely burned out this winter ,even though I thought it would start again. Temperatures are still low and late so maybe it will restart soon. Fingers crossed…

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  2. Ah, the joys of gardening! I’m not very good at feeding my shrubs, although I do scatter chicken manure pellets around the borders in spring and I’m getting good at feeding the roses on a fairly regular basis. Why don’t I have a cistus? I love the crêpe paper like petals.

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  3. Such a pretty cistus, unfortunately I don’t think they would like my claggy clay soil. You could try a green manure as a stress-free solution to fertilizing the veg area, I tried it last autumn and it was easy peasy, and I just added some garden compost and chicken manure for an extra boost. Phew re the Melianthus, well done for saving it.

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      • Yes, I just sowed seed directly in place over winter and then dug it in sometime in early spring. I used Phacelia, but am sure Alfalfa would work well. As a bonus, I have seedlings of Phacelia popping up and soon to flower, they attract pollinators to the veg bed, so it makes a nice wholistic circle. Will feature it soon when in flower.

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  4. In the growing season THE best fertilizer I’ve ever seen is G&B Organics High Growth. It’s 4-0-2, and within days my green beans go from stunted yellowed green to huge deep green! Only for the growing season though, never once the flowers are forming. I call it “weed feed,” because that’s what a lot of people buy it for! (I used to work at a local farm store.) It’s brown and sticky and smelly and some dogs love it! I don’t fertilize as often as I should.

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  5. I wouldn’t worry too much about fertiliser personally. You’re growing a lot of natives, which will sort themselves out as they grow in your soil naturally anyway. Just some general purpose fertiliser on the vegetables should do it (in my humble opinion)!

    Some beautiful blooms on show – I love the veining on the Oenothera speciosa. I only know Oenothera biennia (Evening Primrose), so it’s nice to see another member of the family!

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