Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yard Thoughts


I was just about to relocate the yarrow because they did so bad in this bed last year but I am surprised at all the new growth. They're even growing out of the bed as well.

Ants in Banana Plant

Ants have become a big problem recently. Two fire ant mounds have cropped up. One along the driveway and one in the backyard by the cement patio. There's a lot of concern when it comes to the dogs, especially the minpins, going out into the backyard. It makes it much more difficult for us to apply the poison (the bait that they feed to the queen to kill her and thus the colony too. It takes patience.).

Not only that but other kinds of ants have cropped up as well. I've seen lots of brown ants and tiny ants. I can't say I'm surprised. This winter was very mild so I suppose more ants are pushing through the area. This means I'll have to actually keep my eyes open when I'm dealing with pots as well. Lots of smaller pots have become homes for those tiny black ants.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mini Tomato Grow Kit

Ahhh, I'm a sucker for plant kits.

Mini Tomato Grow Kit

The seed packet says "Tiny Tim". I looked it up on the 'net and it doesn't seem to be very popular.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Opuntia Pusilla - Dune Prickly Pear

Dune Prickly Pear - I have had this cactus for longer than I've had Ms. Jade. I got it in the summer of 1995 and I happen to recall that because that was the summer my nephews and niece came down and we did a lot of traveling.

Opuntia Pusilla - Prickly Pear

I know, I know. They're in terrible condition. They're a very ugly plant to have. The only reason I have kept them all this time is because I always find it terribly neat to see them blooming in spring with yellow flowers.

Unfortunately, I missed it this spring. I honestly think they bloomed in January during that long warmspell in order to have fruit that already dropped at this time.

Opuntia Prusilla fruit

Here's a picture of the two fruits I gathered. The fruits are also protected by some spines/burrs.

Opuntia Prusilla fruit

I cut open the fruit to try to reveal the seeds inside. You can kinda see them.

I'm personally thinking of ditching the plant I have now and restarting with a fresh pad so that I can deal with a smaller plant instead of a large pot that makes it hard to clean leaves and pine needles.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moving stuff about...

I looked inside my greenhouse and decided to take all the elephant ears out and relocated them to a part of the backyard where I went ahead and watered them all. I figured it was time to get them out and let them grow a bit.

Hyacinth Bean Vine

I noticed behind the heater in the greenhouse were the two hyacinth bean vines growing. I practically forgot about them. The two rows of peat pots behind the vines have the green bell pepper seeds. I was told it would be hard to grow them but I intend to prove them wrong (not really!).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hibiscus Bed

Hibiscus Bed

These were the hibiscus that I talked about in my previous entry. They tend to grow very big with lots of blooms - that is before the sawflies discovered them.

I'm glad it was cool today. I removed the old mulch and laid down newspapers in order to suffocate weeds from coming back. I also read that it attracts worms when the newspaper breaks down. True or not, beats me. I finally applied fresh mulch over the newspaper.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gardening Plans.

Quite a bit has been done this year so far. I've been itching to plant various seeds that's been building up on the windowsill in the kitchen. So far there are some bell pepper, pear, grapefruit, pumpkin, and some type of squash. I don't know how many will grow this year as they've been on the windowsill for a long time. For example, the pumpkin seeds have been there since at least halloween as I saved them before I cooked the rest of the seeds.

So far, the lilies and roses have been relocated to new beds. The other bed they were in was always in shade and they weren't getting enough water. They're now back in a sunny area and I'm hoping they'll do extremely well this year.

What I'm really concerned about are the hardy hibiscus. The first few years, they've grown very huge and had lots of blooms. Over the past few years, sawflies discovered them and last year was -really- bad. These little caterpillar-like larva ate every single leaf till they were just lacy. There was a huge cloud of sawflies over the hibiscus as well. The hibiscus died down to the ground and had enough energy to shoot out again.

All kinds of things were done to try to stop them. Finally, as a last resort, The sevin spray was purchased and it's done excellent. The problem is, there is so much concern about the dogs that a big fence has to be set up around the three hibiscus that are planted in the ground. I'm hoping to beat the sawflies this year by spraying as soon as the hibiscus in the ground starts coming up.

I have two hardy hibiscus growing in pots. The three hibiscus growing in the ground is Red, White, and Pink. I took the seeds from one hibiscus and out of all the seeds, a couple grew and only two survived. What surprised me is that when they bloomed, they were different flower colors. I can't recall right now but I think one was pink and the other was red. Sadly, I can't even remember what plant I took the seeds from.

The secret with Hibiscus seeds is to plant them as soon as the pod pops open because the seeds don't stay viable for very long.

I feel bad for this English Ivy. This has to be the most -neglected- plant I have. It's been hanging from a shepherd's hook in the same spot of the yard for years now. Not only has the wire that holds up the pot has rusted but some sort of green algae has grown around the outside of the pot. Every year I just look at it and ignore it. Lots of the dirt is missing and now it seems that it may not be hanging on much longer. I'm gonna go repot this thing... soon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Blog

I decided to start a new blog and make it so that my old blog will just be entries about the jade plants. You can view my blog here about the jade plants. The first three entries are about the other plants before I settled in talking about jade plants.