Gardening July 2018

From Mélie’s Garden

Last month I wrote about the merits of container gardening. After being on my hands and knees planting my vegetable garden and battling various pests that seem to have attacked all that I put in, I am especially enthusiastic now about the practice! My sweet peas were immediately eaten by birds, which I solved by planting another batch in a large flowerpot. They are now growing well and proving that plants don’t need to be in the ground to be happy. The pumpkins and other squash seeds were eaten, I suspect by the three pheasants that hang out around our property.  I have started some new seedlings inside in peat pots and I will put them out this time under a “Haxnicks Easy Tunnel Cover” to protect them from our neighborhood scoundrels. All these issues probably could have been easily solved in nice elevated planters!

Click any image to see a larger version.

Jen Sanger has had success planting in raised beds. This year she first planted around Memorial Day. Left to right- 2 Zucchini, 2 tomatoes, basil, parsley and rosemary in front, marigolds (supposedly) to keep the bugs away, dahlia, zinnias, cleome, salvia, oriental lilies and chocolate cosmos. As Jen said, “All crammed in there, but they are happy growing together.”

One of the best Fishers Island recycling stories I heard recently; is that most of the nine large wooden boxes, used to transport the pipes for the new St. John’s Church organ, were collected at the dump by Islanders. They are now being used for a variety of planters. It will be fun to see what creative ideas the gardeners come up with to plant in these discarded containers. Gardner’s Supply Company has a number of large elevated planters that you can order if you missed out on this free opportunity.

No matter what type of garden you have, there are a number of July chores that should be remembered in order to keep it productive and healthy throughout the summer.

Mid Summer Chores

  • Water, water, water – plants need a minimum of one inch of water per week.
  • Feed plants in containers once or twice a month with fish emulsion.
  • Deadhead flowers, so they will bloom again and cut back any leggie foliage.
  • Spray roses if they have black spot with 2-3 Tbs. Baking Soda and 2Tbs. of dishwashing soap mixed with a gallon of water.
  • Continue to plant vegetable seeds for the fall.

Cut flowers in the early morning or evening and soak them for a few hours before arranging. Adding Sprite to the water in the vase will feed the flowers and keep them fresh.

Once these summer chores are done, relax in the shade and enjoy reading English novelist, Penelope Lively’s wonderful new book “Life In the Garden”, it is delightful!

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IN MEMORIAM: Mario Mannetti

He enjoyed being outside, talking with his neighbors and was especially good with children and always could make them laugh.