Gardening 2012: April Update

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So, last we heard, I had only sketched up my plan for my garden this year.  Now, I actually have the plants.  I purchased a bunch of new ceramic pots for my plants, along with dirt and fertilizers.  I actually took a ruler along to make sure the pots I got were deep enough.  Surprisingly, the pots that I reached for first were all too small.  That could have been a contributing factor to my previous failures.  I also switched to all ceramic, as my experience with plastic pots has been bad.  The plastic gets destroyed by my climate, and they always seem to have a “water saving tray” which ends up just a home for spiders and filth, as well as a great place for root rot.

I tried to avoid terra cotta as much as I could.  I have a touch sensitivity that makes it uncomfortable to touch things like chalkboards (ironic since I have to teach at a chalkboard), slate tiles, and certain other rock like surfaces that are both smooth and rough at the same time.  It’s not debilitating, it’s just uncomfortable, and I can force myself to work through it.  Terra cotta triggers this as well.  So, when I can, I try to get glazed pots.  But I can’t deny that terra cotta is not only effective, but it’s also a very cheap option, which glazed pots are not.  (With soil and fertilizers, everything came out to almost $300.  I justify it by saying I won’t need to buy new soil or fertilizers for a few years.)
7106206761_e07df12502_oThe plants were acquired the same day at my local farmer’s market.  I didn’t ask if the plants were organic (remember, I value local over organic.)  I’m also actually avoiding heirloom plants right now.  Heirlooms are great, and I believe they should be preserved, but I’ve also heard that they’re finicky for newbie growers, and not very many varieties are great for containers.  While I was at it, I also re-potted all my indoor plants, as they had been in cramped plastic containers for some time.

These pictures were taken just after everything had been planted.  Unfortunately, we’ve had strong storms lately, so the poor things have gotten rather beaten.  One of the tomatoes is barely hanging on, and the herbs are turning yellow.  I’m not sure if it’s wind damage right, over/under watering, or just too much sun.  The temperatures have been mostly mild, though it’s been cool the past couple days, which has caused some concern, since most of the plants are heat loving.
7106207995_d2f9a12de2_oAll I can do right now is keep watering, maybe a little pruning, maybe a little fertilizing.  If they get a little too hot out front, I can move them to the back.  They won’t be as pretty, and the birds tend to attack them more in the back, so I’ll have to put up netting.  I’m hoping not to have to do that, but we’ll have to just wait and see.

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