Happy Memorial Day!

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Memorial Day is usually all about the planting of my vegetable garden–something I do to honor and remember my Dad, who was a World War II veteran. But this year, that garden is still contaminated with pesticides, I fear, so I’ve had to plant flowers.

So here is that look, above.

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And here is my “vegetable” garden, instead. It’s going to have to suffice.

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At work, we plant a vegetable garden as well. It’s a little unusual because there we garden with a woodchuck (aka, a groundhog, or a whistle pig, or whatever you might call them in your part of the country.

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Interestingly enough, usually he/it/they leaves the tomatoes and peppers alone–as well as my herbs that I plant to try to protect all that (and for the pollinators, of course!)

This year, something nibbled one of the tomatoes. I think it was a rabbit. We are too “urban” to have deer, and quite frankly the nibbling was too delicate for a deer.

Whatever it was, it didn’t care for the tomato leaves. It just left them there, and didn’t try any of the others. Whew!

So I end my post with a huge than you to all who served. You are not forgotten.

Herb Planting

Every year I do a container–or containers–of herbs on the stone wall right outside my kitchen. I have herbs growing elsewhere on the property , although this winter was so cold–and without snow cover when it was the coldest–that I lost a lot of things that had been planted for years–thyme, sage and possibly my lemon balm all bit the dust.  At the moment,  the only thing that I see coming up are chives and ornamental oregano.

I even lost 2 standards that I wintered on my sun porch and I may have lost my bay plant that wintered there as well– it’s definitely winter burned or cold burned. We’ll see.

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So I have some “opportunities. ” I was able to find this nice tender lavender standard (lavendula stoechas ‘Anouk’). 

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Then I found these organically grown herbs. I was thrilled about that.

Even though none of this can go outside in my climate for another month (with the exception of the parsley,  which could go out now if I hardened it off) I think I will plant this all together. The mint will make a nice “spiller,” the standard will be my ” thriller,” and the basil, rosemary and parsley will be the “filler” plants .

This is exactly why I got the 5 gallon fabric pots.  This combo will need lots of root space!

Container Gardeners, These Are For Us

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If you are growing plants in containers, have you tried the fabric pots yet?

I tried one for the first time last year and I liked it so well that I bought 5 more this year. They have everything going for them.

First, if space is an issue, they are a breeze to keep and store. This is a 5 gallon pot. It folds down to the size of a large, glossy magazine–just about as high and thick. I  bought a 5 pack of them. They arrived, folded, in an express mail envelope. Try doing that with any other sort of container!

They’re made right here in the United States, in Oklahoma City, to be exact, by a family company that began manufacturing them for trees.

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This is mine from  last year,  planted with a tomato and some herbs.  The tomato grew so well that I eventually pulled out two of the 4 herbs.

This year I am planning to be even more ambitious . I am planning a couple of tomatoes –1 per bag, obviously–& a bag of cucamelons. I will do a bag of just herbs, to give them room of their own. And I have a fig for one, that’s begging for extra room.

So I should have a nice edible garden–if I can get the Spoiler to haul the soil for me. Thanks to Amie, I won’t be moving much.

And I found–& buy–these all on my own. I get no credit or anything else for promoting this product.  In fact,  I know that there are other fabric type bags out there. I buy these because I like supporting an American company.  You can make your own choices.

A Bunch of Sticks?

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The Spoiler and I were out to dinner before Christmas and somehow the topic of these plants came up. Except as usual,  when the Spoiler and I are discussing plants, the conversation sounded sort of like a “who’s on first” routine.

First, he asked me if we could get rid of the bunch of dead sticks.  Having no idea that he was referring to my over-wintering figs,  I said, “yes, of course; where are they?”

Once I explained that his “dead sticks” were really just dormant plants,  he was unmoved.  They are at the entrance to his “man cave” and apparently “manly men,” as well as the occasional clients he sees there when he is working smarter not harder, are offended by over-wintering plants.

So we compromised.  Now that the decorations are down and away,  I can winter them in a back room where no one will have to see them and be offended.

The Spoiler strikes again.  Sigh.

Solve Issues With Indoor Herbs Organically

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Rut-roh. What’s the point of growing your own herbs indoors if they’re going to do this?

And lots of herbs grown indoors are prone to this, not just the sage in my photo. Rosemary is notorious for powdery mildew-_- and this is just about the time when all those cute little rosemary trees and wreaths start appearing everywhere.

Well, they’re no longer cute when they’re covered in this!  And rosemary is definitely finicky about being grown indoors.

So what do you do?  If you want some of this sage for stuffing,  you certainly don’t want to spray it with fungicide–or even dish soap, necessarily.

Never fear, I have just the solution ( literally,  and no pun intended). It does require milk, so if you are not a milk drinker, get yourself one of those small cartons like the kids drink at school.

Mix up a small amount–no more than you need for one treatment  because you can’t save it. You are mixing 50% milk and 50% water.

Spray the plant, then discard whatever solution is left. Don’t try to save it over in the fridge. I have tried.  Your sprayer will be clogged by the time you go to use it again–hence my instructions to try to mix only what you’re going to need.

It’s just that simple.  Milk and water. No poisons, no fungicides,  nothing toxic to you or your family–unless of course you can’t drink milk!