Would you wait three years for a bloom?

Going back to my theme of “this wouldn’t grow in Minnesota” I planted some things in my western Washington garden that I could not get to grow in my Minnesota garden. David Austin roses lover the maritime climate here without any winter protection. Perennial herbs are such a treat. But the star of the day is this Monrovia yucca plant. It’s a first for me. I think I have been waiting three years for this yucca to bloom. Worth the wait, don’t you think?

Heat, heat, heat!

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A couple of days in the high 80’s and my garden (and this gardener) are wilting in the sun!

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Not this bad, but my sugar snap peas are complaining, and the San Marzano tomatoes that are waiting for the space currently occupied by the sugar snap peas are complaining and my tomatoes in Walls of Water have outgrown their protection, which they no longer need. Gardener, get to work!

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Vegetables forever

imageI will always be a vegetable gardener. I still get a thrill from being able to go out into my garden and pick a salad for lunch. I am able to do that about eight months of the year and I would like to up that as I know there are gardeners on the Pacific Northwest who are able to do year round harvesting. Every year is different in some way. This is the first year I have has a good crop of radishes that the slugs did not find. In my hopeful sort of way, I put down a few radish seeds every spring thinking they will be my trap crop to be sacrificed the slugs but not this year.

My big success this so far this year has been sugar snap peas. I planted two varieties, the early Super Sugar Snap that I began harvesting today and the slightly later Cascadia which is blooming now.

My struggle this year is with cucumber seeds/transplants. I started way too early and the first transplants were ok for about three days in the ground, then died. Next I tried direct seeding and that was a bust! Today I went back to indoor lights and heat mat with germinating mix. Seeds are cheap. I hope the third time is a charm.

Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.