Sometime’s I find it hard to be inside my own head, and the things around me get neglected – the housework, the cooking, the garden. The funny thing is nothing heals me quite like getting back into my garden. It’s truely therapy to soothe my heart.
Two weeks ago my yard was looking pretty ordinary. The heat had made my flowers suffer, the petunias had become long and straggly, covered in holes from pests. The zinnias were shrivelling, the calendula was covered in dead flowerheads, the watermelon had blossom rot and everything looked how I felt.
Stragly petunias and calendula, watermelon has taken over!
First in order was to clear away dead foliage. I cut the petunias right back to only a few leaves. If they recover that would be fantastic, if not I got a lot of smiles out of them while they were happy. I cut of the dead calendula heads to the base and plucked of the sick leaves. I pulled out anything that didnt look like it would recover. I raked through the leaves and mulch and took out any of the fat, grubby, grey caterpillars that were eating everything.
Cleaned up – but still overrun by watermelon!
On inspecting the watermelon that had taken over the yard I notices it had blossom rot. This is charectarised by flowers not developing in to fruit, turning brown and falling off. Small fruit will turn black ans shrivel. You will also notice the leaves may become pale or yellow. Blossom rot is most commonly caused by a lack of calcium. This was also happening to my other plants – tomato, capsicum, zucchini. So I fertilised with some liquid dolomite. This gives the soil a good dose of magnesium and calcium, but shouldn’t be used frequently, perhaps once a year or so. It’s important once applied to give the garden a hand water to wash the dolomite off the leaves and to make sure the dolomite reaches the soil through the thick mulch I’ve laid.
A few days later the garden and the lawn both get a soaking of seasol to perk them up.
The garden is sparse since I cleared it out so it’ts time to plug some fillers in. I bought a punnet of salvia, of snap dragons, of lobelia and of cockscomb. this will hopefully bring some colour to break up the green watermelon leaves taking over the garden. Plus they should be sweet enough to bring some bees and butterflies in to the yard. The new plants to care for will encourage me back in to a routine of feeding the garden every fortnight.
Lastly, a wonderful friend recommended crushed eggshells in the garden bed to keep up the calcium levels, so my stockpile of egg shels i crushed in my hands and spread around. Keep your fingers crossed for me!