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Garden Update: March 2018

Carlie and I are still learning the ropes of gardening and keeping plants alive. It seems that we either
over water, underwater, use the wrong soil, or a combination of all of those problems. Last year we planted several vegetables in the backyard. We would consider the okra to be a success but everything else struggled. Planting late in the season was part of our problem as well. This year we are trying things a little differently.

Vegetables and Flowers

We decided to try planting seeds at the end of February. Carlie and I started jalapenos, poblano peppers, Roma tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash, basil, mint, and lavender which have now sprouted and are putting on additional leaves. We also “planted” hybrid tomato seeds but I think we both forgot to put the actual seeds in the dirt (each of us thinking the other had done it)… so we have now put new seeds in the dirt and hopefully, they sprout soon. The mint is slow growing and we only have 2 or 3 tiny little sprouts.

We have one 4’x8’ plot in our backyard that we made last year. Last week, I shoveled most of the mulch away and started tilling up the soil and started to dig deeper this year. I am finding a lot of clay in the soil so that could be a factor in our growth. I have a bag of garden soil and some finely chopped mulch that I am going to till into the ground to help with moisture control and keep the ground from compacting so much.

We also have a flower bed that runs down the front of our house. Carlie and I tilled up the soil and
pulled the root balls from last year. We bought a package of wildflower seeds and a package of snapdragon seeds both of which we scattered throughout the bed. We also planted some Irish moss at one corner and in the other corner we planted this carpet like succulent called sedum. Not sure what variety. We wanted something that was hardy and would do well at the corner of our house where it gets the most sun. It is supposed to be a ground cover type plant so hopefully, it spreads out and looks really nice in the flower bed.

Succulents and Potted Plants

Indoors we have a growing collection of succulents and potted plants. This weekend we went to the
store and picked up two new succulents that we really liked, a low-light hanging vine plant, a new
hydrangea (ours died from last year), and a few new pots. Carlie is trying her hand at propagating the succulents we already own so we need the pots for the succulents.

We aren’t the best potted-plant gardeners and we struggle to keep the potted ones alive. The succulents are doing well but the flowers are rough. Earlier this year we bought hyacinths and they grew fast and bloomed and looked amazing but after a week of blooming, the flowers turned brown and died. We think the pots weren’t draining correctly because they had suctioned to the ground so the bottom soil wasn’t receiving any oxygen and was staying very wet. We have an alstroemeria growing in a pot but it is barely an inch tall and hasn’t grown much past that. Our hydrangea from last year died and we cut it back to the top of the soil but it hasn’t grown back. We don’t know what to do with it.

Tips? Advice?

We are relatively new to gardening. We both find joy and satisfaction when our plants are doing well
but we have no idea what to do different or better. Half the time, we think we are over watering, half
the time the plants are looking droopy and withered. So with that being said, if you have any advice or recommendations, we are open to suggestions!

Help us make our house green and awesome!