First let me say that it was 90 degrees in the shade on my front porch today and I know my outdoor days are numbered. If this is spring, I really dread summer....
In honor of the first day in Spring, I'd like to show you some photos of my container gardening progress, and the reason why I have not been blogging very much:
Sitting on my back porch are planters containing Leaf lettuce, except upper right container has Kohlrabi.
Hanging basket on back porch containing Salad blend lettuce leaves
Another hanging basket on back porch with assorted lettuce leaves
Sunflowers in Styrofoam cups (below) and more leaf lettuce as well as some sprouting tomato seeds.
Plants in both large containers to the very left are lilacs that are getting established and starting to produce some blossoms.
Leaf lettuce in all pots, except Kohlrabi in the pot on the left.
Container in back has a star jasmine plant that is doing well on the trellis.
I have started to plant some of the sunflowers in the soil between my heirloom roses (see l and r.) I had to find a way for the small seedlings to not get trampled by the stray cat traffic.
I placed some small plastic cages around each sunflower and then surrounded it with pine cones that I collected from the nearby woods to deter cat paws from crushing the plants. I hope it will work because these sunflowers are the mammoth variety and will grow very big. They should look striking towering over the rose bushes growing along side the brick wall of the building that gets all day sun. I have smaller sunflower seeds that I still want to sow later....maybe for in between.
More leaf lettuce in hanging containers on my front porch.
Leaf lettuce doing well.
More leaf lettuce in containers and more sunflower plants that I need to stick in the ground. I will continue to move the lettuce in the standing containers inside at night, because of the stray cats and armadillos, etc.
Front yard with Violets and pink budding Azaleas
Lettuce doing well - maybe I can have salad soon
My herbs on the window ledge out front: Dill weed in front, behind that the Parsley that took the longest to sprout (I almost gave up on it) behind that is Chives and the last pot has sweet Basil. I have some more herb seeds coming in the mail that I will plant as soon as they arrive. I love fresh herbs!
I have to figure out a way to anchor these pots and my window planter boxes so that the cats won't knock them down when they jump up on the ledge...that's the problem with stray cats - they know who feeds them and they come around too much. I love cats, but they have a tendency to get lazy and hang around just waiting for meal times.
This is my first time container gardening since living here in these apartments and after adding up the money I spent on potting soil thus far, containers, seeds, fertilizer and the back breaking work due to having to drag some of the pots inside every night and back out in the morning, I may reconsider and not do this again next spring. I know if my crops of lettuce, tomatoes and Kohlrabi make it to full term, they will be delicious and nutritious, but oh, my, oh, me...I'm not as young and strong as I used to be ;-) But, I will see it through this time as I am having fun watching my seeds sprout and the plants grow. I also sowed snapdragon and bachelor button seeds - and I still have Marigolds and Forget-me-Nots to sow, but I'm beginning to wonder: "Where am I going to put them all?" I'm waiting for some window planter boxes I ordered from Amazon.com, but after that, I'll make due with what I have.
I also have to remember to move all my edibles inside when the Astro Exterminating Services drive by with their pesticides, plus the city sends a vehicle through here periodically (unannounced) usually at night during the summer to spray outside for mosquitoes because we had so many last year...that will be difficult to predict and I'd best have some sheets for cover up on stand by when/if I hear the vehicle drive through...they always come when it's dark and once you hear them, it's often too late to do anything about it except close your windows and doors.
That's the bad part about living here - they use a lot of chemicals because we have so many mosquitoes. I noticed a lot of dragonflies already and am so happy when I see them. I've seen swarms of gnats so thick that when you fling your arms, you can actually feel them on your hands, so I suspect the dragonflies will be fat and sassy again this year as well.