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Garden Diary: March 16, 2016

As you can see, the outside bed has gotten larger, and this is about as far as I'm going with it. It looks scroungy right now, but once things start growing and blooming, it will be beautiful. I'll put in my three sweet potato slips
to act as ground cover, and top the leaves off with moss, so it will look better once all that gets going. I'm going to have to rake out all the leaves so I can see where to plant things. I uncovered some stuff today that I had forgotten I planted. Next time, I'll put sticks in to mark them before I cover them up.

I'm whittling down the pile of plants that need planting little by little. I finally got the Papaya planted  in a  great place against the outside wall where it will get plenty of sunshine, and may even survive the winter. It had some Little Ruby alternanthera growing in its pot, so I just left that around it as a ground cover. It looks a little scraggly, after spending a few months in a 2-gallon pot, but it will be fine once its roots get to spread out. I'll let it settle in for a day or two, then start the liquid fertiizer to get it going and trim off the bottom leaves. I really am going to have to push it if I'm going to get ripe fruit this year.

 The Pigeon Pea is blooming like mad. I'm torn as to whether I should prune it or just let it go. I'd like it to be more tree-like and fuller at the top, so I guess I'll have to do something at some point. I know it grows really fast once it's in the ground, so it won't take it long to grow back out.

Put out one of the Japanese Giant coleuses, and found another that was a cutting I had just stuck into the ground that survived the winter unscathed. It's tiny, but if it grows as fast as I think it will, it will be a huge shrub soon. Also put out a couple of Everglades tomatoes. I have so many of these, there is absolutely no reason not to put some out there to share. Also, the double purple daturas had started putting out leaves, so I planted them in there. I have another in a pot that is actually BLOOMING, but don't have a clue where I'll put that. I moved the vincas, because the lantana always grows over them, so I put them where they can be seen better.

I've decided to take out the lantana. I want to plant my yellow dwarf poinciana (Caesalpinia mexicana) where it is, so it will get enough sun. I don't know if I'll keep it. If I do, I'll likely put it up in the corner where the two privacy fences meet. I have an 8' board that I can use to block that section off, then I will just let it grow to its heart's content. Not sure if I'll really do that. I may just toss it, after all, lantanas are a dime-a-dozen around here, even if this one is a pretty pink. They're just so hard to control, putting out seedlings all over the place, so I'll likely just toss it. I could use that corner for much better things.

Speaking of  the dwarf poinciana, I have two, so I may put one in the brug bed as well as a nitrogen fixer. I think it would be pretty there with the brugs growing up around and through it. This is what the brug bed looks like right now.

There is a second layer of elm leaves under these that have killed all the weeds. I just have to dig it out, layer the leaves into the holes and plant it now. Lots of work, but well worth it when those brugs grow and bloom. I'm also going to plant the other ornamental sweet potato in that bed, along with some amaryllis and ferns. It's sort of a large space, so the brugs and poinciana won't be enough to fill it up. Might as well put some understory plants in.

That's it for now. I'm not sure there will be space in the garden for all my plants, but I'm going to do my best to stick them all in there. I have way too many coleus -- or can you have too many coleus?

Anyway, more later. Happy Gardening!


Cody Z. said...

I enjoyed the post. The only reason I like lantanas is that they constantly attract butterflies. Some of the ones I have are ratty and group out instead of up though.

Do you elm leaves stay in your garden or does the wind blow them out? I'm having a hard time with my maple leaves blowing everywhere. I have a lot better lunch with pine straw.

Simply Deb said...

Thanks, Cody. The more you prune lantana, the bushier they get. I have to prune this one about 3 times a year, which is way too much.

My elm leaves stay a lot better than my Chinquapin oak leaves do. They are so large, they pick up the wind and go everywhere. The live oak leaves are much better. I'd love to get some pine straw, but we have so many squirrels, ours is always littered with dozens of pine cones. Just too much of a pain to try to remove them all. Still, it's my preferred mulch, so I may try anyway.