Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Garden Talk

This month’s “gardening time” was focused on the potted plants; propagated new plants, repotting those that were root-bound, top dressing some, and edge trimming a few.

I created a new hanging begonia from some of that which I am using as ground cover in the east-side garden, and a small pot of English Ivy, that used to grow over a trellis, until hurricane winds took that out, and it now grows along the east side of our spare bedroom windows. Both of those were created from stem cuttings, but now is the time to propagate by stem and leaf cuttings or layering, as well.

We purchased a few new pots for those root bound plants too. As a general rule, I prefer clay pots, as they are very porous, however, I’ll admit to using/buying some plastic pots as well, especially in the larger, harder-to-move (and pricier!) sizes. A good tip is to keep your plants in a pot within a pot, so that any excess water that accumulates in the outside container can be easily drained off. If the container is too large to lift, layer some peat moss or vermiculite between the two pots, as these materials will absorb the excess water, so the roots aren’t resting in it.

And, while I did repot two date palms, two fig trees and a lady palm, we STILL had a few that I simply gave a top dressing. This is a ‘quick fix’ to help keep plants that are outgrowing their pots healthy for a few months, until you can repot them. To top dress, use a fork to loosen the top 1-2 inches of soil. Remove that and discard. Mix some fresh soil with a slow-release fertilizer and add the mix to the pot, to the original soil line. Tamp soil lightly,and water well. As I said, this should give the plant enough nutrients for about two months or so, until you have a chance to repot it properly.

Of course, lawn mowing is in full swing now. If its been dry where you live, remember to water your lawn, but only when the grass blades begin to fold.

Some vegetables for planting in May: lima beans, eggplant, southern peas, sweet potatoes. Annuals for planting: coleus, impatiens, marigolds, ornamental peppers, moss roses, salvia, periwinkles, zinnias.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This and That (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Well, *we* certainly enjoyed our three-day weekend around here, which meant we spent as little time as possible on those household tasks which continue to accumulate, regardless of one's relaxation plans...the pesky little buggers that they are! So, to try and get back in the swing of things, my goal for this week, is to simply get our little cottage habitable once more! My "must do" list for today:

1. make the bed done
2. put dishes away/tidy up kitchen done
3. tidy up living room and dining room; special attention to sideboard (our "hotspot") done
4. dust living room/dining room done
5. sweep floors
6. balance checkbook done
7. clean up bathroom
8. change kitty litter done
9. put away last week's laundry done

That should keep me busy on what looks to be a rainy afternoon. How about you? Be sure to stop by 5 minutes for mom and see what everybody else has to tackle.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I've tried (WFMW)

Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer has asked that we play a little different in this week's Works for Me Wednesday, and has turned our thoughts to what doesn't work for me.

Personally, as much as I'd LIKE it to, cutting coupons just doesn't work for me. I've tried; I peruse through all 32846865 of them that are included in our Sunday paper, but I can never seem to find any for the products that we actually USE. Since "name" brands aren't a big priority with us, and we purchase very little in terms of pre-packaged or prepared foods, there aren't many that are useful for us. And, even if I should come across $1 off the dog food brand we DO buy, then, I enevitably leave the coupon home when I trek to the grocery store.
Which brings me to my next doesn't work for me issue:

Planned weekly/monthly menus. Another fabulous idea in theory, but one that just doesn't play out well in practice, at our house. I've tried; I've planned the meals, purchased the needed ingredients...then, the Mister works late on Wednesday and picked up a pizza on the way home, or it's Thursday, and I'm just not up for making lemon chicken tonight, and want pasta instead! We're more of a stop-at-the-fresh-market-on-your-way-home and get "what's for dinner TONIGHT?" kinda household.

So, there ya have it - two frugal, money-saving opportunities that just Don't work for me...for more non-working dilemmas, be sure to stop by Works for Me Wednesday - maybe you can learn from (or empathize with) the pitfalls of others!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

'Bout time - (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Today's Tuesday, and ya know what that means?! There's an awful lot of tacklin' goin' on at 5 minutes for mom!

My tackle for the week is one that really should have been done before the end of April, but I figure the first week of May is close enough, right?!

I'm gonna plant some (2 doz.) gladiolus bulbs, along with a shakerbag full of wildflower seeds.

Right now, we have some woodland ferns growing along the back fence line. The plan is, to prepare a long, narrow-ish bed in front of those ferns for the wildflowers (I got a fragrant cutting mix, that is supposed to cover up to 1000 sq. feet) and in the southwest corner, I intend to plant the glaidolus. In this area, those should have been in the ground by late April, so cross your fingers for me, that I haven't waited too long! Hopefully, sometime in July I will be able to post my "success".

What are YOU tackling today?!