CHALLENGE ACCEPTED (aka CAN I BRING FREE PLANTS BACK TO LIFE?)

After returning from about a week away from the garden, I looked around last week and noticed two things:

  1. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the garden is looking this year. I tend to think my garden is always in shambles, but a bit of time away made my heart grow a little fonder for my little piece of dirt.
  2. There are a lot of holes in my garden this year.
Blame it on the weather or blame it on the gardener, but a lot of things are not working out as I had planned this year. Last year, the garden was happily overrun by zinnias, all direct sown. 

This year, some of the zinnias I started in trays in hopes of earlier blooms are hanging in (although nowhere near blooming) and it appears that absolutely none of the seeds I planted even germinated. I'm so disappointed about that.

On Saturday I stopped by a nearby nursery and hit up the sale benches to buy some annuals to stick in the holes. I would have bought some perennials too, but the selection was really picked over. I felt like I bought a lot (16 plants), but they barely scratched the surface. Then Monday, I swung by the local hardware store that had a bench of really shabby looking annuals on a bench in front with sign that nearly glowed (in my gardener's eyes, at least).

FREE PLANTS.

Rescuing free plants

 Of course I didn't want to be greedy, so I took a tray of 4-inch annuals, mostly ostospermums, a pathetic calibrachoa and a little lantana.

Rescuing free plants

Rescuing free plants

I have no idea if I can bring them back to any kind of vigor. I started by giving them all a really good soak in some Moo Poo tea, and once they have a chance to get rehydrated, I'll probably cut them back, plant them, baby them a little and see what they can do.

It actually feels a little like a personal mission now, to bring these plants back to what they should have been. I'll keep you posted on their progress.


6 comments :

  1. I'm betting you can do it! I admire your restraint in not bringing them all home. : )

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  2. what exactly is Moo Poo tea??

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    1. Oh shoot, I meant to put a link in there! I'm sort of addicted to the stuff. Basically it's composted manure tea that is very easy to make because you just drop a "tea bag" of dried manure in a five-gallon bucket. I pretty much have a batch brewing all the time now and I feel like I've seen really good results from it. Anyway, here's the link: http://www.manuretea.com/tag/moo-poo-tea/

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    2. After our miserable winter and going on garden tours in person and online, I am buying lots of plants and moving things around. We also finally made some decisions about an unfinished area and one that is aging and needs help. Found a few plant deals but nothing free! I bet they will respond fine to your care. Most folks are too nervous to buy a plant that's been sitting around.

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  3. If anyone can do it, you can. I' sure with a shot of moo poo, a haircut and some TLC, you'll have blooms within a week or two. Just in time to take the garden into the colourless period of August (I never seem to have colour in the garden then).

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  4. Congratulations on your end-of-summer deals! I hope they fill in your bare spots. I can totally commiserate -- I have gaping holes in some of my borders -- very dispiriting. Next year I'll know what to do!

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