When Writing Takes a Backseat to Gardening

Spider mites have tried to infest my new tía tô (purple mint) plants. A little research shows that Neem Oil is the best way to fend them off. Therefore I used the same bottle of two tablespoons of concentrated Neem Oil to a pitcher full of water (that’s some super strong, smelly stuff) to spray my plants down. Previous attempts with Neem Oil involved Canola Oil and dish soap as per another website’s recommendation. After a little wilting from some of my other mint, I don’t suggest trying that at all.

My Purple Shamrocks (or as someone would call them, “dead butterflies”) have survived the overnight rain storm. They’re happy little LIVING butterflies in the middle of a vacant garden bed closest to my window. I moved my six Texas Blue Bonnet plants from the furthest bed to the vacant bed. They were root bound because I was an idiot that hadn’t taken the cardboard pot lining off prior to planting. I presumed when I first put them down that the roots on the outside would expand. Well, guess not, shows what I know, ugh. I ripped them off as gently as I could to give the root bundles inside each room to stretch out in the potting soil I buried them with. Five of the six have healthy green stems, however, the sixth only has healthy roots – it withered sometime back (read: weeks) and apparently is still alive. Pretty impressed. I hope it makes a complete turn around.

I moved the 10:15 onions that still haven’t bulbed yet to the other bed with the rest of the vegetables. There were some Fire Ant shenanigans that ended up with some Spectracide granules after they came out in the zillions. Okay, maybe a zillion and one. I hope to have those ants terminated before the weather warms up and I want to do anymore gardening. Last year they were monsters hiding under the luscious grass near my raised beds. Sandals and gardening do not mix when dealing with areas prone to Black Widow and Fire Ant infestations.

My Gerbera Daisy is still alive somehow despite numerous aphid infestations on the flowers. Thanks, Fire Ants. Oh, and don’t think I didn’t see you too Crazy Hairy Ant. As for the Gerbera Daisy, the stems themselves are too fuzzy for ants to attach unhatched aphid eggs to it. The winter frost seems to have self-pruned the plant (read: withered) it again. Last year this happened and when I left it alone, the plant returned in the Spring, therefore I’m not going to touch it in hopes it’ll come back. Resilience!

My sister provided me with some Landini Lily bulbs (8) that I put into a barrel pot from Lowes (bought on my birthday a few weeks ago) with six Crystal Palace Blue Lobelia planted on top of them. With a little luck, the bulbs will sprout between the Lobelia plants and make for a very interesting black and blue pot later this year.

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