Bought seeds for an ornamental lettuce called Prizehead at the farm store. Gosh it’s pretty with colors of green, red and bronze it looks like it might do as edging/defining the borders of the front beds. This lettuce grows fast 45-50 days so it should give me a nice bunch of new lettuce in August if it doesn’t burn up in the heat. I have been pleasantly surprised how well the front beds have worked with the cooler weather plants and keeping them from bolting with slower growth. It looks like I will have some lettuces/greens at the same time tomatoes come on, just by using different beds all around the house. I never considered that there would be different micro- climates in my own yard, based on sun/shade levels and how the beds are protected by walls, fences and other plants. I know that a lot of gardeners adjust growing times by starting some plants early inside the house or in a greenhouse, but I have been learning how to make the outdoors work for me via the micro-climates and it has been a fascinating education. That might be the difference between a green thumb and a black thumb for plants. Green thumbs notice those things that make a happy growth environment and us Black thumbs are all theory and don’t take the time to notice what makes a plant thrive even if the growth is a bit slower. Speaking for myself , I was always about fast growing and production rather than working with the plants and soil. Fast growth is not always equal good growth.
I added a couple new varieties of lavender to the kiddie pool garden. I have four different types of lavender and I think one or two should make a good ground cover for the alley. By growing some of my own lavender I hope to have a renewable plant source for ground cover and making lavender oils. I’m new to using essential oils but so far lavender seems to be an all- around multi-tasker oil that makes other oils more effective. I planted some parsley that I had mistaken for cilantro. I’m getting little better about recognizing plants by sight but this is the second time this year I got a surprise. I like parsley so it is no loss, but I want to add more cilantro to my beds as it shows promise as a filter of heavy metals in water. If you got a late start on your garden this is a great time to hit the stores for cheap plants. I got 40% off on the herbs today and they are well grown and should handle getting harvested a bit after the transplant shock is over. I’m seeing tomato plants turning red and strawberry plants that are almost overflowing the pots at the stores.
I bought only one straw bale for the front beds and the modified drip irrigation system. I’m still learning how much it takes to do my garden projects and usually I underestimate the amounts but once I lay out the straw for the first bed I should have a good idea about the total needed for the other beds. While I could add the straw to my compost pile, I have more than enough already to work/turn over. I have a couple little sprigs of grass growing in the area over the water main and the “mulch” is doing a great job retaining water. It is hard not to get impatient, but I have sort of reconciled that good growth next spring will be the final test of my method. The grass seed I’m using is old but I’m shopping around for a good sun & shade mixture so any new grass growing is exciting. In the alley area, in addition to the lavender I think some clover might work as a ground cover that could tolerate being driven over or parked on for a short time. Plus I can mow clover and nearly anything would be better than the gotheads/puncture vine and cheat grass.
On to the repairs. My Kia had one of the lift tube die so I ordered a replacement from Amazon for $25.00. I never realized how much I counted on that backdoor until I had to do without it. It looks like a fairly simple fix of removing the old lift tube and replacing it with the new one. I ordered cheap little video card from newegg.com for $42.00 that should be here in a couple of days. I hope it will get the old desktop up and running but if not I will need a video card for the new PC build/replacement. The laptop is running much better after some software changes and updates so I can get by with using the laptop until I can get the parts together for the new PC. I hope the video card will work for awhile as a fix because I wanted to buy the distiller for essential oils this month. If the video card works great! If not such is life and you just adapt.