Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garden Update ~ Front

We tore out some monster shrubs last year that were in front of our home.  When deciding what to replace it with, we knew we wanted a ground cover.  I remembered a landscaping show I had watched that talked about using strawberry plants as ground cover in place of ivy or something else.  Since I love strawberries it was a no-brainer.  Last year I planted ten, and then in an effort to kill the snails/slugs that were eating the fruit, I accidentally killed most of them.  :(  Four or five came back (though a couple have since died), and so I purchased three more from farmer's market.  It will be a couple of years before they "cover" the area intended, but until then, they still look awfully nice out there.

June Bearing Strawberry

Also in this "bed" area, I have a few plants called "Mole Fear" which I picked up from local Farmer's Market.  Last year our neighbor had some moles going through their yard.  I thought it wouldn't hurt to try.  These plants have an oil in their roots to keep moles away.  I will say, they must have worked because the moles did not come over into our yard (and there is no fence to prevent them).  That said, it doesn't work on other types of critters, like ground squirrels.  They are supposed to be annuals, but two of the three plants came back this year, and here's one of them, bolting (flowering).

Mole Fear, in bloom

Over to the side, we have three huge planters and in those I have Roma tomato plants.  They have been flowering for about a week now and I just noticed our first Roma tomato growing (this morning!)  Can you see it?

Our first Roma!
Oh!  I also have some very delicious smelling basil growing in one of the Roma pots, and a second one growing by itself in a pot on the front stoop.  This one is Cinnamon Basil.  The only problem is that both plants are starting to turn woody too quickly.  I'm wondering if the crazy temperature cycles are doing it (one week 90s, one week 70s, repeat.)

Cinnamon Basil

And finally, I couldn't wait for my tomato seedlings to grow, so I gave in and purchased and Early Girl Tomato plant.  It will probably be the last year I do this since I'm trying hard to switch over to all heirlooms and organic (non-gmo, etc.).  But this little plant has been a good producer.  We've had over half a dozen tomatoes from it, lost about 7-10 when it kept getting knocked over, but there are still a bunch on the vines, as you can see.  This plant also sits on my front stoop (don't want the tomatoes out front to pollinate with my heirlooms in back).

Early Girl tomatoes 

And that's the garden update for the front of the house...onto the back!


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