Monday, June 7, 2010

Heat Helps

Well, I am almost caught up.  I worked really hard this weekend, and this is what is left of the stuff I need to plant.  I also have some extra nasturtiums to plant (not spitfire) that aren't in this picture.  I am trying to get everything I've started or bought in the ground before my dad comes to visit.  I was SOOO involved in trying to get my garden ready this weekend that I totally forgot yesterday was the day to do my nasturtium post.  I am not only getting caught up on gardening, but caught up on blogging.  I finish teaching at school this week on Thursday, so after that I should be able to get back in my summer pattern of blogging every couple of days...which is more fun for me and everybody that reads.  Thanks everyone for their patience while I have been getting things done.

Here are some spitfires I planted a few days ago when I brought my brugmansia out. I am hoping that the nasturtiums will get big and clumpy and cover the soil and shade it, because this brugmansia dries out quickly.  Sometimes I have to water it 2 times a day in the summer.  I think at least one of these is another variety of climbing nasturtium that I saved the seeds from last summer, a jewel-toned one.

Unfortunately, the brugmansia gets upset VERY easily.  It drops its leaves every time I bring it outside.  It is shocked by the sudden increase in light.  It would be better to harden it off a little and let it get used to the light, but the thing is so heavy it is hard to move around.  It may look like a bunch of sticks, but it already has many little leaf buds forming all over it.  In no time it will have beautiful nasturtium spilling over the edges of the pot and huge leaves and hopefully beautiful cream-colored trumpet flowers hanging down from the top.

This year I bought a large whiskey-barrel planter and put wheels on the bottom.  I planted several red/orange canna bulbs in the middle, which you can see poking up.  Around the middle are yellow marigolds and red/purple flowering kale.  Finally I put spitfire around the edges so it will spill down the side.  It should be a gorgeous display of different kinds of foliage and reds/oranges/yellows/purples by late summer.  I can't wait!

This is a planting you saw on my last post.  One of the seedlings I transplanted out died, so I added a few of the ones I started outside in long planting boxes to fill it in.  They are still small, but the heat is really helping everything take off in my garden. 

I planted more of the pretty flowering kale as a companion for the nasturtiums that will grow on the gate. One thing I have noticed when germinating all the seeds is that nasturtiums definitely do better when started outdoors. I start mine in a long box, and then transfer them to whatever spot I wanted.  Even doing that, the quality of the growth and health of the outdoors ones was very noticeable compared to the indoors ones.  Besides the spitfire, I started 3 other kinds of nasturtium.  I mentioned the jewel-toned climbing kind, the other two are just regular clumping kinds, peach melba and mahogany.  The peach melba has the most lovely bluish foliage. 

These you saw last month as well.  They are really starting to take off.  You might notice there are little tiny holes in some of the leaves.  I believe this is due to sawfly larvae.  I have them all over my roses, and I had to use some neem oil, but a friend turned me on to this 'spinosad' stuff.  It is a natural bacteria that kills the sawfly larvae, but doesn't kill beneficial insects like ladybugs.  I am excited to get some and try it, because the more organic, the better. 

 The planter is getting some company as we go along.

Also up front of the house, I cleared some grass to plant zinnias.  Around the edges of the this bed, I planted a different kind of kale, some bunny grass, diamonte, and some of those regular mounding nasturtiums, since the spitfire would snake all over the place here. 

In the bottom of my tippy pot planter, I put a nasturtium start I got at the master gardener sale in the bottom.  It has pretty yellow flowers.  It is on its way to spilling over. 

I put a few spitfire farther up. 

This is the sort of finished project.  There is a little bar sticking out of the top, but DH is going to saw that off for me.  I had a lot of trouble making this work for some reason, and I was nervous about it falling over, even with sinking the pole so deep in the ground, so I have a little 'crutch' just for insurance.  It ought to look really neat once everything fills out.  Besides several nasturtium, I have 2 kinds of petunias in there, as well as some other trailing plants that I have forgotten the names for.  Anyways, that is the update on my spitfire seedlings.  By next month, I should have enough flowers and leaves to start eating them.  I have a couple of really interesting recipes in the works to share once I can start harvesting.  As always, I am so grateful to Renee's Garden for providing us with this opportunity.

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."


  1. You sure got a lot done! I have Brug but I think I'll let it go dormant in the winter (especially now that I know they're finicky and just drop their leaves).

  2. that is essentially what mine does...i try to keep it growing, but it goes mostly dormant. I get very little growth in the winter. just keeping it alive, basically. I don't shut it in a darkened room or anything though.

  3. I love the whisky barrel planter. It looks really cool.

  4. I love your Tipsy Pot holder, so cool. I want to do that too. I have too many projects going at once.

  5. Thanks for the update! Better lat than never, right? Anyway, your seedlings are looking good and I love all the creative ways you're planting them in your garden.

  6. I'm beginning to see that I prefer the regular variety over the climbing type. I've been disappointed with the growth habit of my one plant, it's in a pot atop a pedestal and I'm allowing it to flow out and down. Maybe it's better suited to vine, but I won't help it. If it can't clasp onto something using it's own abilities, I won't help it. I'm overworked already.

  7. thewritegardener- I agree...if it climbs on its own, great. if not, i guess it will trail across the ground. I had a climbing one that climbed up an old gate last year, so I am curious to see if that happens again this year. I put almost all my nasturtium in places where it can spill over the edges, rather than climb.


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