Monday, June 1, 2009

Mid year report on resolutions

On the last day of 2008, I posted nine planty resolutions for 2009.  I thought I'd let you know how I'm doing.

  1. Post at the rate of 2-3 times per week. This has gone very well.  Since January 1, 2009 I have posted 54 times.  That is an average of 2.5 posts per week.  Pretty good, huh?  I managed to post at least twice each week, as I had planned.  February was the most active month, with 13 posts.  I never really ran out of material for posting, but I did have some trouble having time to write on occasion.  While on vacation to Hawaii last week, I used the post scheduler to update my blog with 2 pre-written posts.

  2. Review about 1 plant book per month. I have done pretty well with this task.  In March, I sort of cheated by only posting a quoted passage and couple of sentences about a plant book.

  3. Write a "trip report" about once per month. This is probably my favorite category of post to write.  Whenever I visit someplace that has plants, there is usually so much to write about that I have to contain myself.  This has been a very exciting category for 2009.  Although I didn't post a trip report during the month of March, I posted twice during each of the last two months. Here's the list:

  4. With my recent trip to Hawaii, I have a couple more trip posts planned for the next month.  I also have another couple post-inspiring trips for this summer and fall.  Stay tuned for more Trip Reports from The Variegated Thumb!
  5. Write a "project" post once per month. I should have said "about" for this goal.  Regardless, I almost met my goal for this category but fell short in the last month.  I did post three different times in this category during April, though.  I had a post planned for May on starting pineapple bromeliads from a grocery store pineapple.  But my newest pineapple has not yet sprouted roots in time to get the pictures for publishing the post.  Stay tuned for that post in June!

  6. Start a collection of Asarums. I had hoped to find some Asarum splendens plants at our local Atwoods store, but they did not have these plants this year as they have the last two years.  Alas, my Asarum collection must wait until the late Summer or early Fall when I place an order from Asiatica Nursery.  My plan is to order 5 or 6 species/varieties.  I saved this project for Fall because these plants will do well in my house over winter and that allows me to use my plant allowance elsewhere this summer.

  7. Grow some of my own food. I am in the growing process right now.  So far nothing looks like food, but the plants seem to be healthy, so hopefully I will have some produce in a month or two.  This year we planted potatoes (new for us), yellow straightneck squash (new to us), zucchini squash (new to us), tomatoes (old hat) and broccoli (new to us).  Actually we planted broccoli last year but it was eaten by caterpillars in a matter of days.  This time around it has lasted at least a month.  And our tomato planting is different this year, as we're using a "Topsy-Turvy" to grow them.  The device was a gift from my granddad and is actually very handy, as it can be hung on our front porch in the full sun.  Our planting location last year was probably shadier than the tomato plants would prefer.

  8. Vigorously plant front "figure 8" bed. For now, I have to say that I have failed miserably to accomplish this task.  The goal was to plant a lot of ornamental sweet potato vine in the figure 8 tulip bed in our front yard as soon as the tulips had quit blooming.  The hope was that the sweet potato vine would be in the ground when we get all of our mild weather and gallons and gallons of spring rains.  Then it would spread nicely and have filled out the bed by the time the tulip stems turned brown and are removed.  I have now removed the tulip stems and still not planted the sweet potato vine.  I have to admit that if we hadn't gone on vacation last week, this task might be complete.  Alas, Hawaii was calling out to us!

  9. Fertilize. I have had a bag of fertilizer sitting in my garage for more than a year.  It was just a matter of using it.  This Spring, as I brought all of my tender tropical plants outdoors, I added some slow-release fertilizer to the soil and watered it in.  It will be a while before I can tell if (and to what extent) the fertilizer has helped.  I did not fertilize any of our food plants, but I have fertilized nearly everything else that I am growing.  It was very quick and easy to lightly shake some of this fertilizer on the soil surface of each of my plants.

  10. Recreate the corner garden. This task has gone swimmingly!  I have posted a couple of times about new plants we have added to our corner garden, as well as several plans for future enhancements.  The corner garden is the foundation for making our backyard a comfortable paradise where we can relax at home.  Our fencing project has also helped to create a more inviting feel to our backyard.

Did you make any resolutions this year concerning your plants?  How have you kept up with them?


  1. Hey Zach did you ever try using fish emulsions for tropical plants? that is the only fertilizer I use for them. I use the slow release for perennials and annuals, and acid for the Hydrangeas, Hibiscus, Blueberries, Strawberries and raspberries. I try to keep up with my plants ;) hope your veggies do well!

  2. Cathy-
    I haven't tried fish emulsion. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks for the tip!