Since it's now July, I thought I would do a quick review of how my patio pots are doing. I'm mainly writing this post for myself so I can go back and look at what I've planted from year to year and remember which plants have done best. But I hope my fellow gardeners will enjoy it as well and offer any suggestions! :)
This year, I bought a plant which was new to me, Mexican sage. It started out doing well but by the time June rolled around, the bottom leaves were yellow and falling off. This usually means over-watering and sure enough, that was the problem. I stopped watering it so frequently and it has flourished! I'm still waiting for the blooms but in the meantime the foliage now looks great!
I discovered that I was also over-watering my pincushion flower (in the small pot) as you can see from the yellow leaves around the bottom. Now that I'm letting it dry out, it has bloomed very nicely! It's handy to have a few plants that thrive on neglect! :)
Another new-to-me plant this season was this double vinca. It was not blooming at all until I started fertilizing it regularly with Miracle Grow, and now it looks great!
Unfortunately, I had a deer incident a few weeks ago in which some of my pots were nearly eaten to the dirt. I was so upset! All of my sweet potato vines were nibbled down to nothing, as were the petunias which I had bought on clearance.
The deer ate all but a couple of the petunias in that pot, so I added a few new plants in a slightly different color. I don't really like petunias but at least they provide a bit of color now that the chewed-up planter has filled back in!
I have two catnip plants tucked into the old green planter in the photo below. This planter is special to me as it sat on my grandparents' front porch for many years. It has a hairline crack so I'm very careful with it and usually don't even take it out of the garage. But I'm on a mission to start using things I love (rather than hide them away in boxes) so this year I just placed a pot down inside the planter and put it in a protected location. I'm enjoying it very much, as is Neighbor Kitty!
I have two planters like this one that had to be almost completely re-replanted after the deer incident. Unfortunately at that point in the greenhouse season, pickins were slim. That silver plant is very stringy and borderline ugly but at least the deer are leaving it alone!
The worst part of the deer incident was that they ate all of my green tomatoes right off of my tomato plant! After a few weeks, I now have new tomatoes growing and am guarding them with my life!
To keep the deer away, I have a few strategies which appear to be working. First is a bar of strongly-scented soap stuck into the pot on a long skewer. :) I also have a plastic owl that belonged to my dad which I position ominously in front of the pot at night. And I've been spraying the most tasty plants with Liquid Fence which smells dreadful but seems to be doing the trick.
The plants on the garden cart (mainly herbs) are doing well, probably because they're out of rabbit reach! I've got rosemary, basil, oregano, mint, lavender, sage, and cilantro to use in my meager culinary adventures. I've really enjoyed having a place to corral these small pots!
The pot on the patio table has done really well this year, although I do think I overdid it with the white vinca. I love vinca but the white ones have taken over many of my patio pots. Next year I need to mix up the colors a bit.
Speaking of white -- and petunias -- this is the second year I've bought double petunia hanging baskets for the front of the house. They don't look like petunias to me -- they're more like little roses -- and they've done extremely well.
For local friends, I bought these hanging baskets at Goode Greenhouse and have been very pleased with them. This year I was late going to the greenhouse and got the last two white ones, so next year I'll have to be sure to go a bit earlier.
All in all, other than the deer incident, it's been a very good year for my patio pots. We've had high humidity and a decent amount of rain, plus I've been paying more attention to my watering/fertilizing habits. As with all gardening, it's always a work in progress but I hope with documenting my progress in posts like this one, I can learn from my mistakes and do better next year!