Obsessing over the Marigolds
Being away from the garden for 3 weeks took its toll on the tidiness of the garden And by now you know that I'm a little bit of a neat freak. And gardens don't like to be neat! That's ok.I am going to whip it back into shape.
My first job when I got home was to think about my fall vegetable garden because that has an absolute time line that I have to meet. I'll be planting tomorrow, hoping to have a harvest before the winter. After that, I started worrying about all of the brown, untended flora in the frontyard, especially the marigolds.
Marigolds are pretty easy care and you get a lot of bang for your buck. My border started out with about 2 dozen 2 inch plants. And you can see how they performed! It was a worthwhile investment!
However, keeping marigolds thriving, not just surviving, takes a little bit of work. I water consistently, I've given them plant food a couple times this season, and I also have sprayed with organic bug spray every week, because marigolds often succumb to infestations of "thrips" - a tiny whitefly that sucks the sap out of the marigolds leaves. The thrips make me crazy. Slugs also like marigolds, but I haven't had too many of them this season.
I couldn't bear to look at all of the dead blooms and browning leaves in the marigold border. So, I started yesterday early morning, and finished this evening, deadheading, (taking the spent blooms off the plant), and tending the border. What a job! I started out bending over the plants and pulling off the offending blooms, but I ended up sitting on the pavement, schooching (look that up!) along so I could spare my back. I filled up two large garden bins with just expired marigold blooms. Whoof. I think the neighbors were snickering behind my back. Why has she spent two full days sitting on her bottom in her front yard picking at plants that look perfectly fine?
But I am very happy with the result. Yet, this is one of those jobs, where really you're the only one that notices. To the causal observer the border looks pretty much the same. But I know it's different. And I know that the job that I did will extend the life of the marigolds a bit longer, and keep them happy later into the fall.
The boss is back, and the marigolds now know that too.