DIY, Home and Garden

My Garden

At our house, the Hubs and the Girl are in charge of the vegetable garden, and the Hubs is in charge (very reluctantly) of doing most of the yard work, since I am allergic. My part is a container garden of herbs on a little corner of the patio. I can almost always remember to water my happy plants and for the past couple of years they have been growing pretty well. Today I got my new succulent plants put in, and they will be a nice addition to the space.

As mentioned in prior posts I decided to plant some succulents in a strawberry pot, and after cleaning and disinfecting the pot yesterday, today I got to work getting the plants in.

Sand, potting soil, pot

First I mixed two bags of Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Mix and about 2/3 of a bag of Perlite together in the wheelbarrow. I started by filling the strawberry pot with about 2 inches of sand, hoping that will help with drainage since I don’t have any good gravel or pottery shards to put in the bottom. Then I used a red Solo cup to scoop the soil into the pot, because that was one of the few scoop-shaped thingies I had in the house.

As I went along, I pushed soil into the little “mini-pots” around the sides of the pot. When it was full, I planted the large, pink-flowering succulent in the top. This plant was just labeled “hen and chicks”, but it is quite different from the ones I usually think of as the hen and chick variety.

The flowering succulent in the top of the pot.

After planting the largest plant, I put thyme plants in two of the “mini-pots”. The rest of the hen and chick plants came last, and I squeezed them in the spaces as best I could. I am a little concerned because they were all sitting in very wet soil in the pots they came in from the store. And I hope they don’t fall out of their “mini-pots” before they take root! Below you can see the finished product, and how it looks with the rest of my garden.

The final result

My little garden – not much to look at but easy care and smells awesome

My silver Spanish lavender is a great bee-attractor right now, so I put a little bee waterer in the pink lavender plant in case the bees get thirsty. The bees living here in the Pacific Northwest are probably not having problems finding water right now, but this will be nice for them if it ever gets hot this summer. The other plants are a French lavender (lavender is my favorite!), a Tuscan Blue rosemary which I just repotted into a much bigger pot (I am anxiously waiting for it to do something spectacular), and a mini rosebush the Girl gave me for Mother’s Day last year. It is going great guns even though it was drowning all winter long! The Dr. Seuss-y plant with the pink pom-pom is a Dreamland Armeria. All the plants like full sun and don’t need a lot of water, and that works great for my little corner.

So, will the succulents survive and thrive? Stay tuned for later reports!

Pink lavender and bee waterer
Pink lavender
French lavender
Silver Spanish lavender
Mini rose
Armeria
DIY, Home and Garden

Cleaning A Used Clay Pot

Strawberry pot before cleaning.

As noted in a previous post, I got this nice strawberry pot at an estate sale for $2.00. It was dirty and still 1/2 full of potting soil, and since I don’t want to plant my adorable succulent plants in someone else’s dirt (and bacteria, God forbid!) the Hubs dumped out all the old dirt and I set out to find the best way to clean a used terra cotta pot.

After reading an article and watching a video about cleaning terra cotta pots, I decided that I would start by using an old nylon dish brush and some warm water with Dawn dishwashing detergent to clean the outside and inside of the pot. I also could have used a scrubby sponge to scrub off the green and black spots, but I wasn’t trying to get it looking perfect. I like a little grunge, as they say on HGTV’s Home Town.

Cleaning the pot

To disinfect the pot after cleaning, I filled a bucket with a gallon of water. The video and article I saw both said to mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, but I noticed my bottle of concentrated bleach had instructions to use only 1/3 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water (which is 1 part bleach to 48 parts water, I think. Isn’t it? Mathing – sometimes I got it, sometimes I don’t.), so I added the 1/3 cup bleach to my bucket of water. I scrubbed the pot inside and out with the bleach water, being careful to get in all the little planting holes on the sides.

After cleaning and scrubbing with bleach water. Still a nice chippy vintage vibe!

After cleaning and disinfecting the pot and rinsing thoroughly, I am leaving it in the “sun” to let any bleach that might be left on the pot evaporate. I say “sun”, because we are having an atmospheric river such as the state hasn’t seen in 80 years, and we aren’t sure if the sun will actually come out at all this month! The video I watched said that to make sure there is no bleach left in your pot when it’s dry you should sniff it, and if you smell chlorine you should rinse it again and let it sit some more.

So, tomorrow after sniffing my strawberry pot to make sure there is no trace of chlorine left, I will plant my new plants! Now, off to decide which plants to plant where!