The Last Of The Monarchs

I photographed this Monarch on October 18 in my garden. We thought this was the last sighting of a Monarch for the season.

A few days later, on the 24th, again a Monarch appeared in our garden–much to our delight.

This Past Weekend

Pizza Margherita
Peach & Raspberry Cobbler by Susan
Clematis
Zinnia
Local Farm Stand Corn
Freddy
Morning Glory
Roses and Garden Statue
Japanese Stake and Spinach Stir Fry
Bruce’s Garden
Corn Raspberry Muffins

Oh Banana!

There is always something to learn. Right?

Recently I read “banana peels are good for gardens because they contain 42 percent potassium (abbreviated to its scientific name K), one of the three major components of fertilizer along with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) and shown on fertilizer labels as NPK. In fact, banana peels have the highest organic sources of potassium.”

I have been gardening for years and never knew this till, well, now.

So, an experiment.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac:

“Homemade fertilizer teas, like “banana peel tea,” are all the rage right now because green-thumb gardeners know that these organic liquid fertilizers are the best way to get nutrients to your plants. While dry, granular fertilizers are a common way to add nutrients to your soil, liquid versions administer nutrients quickly, ensuring your plants get what they need to grow faster, have increased yields, and improved overall health.

“Banana peels are loaded with nutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, and when used as a fertilizer, help improve overall plant strength, stronger stems, stronger root development, and more robust fruits. While you can toss your banana peels directly into your garden (like in trench composting), making banana peel tea is a much more effective method of delivering those needed nutrients to your plants.

To Make: Keep a pitcher of water in your refrigerator about ¾ full. As you eat bananas, place your discarded peels in the pitcher until it’s full. After about a week, strain out the liquid and reserve for your tea. (As you can see above I simply used one banana peel in one of our beloved Mason Jars–Susan just loves anything to do with Mason Jars!)

To Apply: Dilute this concentrated liquid solution 5:1 (five parts water to one part tea) and apply to the base of your garden plants—this mixture is good for potassium-loving plants such as tomatoes and peppers. Note that this tea does not contain nitrogen, so it is not a complete fertilizer.

Bonus: Adding this liquid fertilizer to your garden is also great for deterring aphids, as they detest the smell of bananas!”

So, my friends, stay tuned.

I will be fertilizing my tomato plants with my banana peel tea tomorrow. Say a little prayer for me–and my tomato plants!

Getting My Garden Ready

Here in Western Massachusetts, we are told by those in the know (How they know, I do not know.) to wait until Memorial Day to plant your garden. I rototilled my garden on Monday, May 17th and planted it on Wednesday, May 19th. I guess I have always been a rule-breaker.

Self-portrait. And below the garden planted.

The garden late last summer:

Spirit Life

"A beautiful bouquet, Bruce," Susan said.
                                                                 "Some of the flowers are dying.
"I'm going to pick them off.
                                                                 "And you can photograph them."
And I did 
                              And we dumped them in the compost pile.
Beautiful there, too.
                              Other flowers and coffee filters
                                                                               (I hope the filters are recyclable!).
Later in the morning I tied up the clematis plants
And filled the hummingbird feeder.
                                                                               Now we wait.
Birdwatching is similar to gardening.
                                                          Patience. Patience.
"Bruce," Susan called to me.
                                             "When are you going 
"To start 
             "Pulling up the roots 
                                              "In your garden?"
Soon, I thought. It is
                                Back-breaking work.
Last week I rototilled the garden.
"Eyes to future," Susan said.
                                            "You make everything beautiful, Bruce.
"Could you do me a favor, please?
"I emptied the corks out of the vase
"Holding the petunias. 
                                   "They were dying.
"Could you set the corks aside?
                                                 "For me?"
And for ten, maybe twenty, minutes
                                                         I sat and stared at the garden
While Freddy eat his bone.
I saw the garden
                          As it soon will be.