Thursday, June 18, 2015

Animal Troughs in the Garden!

We have a patch of ground behind the swimming pool.  This area gets the brutal afternoon sun so whatever is planted here has to be hardy. The plants also have to compete with the neighbor's six, (yes I said six, argh!), redwood trees planted in the corner of her yard. Now I have nothing against redwood trees but they aren't really meant for city-sized back yards. Over the years the roots have trespassed into our area and it's difficult trying to plant amongst those roots.  Last year I pretty much gave up and the area looked rather bare. As I like my yard filled with vegetation and flowers, and this area is a prominent place in our back yard, this was a source of frustration for me. This year we are trying something new.  We bought two animal watering troughs and filled them up with good potting soil.  We have planted a few varieties of cherry tomatoes, Big Girl tomato, jalapeno pepper, dill, green beans, okra, cucumber and basil. Interspersed among the vegetables are flowers for color. The plants love their environment, in fact things are growing so well we are thinking we over-planted!

I can be stubborn, at times, so am still trying to have some plantings in the ground, too.  I thought it would be fun for my granddaughter to grow a pumpkin plant.  At the nursery she spotted the watermelon plants, her favorite fruit, and wanted to grow that, too.  So, far, they seem to be doing well! The bee balm is not growing as well as I had hoped.  The hummingbirds love the bright flowers of this plant.

This butterfly plant has been here for eons, it seems.  I have to trim it back two-three times during the summer, it gets so tall. True to its name, the butterflies flock to it, as do the hummingbirds

I have harvested the basil once already and made pesto.  The cherry tomatoes are growing like they are on steroids so I transplanted the basil to the second trough.  They were a little wilted looking the first few days but are taking off now. Soon it will be time to harvest again!
I love to go out in my yard and pick some fresh herbs for cooking.  In addition to the herbs planted in the troughs we have herbs planted in pots and other parts of the yard.  We have thyme, oregano,  mint, and rosemary, as well as the basil and dill.

Animal troughs can be found at your local farm store.  My hubby put a drip irrigation system in to help with watering chores. In addition to being utilitarian I think they add a nice architectural interest to this garden area.

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