When Your Garden Grows
Sometimes you feel a need to tell a story. Now is definitely one of those times for me. I find myself out in my garden in the middle of the night, caring for my plants while the weather is cool. I have found it best to do the watering when the plants are free from the powerful rays of the sun that are unique to the Central Bisayas. Cebu City, on the lovely island of Cebu in The Philippines can be extremely hot. The nights make for a perfect time to water your plants as the weather is mild and the conditions ideal. I always start with my Mugwort plant, locally known as Hilbas. Being a plant that is prone to root rot when exposed to too much moisture, I like to water it right before dawn, and the other plants seem to appreciate this as well. I love the smell of her leaves, and constantly seeing new growth sprouting on her daily. I have germinated the plant from seed and definitely enjoy reaping the rewards of doing so.
After the Mugwort plant, I tend to go to my Lemongrass clumps. I especially enjoy pinching a blade of the grass slightly to smell the fragrant aroma. This is definitely one of my favorite plants. My relationship with this plant started about 3 years ago when I moved into my house. We just so happened to have a Lemongrass clump in the back and immediately I began working with it. I sense an extremely powerful plant that on the other side of the coin, has an extremely delicate spirit. She does not like to be over used, and gardeners should refrain from attempting to dig one up to put into a pot. Tampering too heavily with this plant will cause it to go into a serious state of shock, if it doesn’t kill it first. All of this aside, having this plant around will attract good luck and repel negativity. My collection has grown to 12 Lemongrass plants that I treat as I would my favorite animals. They are relatively cheap here as seedlings and as long as you are careful removing the black plastic root bag, they will grow just fine. I use a scissors to carefully cut the bag from around the root before I put them into a pot. They are excellent for repelling unwanted guest in the garden and a must have for any serious gardening enthusiast.
My Rosemary is always next to be watered. Rosemary is another one of my favorites, if it is even possible for me to have favorites as I love them all. Each fragrant shrub is started from propagated cuttings. I like to take 4 to 5 cuttings and place them into a large pot so they can fill the empty space. They love organic fertilizer and water very frequently. I try my best to not to get the foliage wet to avoid powdery mildew. I do believe it is impossible to walk past them without cupping your hands around them so you can stick your nose right in the middle for a deep smell. Wow what a pleasant herb to have in the garden!
Citronella is another powerful aromatic that I am very fond of. This strong smelling grass is amazing when it comes to repelling those unwanted garden pest. I like to keep 9 or 10 of them in large pots strategically placed around the garden to deter those unwanted critters that wreak havoc on the other plants. This simple to grow clumping grass is indispensable for any organic gardener such as myself. The only real problem I still have is snails which are easy enough to deal with by relocating them. They come out at night so they are easy to find with a flashlight. I usually move them to the insulin plants so they can eat those, being as I have tons of them.
I have a rose bush that I brought back from the dead as well. I use a special fertilizer that is kind of my secrete potion for plant food. I have 12 African Spur Thigh Tortoises that play a very symbiotic role in the garden. Their excrement happens to be the best fertilizer I have found to date. I call it Turtilizer for obvious reasons! Soaking each tortoise for 20 minutes in a shallow basin of warm water is enough to get them to do their business for us. This truly is a miracle of nature when it comes to plant food. Their diet is 90% vegetables with over half of that being green, leafy vegetables. The excrement is mild enough to not burn the plants, yet strong enough to cause explosive growth. If you have access to it, I highly recommend it to the connoisseur gardener. Nothing taste better than organically grown produce straight from ones own garden and Turtilizer is the best fertilizer I have found!
I have one more little miraculous thing that I use and feel every gardener should know about. After I tell you what it is, you will never have a need for expensive rooting gels ever again. I use Aloe Vera as rooting gel. It works ten times better than the expensive stuff you get at the local nursery, with the added benefit of being something you can produce right there in your own garden!
So this is just a little introduction of myself for my first post. I hope the tips I provided prove useful to each of my readers, and brings them those bountiful harvest we all aspire to produce. Happy gardening and stay blessed everyone!