Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Why is fertilizer so confusing?

Well, I guess there is no more denying it.  Winter is here and it seems to be making up for lost time.  Time to endure and contemplate gardening resolutions.

1) Figure Out Fertilizing  -  I am SO confused about fertilizing.  Different plants need different ratios of nutrients. Sometimes they need a certain ratio of nutrients to help in initial growth and then a different ratio to encourage the fruit and, in fact, if you use the wrong ratio you end up convincing the plant to put all its energy into lush leaves when it should be producing a bumper crop of tomatoes.  Because my garden isn't big I don't have very many discrete groupings of plants so how can I fertilize properly if things planted together have different needs?  And then there's the dogs.  I only use natural fertilizers which are frequently made out of the dung of some creature or other.  The dogs find this delicious and will LICK IT OFF THE SOIL (dogs are gross), so I really think I need to stick with a liquid fertilizer which limits my choices further. How do I find the niche products (blood meal, seaweed) I need locally that will fit all the different plants needs and ARGHHHHH!  The easy way to deal with this confusion is to just compost well and not worry about fertilizing.  The thing is I have this strong and perhaps completely erroneous belief that if I fertilized things just right I could really increase my productivity and compensate for all my garden's other deficiencies like lack of size and light.  I'd like to at least try fertilizing properly for 1-2 years and see if it makes a difference.  This year is going to be the year!  [NOTE:  All of my above confusion may be based on completely false information/beliefs about fertilizing.]

2. Complete the Herb Garden - If I can do so without spending too much money I want to fill in the gaps in my herb garden where things never got planted the first year or they died in the harsh winter last year.  My missing plants are: Mustard, Flax, Elecampane, Betony, St. John's Wort, Calendula and Sweet Cicely and I need to replace Rose, Dill, Butterfly Milkweed, Bee Balm, Chamomile and Mint.

And I think that's it.  It's going to be another crazy summer with work so I don't want to be too lofty in my goals.


It was the first week back to reality after the peacefulness of the holidays. This is almost never a fun week.  I wonder if perhaps the "holiday season" wouldn't be more appropriate (if less meaningful) in early February, where it could break up the winter's doldrums.  Instead it feels like the winter starts with this misleading sparkly, magical interlude which when it ends, leaves you with three months of gray/brown days, horrible weather and astronomical heating bills.  Maybe one of my resolutions for the year should be to see if I can't find a way to adjust my attitude about winter!

Last year I had a year-long goal focused around one word - balance. My hope was to moderate the amount of mental energy my job used up so that I would have more to put towards some personal goals.  I wouldn't say that I attained perfection. It also didn't exactly work out how I envisioned - i.e. balance achieved daily.  Instead I had parts of the year that were actually more stressful than ever - there was one five week period where I had only 1 day off  - but when things slowed down I took time off as much as I wanted and needed and I did not feel guilty.  I also took the time when I had it to steadily work on getting more organized at work and with improving my time management and I  made a lot of progress.

This next year I will continue to work towards balance and will also try to focus on perspective which I think is strongly related.  I, along with a lot of people, get caught up with the minutiae of every day until it becomes overwhelming.  This approach does a good job of placing too much importance on my job and if I don't get X,Y and Z done, the world as we know it, may end.  I don't want to become a slacker, but I do need to realize that life is much more than meeting deadlines and getting as much accomplished as possible every day.  I also don't want to be too locked in to my approach and view of the world which often becomes rigid by getting too sucked into the details.  I am incredibly fortunate to have the life that I have and I need to recognize that and be grateful for it more regularly.  Just the fact that I have time to even contemplate quality of life improvement is an example of my fortunate place in the world.  There are many who likely just hope to put food on the table regularly and survive another year.

So how did week one go?  It could have gone better but the good news if that I've got a whole year to figure it out!  So do you have any particular concept you're hoping to embrace in 2015?  OR do you avoid all this self contemplation hogwash like the plague? 

I didn't necessarily start the year off with a reading bang but I am reading several books and finished a couple yesterday.  One was the very excellent Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham which is the second in the Veronica Mars mystery series.  The second was Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson.  It and it's predecessor, the novella Legion, were good but I continue to be underwhelmed by Sanderson.  He and I don't click for some reason. I hope no one revokes by SFF geek card.

I am currently reading an ARC of a fantasy book coming out in early February called The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber, while also listening to Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer and Gulp by Mary Roach. 

This Week on the Blog:

SUNDAY: Sundays through the Stargate - Rewatch Wrap Up  *sniff, sniff* My last post of my Stargate SG1 rewatch.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday - Most Anticipated Debuts I had fun compiling this list of some interesting debut novels that will be coming out this year.
WEDNESDAY:  Review of The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  A unique collection of original Sherlock Holmes' short stories written by many different authors.
THURSDAY:  Tough Traveling: Snarky Sidekicks.  This is a great weekly fantasy and science fiction meme dreamed up by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn.  Check it out!

Next Week on the Blog:

SUNDAY:  The Great Genre Debate - Is shelving by genre becoming a thing of the past?
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday's topic is the Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To
WEDNESDAY: Review of Wild by Cheryl Strayed
THURSDAY:  If I can think of enough Messiah characters in SFF literature I'll participate in Tough Traveling again.  If not I'll review Brandon Sanderson's Legion and Legion: Skin Deep.

So how did your week go?  Do you have any strategies for popping out of the holiday season and relishing the three months of winter to come?

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