Garden Journal – Week of April 13th

The Minty Monsters

Apple mint
Apple mint
Mites on Apple Mint

Got mites on the apple mint again.

What the heck is with the love these little critters have for my mint?

Over the past year and half, mites have appeared multiple times and absolutely wrecked my mint plants. They avoid all the other plants on the balcony, but they take over the mint in days. The dozens I’m seeing on Thursday have taken root since Monday at the latest.

Mint is a tough little fella – closer to a weed than a useful herb. Mine has grown back from the mites and hard pruning a few times now.
It’s just so darn nice-smelling that I can’t help but want to grow it. And freeze it in ice cubes.

Mites on Apple Mint

Notes about spider mites

How to Kill Spider Mites and Other Mint Pests
via dengarden

Be sure to check out my latest guided meditation!

The Quiet of the High Desert Mindful Foliage

So how do we scare off or kill the hungry pests?

  • Rosemary oil
  • Ladybugs
  • A blast of water to knock them off

Just learned something interesting to keep note of: If winters are harsh, you can cut back all the mint to ground level and cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch. What a nifty hibernation trick.

I trimmed off the bit with the spider mites. Poses no real danger to the mint (and encourages growth), and gets rid of the bugs without a dangerous pesticide.

Then, because I don’t think I’ve been treating it well enough, I went ahead and spread a bit of new dirt around the planter. Looks very happy now!

Apple mint - new shoot
Apple mint – new shoot

Ideal conditions

  • Likes most but well-draining soil, like it would’ve grown up with on a riverbank.
  • Thrives with plucking and pruning

Check out my new book, The Horses Mouth! Available on kindle and in paperback.
It’s been a while since people have heard from a Genie…

Some new Residents

The chrysanthemum

So, let’s start with the basics:

For ease of identification the National Chrysanthemum Society divides bloom forms into 13 classes.

They’re not even a single flower (each). They’re made up of hundreds of tiny flowers known as florets. Kind of like on a sunflower.

A Class 7 chrysanthemum

Class 7 Single and Semi-Double

As far as I can guess…
“A daisy-like flower with a center disk and one or more rows of ray florets.”

A Class 7 chrysanthemum

Class 4 Decorative

More than likely!
“A flattened bloom with short petals… the center disk should not be visible. The upper florets tend to incurve, but the lower petals generally reflex.”

According to the little tag that came with the flowers (and fleshed out by some online research):

Bright, indirect light. Prefer 65-75F (18-21C) days.Wait until the surface feels dry, then water.
Buds prefer bright light, spread flowers can tolerate a little less. Avoid excessive heat or frost!Keep soil moderately moist. Drain off excess water when watering.
They’re happy flowersAnd they like being comfortable. But they’re not fussy!
How to care for Mums.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you had a pleasant time checking out the plants. If you’re in the mood for more nature, please stay in touch!

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