It was a long shot from the start. Luffas require a long growing period that we just don’t have. However, I just had to give them a try anyway because sometimes we have warm weather longer than what is normal. This year however, is not one of those years. In fact, it’s been colder than normal at night recently.
Even though it hasn’t been freezing, you can see that the cold weather has taken a toll on the plant. We have one lone luffa that I hope will survive and get large enough to become a “sponge”. You can eat the young luffas, but I am really hoping for a sponge.
Our neighbors on both sides grow grapes on the fence. This often means that we have vines coming very far over into our yard, which we usually just let grow. Sometimes though, we have to trim them. This year I decided to try making a wreath from the cuttings.
Starting with a nice pile of vines, I simply removed all the leaves and some of the tendrils. Some tendrils I left on because they add a bit of character to the wreath. Once the leaves were all removed, I picked one vine to start with and created a circle from it, twisting the two ends around each other. Vines were then added in, one at a time, wrapping around each other as they go. I would start vines at different points in the circle, tucking one end into already wrapped vines, so the thickness of the wreath was more consistent.
Now the wreath is drying. I’m not sure how long that process will take since this is the first time I have tried making one. Once it is dry and feels stronger I will add some fun fall or Halloween decorations to it.
It’s such a fun and easy project to do, I really don’t know why I never did it before! And it’s a great way to use grapevines that you have to trim. Next time around I am going to try some different shapes, just for fun!
We have some great mid-summer tips from Lou at ACE Hardware. Mid-summer can be a hard time for a garden, it’s hot, and sometimes things start looking rough. Following these tips can really help.
1. If possible, make sure you are watering on a regular basis. More often than not, people over-water their plants, which actually does not help create a thick lawn. You want the roots of the grass to dig far into the ground; accordingly, if you over-water, the grass will not reach deeper for moisture. At this point in the season, you should be watering twice a week for about 45 minutes.
2. Apply more seed to ensure that there are no bare spots. Use the right seed mixture for your area to fill in thin spaces, cover with black dirt, plus a little peat moss, and water those areas every day for a few minutes.
3. Apply natural soil treatments such as Milorganite, Jonathan Green Magic-Cal and Ringer Lawn Restore. These can be distributed across your lawn at any time to treat the soil and help promote a healthier lawn.
4. For the garden, turn the soil to eliminate compaction. Apply natural compost when turning the soil to keep the soil fortified with nutrients so that all of your flowers and vegetables continue growing.
5. If you are noticing any disease or bugs eating away at your plants, try applying a powdered treatment to the leaves. Such products include Seven or Captain Jacks by Bonide to eliminate the problem and help the plants grow. Always read the label on the bottles or cans for the correct use and application of the products.
ACE Hardware is offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader! You can shop for some summer spruce up items to help keep your garden looking great all the way until winter! USA only, enter via the form below.