Things I’m learning this summer.  I have two pots that do not have drainage holes – the strawberry pot and another pot.  Pot 2 has plastic taking up part of the bottom of the pot.  The strawberry pot is entirely filled with soil.  When we had our recent over and inch of rain, the strawberry pot was practically floating.  It actually had water sitting on the top of it.  I gently tilted the pot onto its side and let water drain out.  I hadn’t realized the strawberry pot didn’t have drainage holes.  I knew pot 2 didn’t have hole, but I knew it had plastic in the bottom taking up some room.

I’m starting to wonder if holding water in these pots is not quite the bad thing during the summer.  Yes, the strawberry plants are getting some sun burn, but considering the heat of the sun and the fact the pot is sitting in direct sun with no shade – I’m not surprised some of the edges are getting burned.  But I wonder – if I don’t put drainage holes, and put the pot somewhere it will get some shade, will the plants do okay?  Its making me wonder if pots I use for summer planting can hold more water, not drain so much, will it help the plants?  Would it give them more available water for their roots?  I’m not sure if it will, but I’m thinking maybe I should try it next summer.

The other thing I’m realizing, is I need to figure out how to get more shade for some of the plants.  Wind is a problem here, but for those plants that don’t get any shade, is the brutal sun the biggest problem?  The lemon tree that is currently sitting in the sun seems to take it okay.  But its a really large pot, so it has quite a bit of water.  And right now I’m watering pretty much every other day.  So the plants have water.  But shade, we just don’t have much shade in the back yard.

Tuesday they start working on extending the back patio.  They will be putting in a row of blocks to hold crushed granite.  The crushed granite will be topped with pavers.  It will essentially extend the back patio.  I’ve had pots sitting in that area.  Right now they are moved into the back area that does get some shade.  But after the work is done, those pots will go back where they were.  This area actually gets morning sun until about 2-3 pm.  Then the shadow from the house moves into that area and the pots get shade.  I think they like having that afternoon shade.

I’m also starting to think about this winter.  Last winter we didn’t cover any of the plants.  I’m thinking this year all the esperanza’s and the plumbago’s need to be covered.  They took a beating in the cold last year – they froze back almost and to the ground.  When I cut them back in spring, most of the branches had to be cut back to almost the ground.  Some of the branches just broke off because they had frozen and were dead.  I’d like to no repeat that again.

I’m also thinking that I want to set up planters in the back for veggies for next year.  We have two areas that are hard rock areas.  They don’t even grow weeds well.  So I’m thinking maybe I need to put down either mulch or crush granite or something, then put down weeds barrier, then put square planters on top of that.  But this time I really do need to fill the planters better, with more soil.  I also need to make sure I feed more and on a better schedule next year.

We’ll see what we can come up with.