Thursday, June 26, 2014

garden journal: warning! photo heavy!

whew!  i'm finally caught up with all my gardening blogging and able to share in real time.  sorry for the massive photo overload, but I've been busy and my plants are in overdrive mode!  tis the season!  now lots of gardening notes ahead as i had a major "duh" moment this morning and realized that this is a great space to record all my gardening notes so that next year i can look back and move forward quicker.  i'm already realizing that i need to get my sorry "i hate cold weather" butt in gear a lot earlier next year, so that i am prepped to jump on the spring wagon as soon as it arrives.

the bell peppers are definitely my super stars at the moment.  so lush. 

and so fruitful!  did you know they grew like this?  i confess, i did not.  mine last year were one hit wonders, but this year i have been diligent about watering and fertilizing.  they are rewarding me with peppers all the way up the stems!

i do have one of the four plants that was puny to begin with.  it developed spots on the top leaves and i nipped that section off.  i haven't decided yet if i should pull the whole plant out.  i'm keeping my eye on it.

i have spaced out the tomato section.  the cherokee purples were starting to wilt.  initially, i moved them in a panic thinking they were diseased and would affect my other plants.  then, thinking further, i realized that the weather had finally hit the 90s here and perhaps that variety just can't handle the heat.  i have taken to watering them twice a day and they seem to be doing better.  it is just sad as they were the most gorgeous of the lot before they got sunstroke. 

i also noticed in the move that two of the Rutgers were much more puny than their counterparts.  i suspect that they were crowded in the corner and not getting enough sun.

i'm also worried that my tomatoes aren't going to produce any more.  they all have right at two tomatoes on them right away.  none of them seem to be ripening, however, and none of the flowers seem to be making more fruit.  my dad always says tomatoes are difficult.  hmmm . . .

and nasturtiums.  oh how i adore nasturtiums.  but i don't seem to grow them very well.  the leaves turn yellow so quickly.  do they like a certain type soil?  food?  too much water?  are the yellow leaves just normal?  i did finally notice one little bloom this morning, so there's that.

two thumbs up for the hillbilly garden.  i think the sunflowers might be blooming next week.  the zinnias are lovely and haven't even gotten any leaf fungus (knock on wood).  the snapdragons have started blooming!  hurrah!  g transplanted his dunecraft brian the brain flower out there and it's doing well.  i'd like a couple more short things in the front.  i may try to transplant a couple of the johnny jump ups that have reseeded.
the snapdragon stems are rather tall and spindly.  a couple bent in last night's rain, so i clipped them to bring in the house (and check out that cool lighting!  didn't even notice that was happening when i snapped the pic).
morning glories have popped out of the ground.  a classic example of something i should have planted a month or more earlier.  it seems to be enjoying the trellis i saved from last year's clematis purchase.  reduce, reuse, recycle!

i have a love affair with bumblebees, so i'm way excited that they love my coneflowers so much.  i counted five on them the other morning.

i need to think up a name for this garden.  maybe the salad garden?  although it doesn't really look like a salad garden at the moment, but that was my intent when i cleared out the holly.  currently, it has raspberry, foxglove, marigold, sedum, and clematis in it.  and i did just sew a row of lettuce seeds.  i need to grab some spinach seeds the next time i'm out.  i know it's not the right time to plant those things, but i thought i might as well try.  lettuce seems to grow so quick and i can always harvest the baby leaves.  i'm hoping to start another row in a couple weeks to keep the production cycle going.

i got the wild marigolds transplanted and they're doing great.  i had to water them three times a day fro the first few days, but i didn't lose even one leaf.  yay!  i also finally planted the ones i got from the high school ffa sale back in early may.  i think it's funny that the purchased plants are so stunted (from being in the tiny pots so long) and blooming crazy while the wild ones are so think with foliage, but i was beginning to doubt if they would actually bloom.  i have finally started seeing a few buds on them though.

this is one of the clearance clematis.  it's vining up the wall and already has a bud!  i'm way excited.  i love clematis.  i'm hoping to score more on clearance, but i can't go shopping again until after vacation #2.  the other one, well, i'm just not sure if it's going to make it.  it only has one branch with semi-living leaves.  i keep giving it pep talks, but so far nothing positive is happening.  also wondering if these will come back next year.  i think they will.  the ones i had last year did not, but they were in small pots.  i think (i hope) that in the ground they will make it.

clearance hydrangea is doing well.  i snipped off all the awkward leaves as i saw lots of new growth anyway.  I've found that the clearance plants have often been in the pots so long that they're starting to drape over the sides instead of growing up as they should.  then when you actually do plant them the stems are laying on the ground.  not good.  best to just give them a good grooming so they can get back on the right track.

the clearance foxgloves are also having a second little summer blooming after a good trim.

and this is my pride and joy.  i scored two raspberry bushes for only $2.25 each.  i got them in the ground right away (that doesn't always happen in my world) and they are doing so well!  both of them have put out additional blooms which are turning into berries.  i confess, i know nothing about raspberries.  i just thought they would do their thing in the spring with the rest of the berries and then be done till next year.  do they bloom/berry all summer?

here is a little awkward spot.  it's part of the big section that i want to turn into a perennial garden.  alas, i still haven't acquired the truckload of dirt.  current story of my life, "i need more dirt!"  i built up one small corner with the bagged dirt i had just so i could throw some more clearance plants in the ground.  now i'm not sure i like the placement, but i didn't really have a lot of options.  i think i can move some of them this fall when i get more dirt.  right?  also, i need to plant the potted stuff.  mostly i don't know where.  i've since discovered that the blueberries need a higher ph, so i have to figure out the chemistry of their soil.  gardening is a science!

i got two more tree circles tidied up and planted.  more impatiens ( a different variety) in this one . . .

and vinca in this one.  did anyone else call this periwinkle?  that's what we used to call it in florida.  i've never seen this color before.  stunning.

and now i feel like i'm airing my dirty laundry here, but in the spirit of keeping it real, these are the strawberry transplants.  the roots were greatly disturbed and there wasn't much i could do about that.  then i went out of town and they didn't get watered quite as much as i would have done (only once a day as opposed to three times a day).  i told homer they were struggling, and he suggested the newspapers.  i think it helped a great deal.  wish i'd known about it at first, but next time i will!

plants are so resilient though!  i believe these are actually going to make it.  all nine of them.  i've since gone out and pruned some of the brown off and i can see even more green at the root base.  fingers crossed for a lovely strawberry patch next year!  i plan on mulching them with straw as soon as i find the time.  or maybe that is a good job for g.  i think i'm onto something . . .

i know i said i probably wasn't going to bother with planting out here in the field next year, but i've changed my mind now that the wildflowers are blooming.  why have all this land if i'm not going to cultivate it?  i hope to widen it to the fence line this fall and mulch it with this mushroom mulch that my neighbor has been telling me about.  sounds like a plan as long as i can get tiller access.

hello, beautiful!

cucumber!  cucumbers!  i was my cucumber would be a one hit wonder, but today i saw three more pinkie finger width fruits hidden under the leaves.  hurrah!

honeydew.  the jury is still out on its productivity.

watermelon.  and even more doubtful endeavor, but at least it was free.

the corn patch is well on track to be "knee high by july" and is in desperate need of weeding.

and look what we found in it!  potatoes!  three plants!  i had totally forgotten that we'd thrown some old potatoes in the soil.  nature is so awesome!

and a final peek at the deck.  i couldn't resist snapping a pic as pepito isn't as prone to laying amongst the flowers as chichi is.  I've finally gotten all the pots filled here.  i counted $39 plus tax.  i'm thinking that's not too bad.  that's about half off the regular prices.  i'd like to do better next year though.  anyone have suggestions for overwintering the geraniums and/or saving seeds from the annuals?

linking up with the delightful mamasaurus and "how does your garden grow."


  1. you must live somewhere sunny as your toms and pepers are rocking your sweetpeas are doing great too good to see my sweetcorn is as high as yours although a mouse nibbled some of ours

  2. Your peppers look great. I tried to grow some a couple of years ago but they didn't get very big at all. I can't wait to see how your raspberries turn out, I love the idea of picking them from the garden. Perhaps I'll give them a go next year. Your garden is beautiful :)

  3. It always amazes me when I see plants growing thousands of miles away which are the same as what we have in the UK. You really have beautiful light and captured it so well.

  4. such a lot of gardening activity! We have a little cucumber on our plant now too and am planning to try peppers next year.

  5. Wow, such a productive garden! Your deck must be very sunny to get peppers growing - mine still haven't emerged in my greenhouse!! I must get going earlier in the year next year :)

  6. Your garden is looking great! #HDYGG x

  7. Wow, my tomatoes aren't that advanced yet, nor my peppers. Btw nasturtiums like really poor soil so you can afford to mistreat them and they'll love you for it!

  8. Wow to the sunflowers and I love the wildflower border coming along!

  9. What a gorgeous selection - no wonder that cat looks so happy, I'd love to lie about and soak it all up! You have some great space there and I love all the pots. My tomatoes haven't started yet, they are still with flower, I hope they hurry up!
    Beautiful photos - thank you for sharing x