A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Progress in the Garden

Hello gardening world!  It’s been so long since my last garden post, I don’t even know where to begin.   I can’t believe it’s been almost a month.

I’ve made some changes to the garden in the past few weeks.  Most notably, the squash and zucchini both died.  I tried replanting the zucchini, but then something came by and ate all of the seedlings when they were just a couple inches tall, so I have given up on growing those – at least for now.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.  Most of the time, squash and zucchini thrive and produce more veggies than you know what to do with.  The other curcubit I’m trying to grow, cucumber, is doing alright.  It’s just now starting to produce small cucumbers, although two of them that started already shriveled.  Thinking it may need a boost of phosphorous for fruiting, I gave it some bone meal and we’ll see if that helps over the next couple of weeks.

Straight Eigtht cucumber vines

The lettuce/parsley bed was empty, so I worked the soil over really well, added a bunch of compost, a little bat guano and a little bone meal and let the soil sit for a couple of weeks.  Then I planted three rows of beans and they are all doing really well.

Tendergreen Bush Beans

Three of the tomato plants are getting quite large and although they are flowering, have yet to set any fruit.  I sure hope this isn’t a repeat of last year.  I got only a dozen or so tomatoes last year!   I have a total of seven plants going, but four of those got started really late and may take awhile to start producing as well.

Three tomato plants

I’ve got quite a few pepper plants right now.  I thought I was losing several of the ones I started from seed a few weeks ago, so I got more transplants nd started more from seed for fall.  Well, the initial plants rebounded, are flowering and there are even a few pepper nubs forming, so I may end up with a pretty decent pepper crop.  I have probably ten cayenne, ten bell pepper, and four jalapenos going.

The sunflowers are tall and are flowering.  Unfortunately, I planted them along the fence line running north to south, and I’ve come to realize that once they start blooming, sunflowers permanently face east towards the rising sun.  As such, they are not facing the house, but the neighbor’s!  I hope he enjoys them!

Mammoth sunflower

The butterfly garden is coming along, too.  The verbena has spread out to create two good-sized mounds.  The black-eyed susans are finally looking like they’re going to flower soon.  The fennel is reaching high in the back, despite a continual defoliation from the dozens of black swallowtail caterpillars that have grown up here.  The other day, my wife and I counted fifteen new eggs on one plant alone.  We even found three large cats on our dill plant, and we had to remove them before they killed it.  The fennel appears ready to flower in the next couple of weeks.

Purple Moss verbena in the front ...

Black-Eyed Susans with Dusy Miller, Fall Aster and Texas Lantana

Fennel (a.k.a. Black Swallowtail nursery)

Four Nerve Daisies, Creeping Lantana, Milkweed and Butterfly weed ... followed by rosemary, Copper Canyon Daisies and Indigo Spires salvia

The Texas Lantana is growing a little slower than I expected, but the creeping lantana has really spread out.   I continue to love the Four Nerve Daisies that seem to bloom profusely in waves every several days.  The milkweed cuttings are established and will hopefully begin to fill out some more.  I have another fifty milkweeds going indoors, and I plan to transplant them in a few weeks.  I need to prepare a space along the northern fence line for them first.  My hope is have them well-established by mid-August when Monarch populations are highest.  Perhaps I can entice a few to stick around.  Milkweed is hardy in my zone, so it should make it through the winter to come back again in the Spring.

The Copper Canyon Daisies have created one big bush and I can’t wait for their show this fall.  As big as they are, I’m sure that they will be covered with yellow blooms!  The Indigo Spires has grown so much faster than I expected.  I ended up cutting off an entire section already because it was getting in the way of the other salvias!  Not wanting it to go to waste, I’ve started a dozen cuttings inside, so hopefully I’ll have more in the future.  I was thinking that a bed in the front yard would look good, and these would make a wonderful addition there.

The mint bed is standing three feet tall – taller than I thought it would, but makes a nice smelling mound of green in the corner of the yard.  So far, there’s been no sign of spreading, but I am watching for runners constantly.

Mint bed with rosemary, Copper Canyon Daisies in foreground

The Mexican Mint Marigold has all but died (pictured next to the rosemary above).  If it doesn’t come back, I’ve got to find something else to put there.  I’m thinking something red … Any suggestions?

And, the wildflowers are all done.  After a heavy downpour and fifty-mile per hour winds, they were all tore up, laying over and generally very, very sad.  I hacked them down with a machete and plan on sowing more seeds this fall.

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Comments on: "Progress in the Garden" (7)

  1. It all looks so lush and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what your Copper Canyon Daisies look like this fall. Sounds like you need to plant a lot more Fennel! LOL! I do hope your Mexican Mint Marigold makes it, but it doesn’t look good. I have one that is limping along, and one that is growing like a weed. Go figure. What about some Scarlet Bee Balm if it doesn’t make it? It is a butterfly/hummingbird magnet, and the red blooms are striking.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      That’s a good suggestion, Jenny. I will keep it in mind when I’m out doing my shopping … It is a very striking flower, and very red!

      Do you have your mint marigold in full sun? Our is/was, but it seems it just burned up.

      I thought about planting more fennel on the other side of the house along with the milkweed. I can’t even imagine how many babies I’d have then! LOL!

  2. Your garden is coming along in leaps and bounds and don’t be wishing that lantana to grow too big! MIne always have to be cut back again mid summer so they are decent looking for the fall. In fact the whole garden has to be cut back in July. I imagine that your tomatoes will produce a fall crop if they can hang in there until it gets cooler, otherwise start some from seed now for a fall crop. Your beans looks great. Can’t wait for the copper canyon daisy. Love it and its smell too.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      i have a couple packs of tomato seeds, and I suppose it is time to get them going now. Thanks for reminding me! I do think my plants will make it through the summer. It seems to be much milder than last year, already. I think we had twenty some days of hundred degree weather last June! I can’t wait for the CCD’s either. My daughter doesn’t really like the smell of them, but I do. It’s kinda like tangerines, but not quite. Thanks for the tip on my lantana. It does look a little “leggy”, so I guess I should probably cut it back so it grows bushier. is that what you try to do?

  3. Wow, everything is coming along nicely. I did the same thing with peppers and now everything seems to be handing in there, so I might have a lot of different peppers. I now need to figure out if they can be put in the freezer to use for later, or else co-workers will have to get them. I have harvested a few small cherry like tomatoes, but not many, I am hoping with the weather heating up that more will soon come so that i can make pico-de-galla (of course have to buy cilantro since it has bolted). Your sunflowers are amazing. I think I planted my bed in the wrong place for sunflowers (the sun sets behind the fence they ar elocated in) oh well, we will see, if all else fails I will make it my lettuce bed so the plants won’t have so much afternoon sun next growing season. My cucumbers are not doing so well either, so I planted a few more plants from seed and I am trying some seeds from Renee’s Gardens. I only got 3 cucumbers from 3 plants. I can’t seem to keep them watered, I need to look into an irrigation system of some sort. Good luck.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      I’m happy it’s grown up with a little neglect the past few weeks! ;)

      So, what type of peppers are you growing? I have orange bell, yellow bell, cayenne and jalapeno. If all of them start producing, maybe we can swap some?

      Sorry to hear about your cukes. As you can tell, I have little advice to give you! So far in my gardening adventures, I’ve tried to grow squash twice, zucchini twice and cucumbers twice. I have two surviving cucumber vines from all of that planting, which is extremely frustrating. Next year, I think I will put them directly in the ground in the side yard. They obviously do not like the soil I have given them.

      Yeah, I need to come up with some sort of irrigation system. I think I’m going to buy a few soaker hoses and a two-hose water timer. My uncle-in-law has his yard set up that way and he says it works great. Much cheaper than in-ground systems, and it can be moved/repositioned as needed.

      • I have:
        Habenero (not sure what possed me on this one)
        Cowhorn
        Purple Beauth (Swell Bell)
        Tam Mild Jalapeno
        Jalapeno Pepper
        Beg Early Bell (Hybrid)
        Bell Pepper Big Early

        I also have about 6 peppers that I grew from seed, but when I transplanted them the tags went astray (I am sure they are either jalapeno or bell pepper of some variety.

        Sure we can swap, would love too I guess I am impatient and did not want to waste anytime in the growing season and this is what happens. HA HA.

        I am going to try more from seed next year and do better with the tags, it sure is much cheaper and you can get a better variety (if it liks your area).

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