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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.