Friday, September 2, 2016

Lots of August Rain

The fire bush is a-fire :o)
We have been very busy recently, so I haven't gotten a chance to upload any photos.  Bu there are a few photos from some plants around the house.  Everything is so well watered and in-bloom.  Much different than our regular August!

My skyflower is doing great, both the one out front and on the porch!

Even the Obedient Plant, which always looks sad, it brightening its new far corner!

Last Christmas, I received this plant from a neighbor, who had a bunch of leftover cuttings.  It was literally just a piece of a branch.  My neighbor said to "stick it in the ground and water it"  He said it was not cold-tolerant, so it needed to remain potted.  Somewhat hesitantly, I stuck it into one of my existing pots.  And their it remained for many months.  This spring, I saw some new growth on it.  And today, it had this gorgeous flower.  The flower only lasted a few hours, but while it did, it was amazing!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fall Tomatoes

It must be the masochist in me, but I have decided to try my hand (once again) with fall tomatoes.

Now honestly, I can barely grow tomatoes in the spring.  My tenderly cared six bushes have produced an equal number of tomatoes (yes, only six!)  I water them diligently, put down fertilizer each week, but sadly, I get nothing in return.

So, failing that, why not try and grow some in the torturous months of July and August?  When rain doesn't fall from the sky for over sixty days and the sun scorches everything.

Sounds like a good idea to me.  Really!

And with the 25% off sale at the Natural Gardener, I am only out $5.  

Well, $5 and a whole lot of hours of watering these things to get them to limp through the end of July and all of August, and let's not forget those first two months of September.  September, the start of school and fall.  Really, the temperatures should drop out of the 100s by then, right?  Yeah, I know better than that.  We'll see 100s through mid-September.

And I've done this before, right?  I know that come October, I will start to see some tiny little green tomatoes appear, and my heart will soar.  I will know that it was all worth it.  I will watch them slowly grow.  But as the temperatures drop, growth rates also slow... and slow.  The calendar flips to November, and I know it is a race against the clock.  Is that a little red I see?  With warning of the first frost, I will pick those green tomatoes, place them in a brown bag, and hope for the best.  I'll start looking for fried green tomato recipes.

Ah well, it is all in fun.

This summer, I purchased four different varieties.  My primary picking process was to pick those that matured quickly.  

Early Girl - Matures 50 days after planting.  September 12th I should be enjoying my first fruits.

Sunsugar - 62 days after planting.  End of September

Super Fantastic - 70 days.  Hmm, I must have picked the wrong one.  I had tried to pick ones 60 days and under.  Bummer!  If these produce anything is will by early October.

Red Grapes - 75 days to harvest.  Okay, seriously, Natural Gardener had much different dates, or else there plants were poorly marked.  If I get these established and going, the best I can hope for is Mid October. Oh - wait a minute, the tag on the plant says it matures in 57 days.  But the internet says 75... who to believe???  Only time will tell ;o)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July Garden Update

Despite all the spring rain, this has not been my garden's greatest year.  I think I started everything just a little too late. I have only picked half a dozen tomatoes or so, with some of my six plants not producing any :o(. My beets and garlic never developed, and most of my carrots died. I just spent the last few days weeding and mulching the bed in preparation for the hot summer ahead.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Anthophora urbana

I heard this guy (ok girl) buzzing around on the porch. She was larger in size, and had an awkward way of sort of bumbling around that made me realize she certainly wasn't one of our bees.  Plus, she had a very loud buzzing, more like a fly then a bee.

She moved so quickly, that I am shocked I even was able to capture her with my phone.  

I quick search online identified her (actually, it might be a him) as a Anthophora urbana, a large digging bee, or maybe an Amegilla.  I'm not exactly sure.  But pretty cool!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Garden Visitor

After a nice bout of rain last night, the morning was cool and wet.  A perfect time to get in the garden and do some serious weeding.

Harvesting Onions and Planting Sweet Potatoes

Harvested today:  29 onions!

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