Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Here come habaneros...
...among other scalding selections in the container 'o fire. The bell and sweet peppers are putting out fruit, and my tomatoes have produced vigorously but...
...inconsistent moisture and my shoddy watering have resulted in lots of cracking problems! As a relatively inexperienced tomato grower, I reached out to two sources of garden wisdom: my local extension office and my mother. I found out that as long as no infestation gets into the cracks, the tomatoes are still edible (extension office), and if I pick the tomatoes and let them ripen in the relatively infestation-free house, there is a better chance they'll make it to maturity (mother).
The Cherokee Purple tomatoes are coming in first in the race to ripen, and I just hope enough of these, as well as the Amish Paste and Black Krim, can be salvaged. Of course, most of these will probably ripen this weekend while we are out of town. Luckily they will not go to waste because my mom (the same source of tomato wisdom) will be checking on and watering the garden in our absence, and in return she has exclusive rights to any ripe tomato!
The plants are still putting out more fruit, and I will try to be more diligent about maintaining consistent moisture in the raised bed. One lesson I've learned so far this year: vegetables take much more water than I anticipated!
But just as I was moping about the tomato cracks and sullenly harvesting the affected fruits, I saw something that made me ecstatic to be growing vegetables and which inspired that jolt of satisfaction only gardening can provide...
...I have cucumbers!! All year I've wrangled with my squash-less squashes and cucumber-less cucumbers. But I think I've isolated the issue: not enough sun in the back of the bed. The fact that this cucumber (and its lone companion) are in a very sunny site, far from the trellis where they're meant to be, sort of confirms my suspicions.
In other happenings, 'David' phloxes and purple hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) have made a dynamic duo this summer, and I am planning to add more of both next spring.
The Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum) is flopping because of the recent rains, but some visitors don't seem to mind.
In the shady part of the front garden, big-leaved aster (Eurybia macrophylla) is in full bloom and playing nice with new elm-leaved goldenrod (Solidago ulmifolia) that just might bloom this year, and the coleus.
And my new 'Touch of Class' hosta is sending up tentative flower scapes...I'm so happy it's happy enough to be flowering! I look forward to this beauty getting even bigger and better.
The tall coreopsis (C. tripteris) is late blooming this year; I hope it can save some flowers for when I'm back!
I only planted two containers this year, and I'm happy with my decision to go for quality not quantity. This mixture 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia, 'Red Plume' celosia and 'Ready to Wear Paris' calibrachoa (which was a complementary trial from Hort Couture) has held up beautifully through heat, dryness and humidity (albeit with regular watering).
Yet again I will be missing Bloom Day on August 15th, but I look forward to seeing what everyone else has in their gardens! I guess this is my pseudo-Bloom Day post!