Weather and pests: Spring in the south is over. Most days come close to 90 and we had 4 weeks with no rain. Humidity hasn’t yet hit its daily highs and watering has been very necessary. We have moved into daylily and perennial season. The poppies are dried up, the irises are done and the reds and yellows abound. With the dry weather, an increase in pests began. Whiteflies are all over my tomatoes and it’s been difficult to keep up. In addition to bugs, we have had 3 snakes in the garden. 2 we scared off, but the third was in a window box a story up on our deck. That one we netted and put out front.
Work: My work in the garden has been pulling of the spent spring poppies, dead heading, staking tall plants and putting in summer annuals. I have also been weeding crabgrass out of my beds nearly daily.
Purchases: On May 27 we hit up the Growers Outlet. It is a a plant outlet at rock bottom wholesale pricing that is open to the general public. For the most part, it’s the usual plants, but occasionally they have some unique finds. I came home with the following fun finds: miracle horizon hypericum (St. John’s wort with pink berries), dwarf Cavendish banana, prairie smoke geum, agapanthus everwhite, scaevola, Baptista, variegated abutilon, Kent beauty oregano, pink ground phlox and a few things for a friend.
Blooming: it’s lily season and the dahlias are almost in bloom. below are some of the photos from these 3 weeks. I’m almost to the point where I’ll be inundated with tomatoes! Last year a hail storm took them out along with my grapes so I hope I’m lucky this year! I have hundreds of grapes and have bagged up 10 bunches to keep the birds off of them. This year I am trying determinate tomatoes which will finish up in June. I am doing this due to the difficulty in growing tomatoes into mid July due to leaf foot bug damage. Leaf foot bugs are throughout my back yard already, but have yet to find the tomatoes this year as I moved them to my driveway out front on the other side of a 6 ft fence.
Busy week in week 17 as we hosted a garden party. The garden was at spring peak and we rented a tent and self-catered the food. We had a lovely time showcasing the flowers and spending quality outdoor time with friends and family.
Week 18 was the week goal week for getting my sunflowers and zinnias in. I did have to remove some poppies and cornflowers to make room for summer seedlings. I’m hoping the chipmunk and slugs allow me to keeps some! I planted sunspot, sunfill purple, cherry rose, teddy bear and sun rich summer Provence sunflower seedlings started in April. In addition, I put in parks lavender, benary giant mix, and Oklahoma salmon in my back zinnia border. I put parks siesta mix in my lettuce bed after harvesting bolting lettuce. Parks mix, and Art Deco mix ended up in my raised beds. Jim baggets mix and ice queen white were put out front. In addition to planting zinnia seedlings, I started several varieties of dwarf zinnia to fill pots that currently rely on pansies and cool weather flowers that will soon be dried up and will need to be replaced. I have started Aztec sunset, profusion cherry bicolor, Zahara raspberry ripple, and precious rose dwarf zinnias. I also started viscaria oculata, salvia summer jewel pink, Genovese basil and General Lee cucumbers.
My fantastic friend at Doc Green Grows traded me some eucalyptus, ptilotus Matilda, cockscomb celosia seedlings and a cafe au lait dahlia for chocolate mint and pineapple coleus, Avignon dahlia and Persian shield. These were planted in large containers as I do not have room for full eucalyptus trees. Weekend 18 was busy with planting and I still have 4 o clocks to plant which are small seedlings. I received these in a trade with another lady who traded for a rooted Maypop. I received a cutting of Jerusalem sage and some rooted oregano from a neighbor in exchange for a dahlia and an iris. I gave another neighbor a white iris for a split in the fall of her pink ones. If you know people with plants, ask to trade!
I also started rooting cuttings of 6 different Calibrachoa. I have no luck later in the season when they are woodier. I used fiber rooting blocks. Efficacy TBD on these!