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.
Oh boy! This last week was a real rollercoaster. Temps hit the 70’s most days and nights were above freezing. Nearly daily warm rains really sent the garden into growth mode. Seedlings really shot up outside! It was a perfect week of gardening weather, but, even with all of the growing, the garden suffered a catastrophe. The company we hired to remove the piles of limbs from our pruning and raking piles from winter cleanup for some reason decided it would be fun to don a backpack of glyphosate and spray INTO our growing, active beds. We read them the riot act six ways from Sunday and hosed down as much of the beds as we could. Now we wait. They had no authorization to weed, poison or do anything like that, they were hired to carry piles to a truck. I’m flabbergasted, and hope we saved the roses and irises and lilies they sprayed. It’s amazing to me that a company that services landscapes thinks glyphosate is a selective weed killer. All of that to kill THREE dock plants and a few scattered chickweed.
I am so glad to report that the new bird house as well as the old one seem to be noticed by the bluebirds. I caught a few snapshots of them doing a house tour early in the week. I couldn’t quite get a shot of the new blue house as the birds were quickly in and out and I couldn’t get the shot, so forgive the quarter photo.
Last fall I realized I was sitting on a gorgeous mum. It’s apricot/ yellow and the blooms are very large 3 inch blooms. I wanted to split it to put it in a few other spots where it would garner more attention, but it’s old and woody and that’s too much work, so I decided to take spring cuttings to propagate instead. The plant has put up about 4 inch shoots this week, so it’s go time.
I had a chance during the week to pot sedum and succulents to propagate. These are currently under light in the Mylar grow hut units in my garage. I’m pretty new with succulents and have a poor track record, so this will be an interesting adventure. I took mature sedum and succulents from various planters I have and put them on succulent soil in 2 inch pots. Time will tell if I succeed!
As it is winter most of my focuses on my indoor seed starts. This week I am still fighting Cleome queen and am now attempting to connive it germinate by putting it in the fridge at night and hot grow hut for its days. I gave in and ordered one pack of sparkler Cleome as it is a hybrid that apparently germinates without this kind of fuss. During this week most of the 4-6 week seedlings germinated and I now have a lot of planning to do on where my seedling will go in my garden!