July 9, 2012

Early Summer Transitions

Helenium is a favorite of mine, filling a gap in July and early August where few other perennial looks so fresh. This display comes from two plants plants close together, but now, I can see why maybe 5 plants would make even a better display, creating large pools of color 15 feet in diameter. Scale makes everything more impressive. I will need to dedicate more space next year. Even for me, it's still hard to move from buying 3 plants at the garden center, to investing in 5 or 7. 
Experienced gardeners know, seasonal transitions seen to happen overnight. The cool nights of late spring transition to steamy evenings with the buzzing drone of insects and tree frogs. Gone are the early summer perennials of roses, peonies, iris and poppies, suddenly they have gone to seed, and the weeds are growing faster than most anything else, save for the pumpkin vines. In our garden, this happens about the second with of July, and lasts until the first week of August - as if summer was an adolecent child, this is it's 14 year old growth spurt. Plants seem to be hungry all of the time, wanting to eat as much as they can get, and many are literally growing by inches each night. I call it the mid-summer,  growth spurt. Be prepared for it, and take care to water daily and fertilize those plants that require nutrition for optimal harvests, mainly tomatoes and other vegetables, plus those plants that might even be forming growth that will increase next summers' bloom, such as peonies. All will benefit with a balanced fertilizer during these days with the longest sunlight hours.

CONTAINERS, IN THIS HOT WEATHER, WILL REQUIRE DAILY WATERING, IF NOT TWICE DAILY. WATERING EACH POT WHEN I GET HOME FROM WORK, IS MY THERAPY. IT TAKES ABOUT AN HOUR, BUT IT CLEARS MY MIND AFTER A LONG COMMUTE.
NEARBY, IN WOODSTOCK CT, THE FIRST SWEET CORN OF THE SEASON ARRIVED THIS WEEKEND.

I MESSED UP WITH MY GARLIC, NOT REMOVING THE GARLIC SCAPES ON MY HEIRLOOM GARLIC, WHICH MANY GROWERS FEEL MAKE THE BULBS LARGER, I LEFT A FEW ON, JUST BECAUSE I LIKE THE WAY THEY LOOK, BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN CUT OFF A MONTH AGO. THIS GARLIC WILL BE HARVESTED IN ABOUT THREE WEEKS.

WATERING DAILY IS NOT A CHORE, BUT THERAPY IN THE EARLY MORNING, AND SOMETIMES AGAIN IN THE EVENING, ESPECIALLY WITH NEWLY PLANTED SHRUBS. JOE IS WATERING IN SOME NEW IRIS DIVISIONS, AND A FEW NEW HYDRANGEAS


SOME CONTAINERS IN OUR GARDEN HAVE BEEN RELOCATED TO A FAR CORNER OF THE GARDEN, WHERE THE HOSE CANNOT REACH. THESE ARE WATERED WITH A TIN, DIPPED INTO THE FISH POND. THE RED FLOWER IN THE BACKGROUND IS A FIRE LILY, A SOUTH AFRICAN BULB PROPERLY KNOWN AS A SCADOXUS MULTIFLORUS 'KATHERINAE'


My seed grown heirloom tomatoes are enjoying the hot and humid weather, and they seem to be growing many inches each day. I am growing them in large felt  bags, where I can keep sterilized soil with added mycrorhyza clean, so there are fewer leaves being lost to soil borne virus'. for now. All we can do it postpone such afflictions, for one a neighbor gets a break out, the spores will be airborne, and eventually, all tomatoes will get one of the late viruses, but for now, I am focusing of growing strong, well fertilized plants, low nitrogen, and high phosphorus and potassium for large, green, tomatoes.


THE  'MIGHTY MATO'S that came from Home Depot for me to test ( the grafted plants) are really starting to take off. Remember, these are plants that are grafted onto root stock that focused on aggressive root growth. I expect that over the next two weeks, these plants may take over all of my other plants that I started from seed.
We bought  few new chickens this weekend ( not this one, he's a fancy crested polish - (such fancyness would get ruined in our muddy chicken yard).



2 comments :

  1. Wow, what great photos - what a great garden. Your post really makes me wish I had some helenium. Though I have to say, the flowers always look bigger in pictures than they do at the garden center. I find that monarda can also play that transitional role.

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  2. I NEED some orange Heleniums but right now the only wholesaler that carries them is over an hour away and so far I haven't needed them badly enough to drive that far. Hopefully someone closer gets some in.

    Love the crested rooster. I've seen a few like that as pets around here. Always wondered what they were called.

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