Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking over the garden

As we're winding down with the spring garden and prepping for the fall garden, I decided to go out and look at the garden again. Of course, having cooler than 90-degree temperatures didn't hurt either.

The heirloom tomatoes have been attacked by spider mites (again) and the Brandywine has some scale on it. They haven't really taken off with the growing for the fall season, but I think it may be time to fertilize all the plants again. The only tomato that looks like it's doing well is the Roma. I'm not sure if it's because it gets the least sun and therefore (it seems to follow) it doesn't get roasted like the other plants.

The eggplant shot up in the last month and now could justify having its own tomato cage, if I had one to put out around it. It does have some leaves that are yellowing, but after picking those off, the plant looks to be extremely healthy with both new leaves coming out and tons of new flowers, and already a baby eggplant or two.

The butternut plant does have a squash vine borer in it, but it would require me to go through digging up the vine in order to find it, so I'm hoping that as long as I go about covering the vine with dirt as it grows that I can get it to root in multiple spots and therefore be able to keep it alive long enough for the one butternut to ripen.

The pepper plants are all looking pretty sad--the only one that doesn't look completely done for is the Thai Chili Pepper (Red Dragon). It has been quite the performer this year with us getting maybe 8 peppers off of it this summer. I have high hopes for the fall, though this is the same plant that when it started cooling off, the peppers just stopped ripening. I had to pull all the peppers off while they were still green since I was afraid the plant was going to be killed by some of the light frosts we got here in the winter. The Cayenne pepper just doesn't seem to get enough water. I'll still put some compost tea or miracle gro on it to see if it gives it a boost (yes, I bought miracle gro right after I moved down here and haven't finished it yet...because I use it that infrequently. I also have rose fertilizer and azalea fertilizer that I need to get rid of too. I had bought those because I was going to do a science experiment with a hydrangea...which died) . The Corno di Torro pepper did have a pepper on it, but the bottom was cat-faced and so some bugs got into it and destroyed it. Considering that the pepper plant is still about the same size it was when we planted it, I'm probably not going to try planting another one--Shawn will just have to suck it up and deal with me growing normal bell peppers--it's not like I make him eat them anyhow.

On the flower front: The passion vine has been denuded again. I found there was a caterpillar on it, and since I feel bad about pulling caterpillars off of the plant, I usually leave them on and then content myself by scraping off all the eggs I find on the plant. Obviously I missed an egg. It just went into chrysalis stage last night so, based on the last time, I should have a new butterfly in about 2-3 weeks.

There's something munching on the coral vine, but otherwise it looks healthy, so I'm not going to worry about it (oh believe me, I'll still look for the culprit, but I'm not going to go about putting all sorts of pesticides on it).

The Turk's Cap plants are all doing swimmingly. As are the Rock Roses and the Artemesia (though I did have to deep water the artemesias).

The Bat-faced Cuphea is looking a little off...but I can't quite figure out if it's lack of sun, lack of water, or a little of both. I'm going to guess lack of sun since the leaves look fine. It also is getting a little leggy so I may need to look into pruning it back.

All of the lantanas are taking a hit this summer. Some of it is because I have them in an area that does not retain water, and some of it is because I don't water them enough. Oh don't get me wrong, they're all still alive, just none of them have bloomed since spring.

I've found that the bulbine does well with ultra deep waterings. Something I found out when I was deep watering the trees. So I'll have to remember that instead of using the sprinkler to water them, I need to just set the hose out by them like twice a month.

The grass looks like hay.

The devil plant (aka Asian Jasmine) has turned a rusted shade. Maybe this summer will have finally killed off big portions of it. Well, I can always hope, can't I?

For growing season 2010:
I started the broccoli seed I had. 2 of the starts have come up, the other two haven't. I'm not worried yet because 1) it's only been 7 days, and 2) the variety is called "All season's blend" which is actually 3 different types with different maturity rates; because of this, not all the types come up at the same time. And I had made sure to separate the seeds by color so I could make sure that I only had one type per start container.

The other seeds I started (Rock Rose and Texas Lantana) have not germinated yet. Also not surprising (see: 1 week).

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