GARDEN UPDATE – HOT, HOT, HOT!

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 06-06-2011

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BROWN-EYED SUSAN CLUMP

BROWN-EYED SUSAN CLUMP

 

BROWN-EYED SUSAN MEADOW

BROWN-EYED SUSAN MEADOW

THESE BROWN-EYED SUSAN PLANTS VOLUNTEER EVERY SUMMER IN THE LARGER GARDEN AREA.  THEY DON’T SEEM TO BE AFFECTED BY EITHER THE HEAT OR DROUGHT.  THIS YEAR I HAD A “SPORT” BLOOM THAT IS VERY INTERESTING.  I DOUBT THAT IT IS A GENETIC VARIATION BUT I AM GOING TO COLLECT THE SEED FROM THIS ONE BLOOM JUST IN CASE IT IS.  IF SO, I WILL BE ON “EASY STREET”.

SPORT BLOOM

 

AT ANY RATE – THEY ARE A VERY ATTRACTIVE ADDISION TO THE GARDEN.

 

KEEGAN HARVEST HIS GARDEN

Earlier this spring, my grandson, Keegan, was given a giant cabbage plant (about 2 inches tall) by his teacher.  It is part of an educational activity Bonnie Plants organizes to introduce 3rd graders to gardening.  He asked if he could have one of the raised beds as his garden and we all said yes.  Well they were not kidding when they called it a giant cabbage plant.  it grew faster and larger than the spring cabbage we had planted.  Last week, he decided that it was time to harvest the cabbage and the tomatoes growing on his Roma tomato plant.  He had so much fun that he started picking the cucumbers that were ready and wanted to do more but we stopped him.  His carrots were shaded out by the cabbage plant but his Chinese cabbage grew and remains to be picked.  I am trying to get him excited about planting, weeding and digging as well as picking and eating.

harvesting the giant cabbage

 

Here's the big one.

 

cukes

 

GARDEN UPDATE

The heat continues without any rain so we continue to water daily.  Davis and Kathy worked the garden on Friday morning.  I have not spoken with them but I think they weeded and pulled the spring mix so we need to replant the bed with something soon.  They picked tomatoes as there were a lot of red ones.  I worked the garden Friday afternoon.  Both Peggy and Chris were not feeling well and decided to avoid the heat and stay in.  A very smart choice when you consider how hot it was.  I was able to water everything and tie the berries (both blackberries and boysenberries) to their supports.  It is wonderful to see how fast they grow.  No fruit this year but it should be a different story next year.  I pinched back the melons and pulled some of the mulch up around the plants.  I had to quit because of the heat so I got on the mower and mowed the cleared 3 acres outside the large garden.

berry trellis

Next years berries

Melon bed

Melons to be

 

Saturday I went into the garden at 6:30 am to avoid the heat.  It was a cool 67 degrees and held for at least 20 minutes before it finally ran me into the house at 10:30 am  (92 degrees).  Before I retreated, I was able to replant the open rows in the Kentucky Wonder bed and plant the okra on the inside of the beans.  I had soaked the okra seed for 24 hours to facilitate its sprouting.  I also hand watered all the individual new plants outside the vegetable garden (6 dwarf cherry,2 paw paw, 1celest fig, 1 passion flower vine, 3 tung oil trees, and 3 wonderful perennial morning glory vines {Ipomoea acuminata}) as well as transplant 15 rootings from my elderberry plants.  I was again exhausted and went to the riding mower and mowed 1/2 of the inside of the large garden.

I did nothing Sunday.  I’ve done nothing today.  I might do nothing tomorrow unless Davis calls and tells me he wants to put the soil on the squash so they will start to root in our combat against the squash vine bore or if Kathy wants to plant the rest of the corn.  I do want to cut and root more of the Malabar Spinach vines and plant a rotation crop of crook necked squash and buttercup squash.  Weeding is a distant nagging call in the background.  I pulled some pretty big and rapidly growing crabgrass weeds from around the berries and daylilies.

 

DAYLILLIES

edable daylily

Edible daylily

Many gardeners are not aware that the daylily is a common vegetable in China.  It has been eaten for centuries in Asia and is quite tasty.  The entire plant is edible but I enjoy the unopened flowers best.  They can be picked when full and about one day from opening and eaten cut into a raw salad (for color and taste) but are best cooked like asparagus in olive oil or butter with seasoning.  Either boiled or pan braised (sauteed).  Some batter and deep fat fry the blooms as fritters but I try to avoid the extra oil.  We grow a row of daylilies obtained from my hybrid rejects (I have hybridized the daylily for 15 years and generate many plants unsuitable for introduction).  The problem is that with maturity, many of these rejects grow into their genetics and are quite lovely the 2nd or 3rd year.  I find that many of my daylily (plants) leave the garden destined for their own garden instead of the dinner plate.  It is not a problem as I am now “growing out” 256 new seedlings from the 2010 season and many of these will end up in the vegetable garden.

another daylily for the table

Another daylily for the table.

 

Gordon

Comments (1)

Enjoyed the black-eyed susan pics and Keegan working in the garden. I took a few pics for my home and garden areas, but seem to have trouble collecting them in one location for publishing on the blog. Will keep trying or will stop by Wednesday.

I planted black-eyed susan seeds 3-4 years ago and they surprise me every year, coming up here and there very nicely. They are very drought tolerant and do well in the current conditions we are having.

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