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Gardening

This is all very helpful! I have had a little blossom end rot on my tomatoes, which I read was due to uneven calcium absorption due to inconsistent watering. I've tried to be much more consistent, and mulched them in their containers. I moved them closer to the rest of the garden so I don't forget them with the watering can.

The ones in containers are San Marzano, and they are ripening. The Sweet Million (itty bitty delicious tomatoes) are ripening, too, and they are our favorite.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
Well, one week in and have seen no more groundhog activity, and DH says the moles have moved out of the garden and out into the lawn, lol. The spikes supposedly have a 45' radius, so maybe they're fleeing the area.
Another update - I think the moles moving was temporary. There are a lot of soft spots in the garden. But still no sign of the groundhog moving back in, and that’s the critter I really wanted gone, so . . .

Mosquito eradicator is getting a thumbs up from us.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Back at the start of July I started to post images of my garden with my orange daylilies in full bloom, but I stopped when I realized I needed to reduce the file size of all the images. Today I finally did that. Below are the images from back then.

Now, in the heat of August, we are in a drought and have been for weeks. The orange daylilies are long gone; I've cut them down and the foliage is slowly rising green again. Most of my hostas have bloomed furiously and are done. They are all deadheaded now.

There is no glory in my garden any more. It has been done in by drought and rabbits and deer and fungus attacks. It's nice to remember that at one point I was in love with the garden.

Now I mostly am in survival mode, trying to fend off the predators, hand water my poor dehydrated plants, clean out the southern blight that has attacked, deal with the dense thatch that has replaced the grass in the front yard, and kill the crabgrass and broadleaf weeds that have invaded the back yard. It's not a good time in the garden. I am out-numbered.

But I did enjoy the orange fest.

Two beds greet you as you come up the driveway.
1. orange small driveway.jpeg
Here's what you see looking off to the side of the driveway drop-off. This looks like an early scene from Jurassic Park. I expect to see a long-necked dinosaur munching away down there anytime.
2. orange small vista.jpeg
Here's looking up at the back yard. There are lilies in front of the big rocks and again up back forming a "lily hedge." That makes four substantial massed plantings of common orange daylilies all blooming at the same time. They put on quite a show and it makes me smile every day they are there.
3. orange small rocks whole.jpeg
Here's that lily hedge seen up close from the back corner of the big hosta bed.
6. orange small with back corner .jpg
And here it is again seen from the middle of that hosta bed. Back then the hostas were not suffering from drought conditions. They are now.
9.orange small from the big hosta bed.jpeg
An up close view of my favorite spot in the garden.
5. orange small and sun power.jpeg
 
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@liquidfeet - I love your garden!

We have been fretting about the garden in the drought, too. Mr. Blizzard was convinced I was going to dry up the well by watering the vegetables so heavily. (They really needed it.) We started collecting rainwater when it finally did rain, but we could fill a lot more big garbage bins in a good storm. I empty them quickly; I planted a whole lot of vegetables this year.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Right, @newboots. This drought is worse than usual. Or at least my garden seems to be suffering more than usual. Spring was so good, though. Weather is fickle. I'm working to find things to do that make a difference and lead to enjoyment I have a number of sitting areas set up out there. Several are in the shade. Sitting in the coolness of that shade in the afternoon is good, so I've worked on the spot we like the best. It's in deep shade but still suffering. I can't keep up with the water needs. Oh well, I'm now working with next season in mind, moving things that can be moved safely in this weather (not much), turning compost piles so I'll have enough black gold to go around when the time comes, cleaning up the massive stick piles that the storms and my new woodland path produced.

Are you getting good things for the table from your garden despite the heat and dryness?
 
Are you getting good things for the table from your garden despite the heat and dryness?
Oh yes! Greens: kale, spinach, lettuce (gone by, planted more in the shade), and amaranth. Brocolli, although it's had a lot of pest damage we can still eat bits of it. Purple potatoes! All the flavor of plain potatoes but with anthocyanins. Think blueberry nutrition! Radishes. Two turnips!

I harvested all the garlic the other day, and it's drying. The carrots appear to be coming along, and I've used a lot of basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and mint. The nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, and liatris are blooming. I almost forgot the string beans! The green ones are done but replanted, the purple ones are producing, and the yellow ones are getting ready to bloom!

We had a handful of blueberries on our new bushes. There will be an abundance of ground cherries - super easy to grow, fun, and absurdly expensive if you ever find them in the store. A/K/A husk cherries.
 
I can relate. My flower garden always looks dried up and bloomed out this time of year. I haven't mastered mid summer gardening. Even plants that are supposed to bloom until fall, like penstemon, salvia and catmint, are phoning it in right now. We don't get rain in summer and watering is such a chore. I have soaker hoses in places but I swear I run them for 2 hours and the water doesn't go very deep.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh yes! Greens: kale, spinach, lettuce (gone by, planted more in the shade), and amaranth. Brocolli, although it's had a lot of pest damage we can still eat bits of it. Purple potatoes! All the flavor of plain potatoes but with anthocyanins. Think blueberry nutrition! Radishes. Two turnips!

I harvested all the garlic the other day, and it's drying. The carrots appear to be coming along, and I've used a lot of basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and mint. The nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, and liatris are blooming. I almost forgot the string beans! The green ones are done but replanted, the purple ones are producing, and the yellow ones are getting ready to bloom!

We had a handful of blueberries on our new bushes. There will be an abundance of ground cherries - super easy to grow, fun, and absurdly expensive if you ever find them in the store. A/K/A husk cherries.
Oh my goodness that's a LOT! I'm so impressed. I have no idea how to grow food for the tummy. I grow eye candy.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I can relate. My flower garden always looks dried up and bloomed out this time of year. I haven't mastered mid summer gardening. Even plants that are supposed to bloom until fall, like penstemon, salvia and catmint, are phoning it in right now. We don't get rain in summer and watering is such a chore. I have soaker hoses in places but I swear I run them for 2 hours and the water doesn't go very deep.
Same here. The water doesn't go very deep. I don't have soaker hoses; tried them once and gave up on them.

I'm watering my big (BIG) hosta bed right now with a sprinkler on the end of a regular hose. I place it somewhere in the middle of the plants, today starting over on the right, set my watch timer for 7 minutes, turn on the faucet, and go do something. When the alarm beeps, I turn off the water, move the sprinkler, reposition it, and turn the water back on. Repeat every 7 minutes. I make sure each placement overlaps the last. Hostas act like umbrellas when watered from above. Watering by hand is better, but I'm not going to stand there for all morning. This way I can water for a long time. The water will still miss many plants altogehter, and only sink an inch deep or so. I still do it in case it helps in any way. Fingers crossed.

I haven't seen the quarterly water bill and don't want to see it.
 
Oh yes! Greens: kale, spinach, lettuce (gone by, planted more in the shade), and amaranth. Brocolli, although it's had a lot of pest damage we can still eat bits of it. Purple potatoes! All the flavor of plain potatoes but with anthocyanins. Think blueberry nutrition! Radishes. Two turnips!

I harvested all the garlic the other day, and it's drying. The carrots appear to be coming along, and I've used a lot of basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and mint. The nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, and liatris are blooming. I almost forgot the string beans! The green ones are done but replanted, the purple ones are producing, and the yellow ones are getting ready to bloom!

We had a handful of blueberries on our new bushes. There will be an abundance of ground cherries - super easy to grow, fun, and absurdly expensive if you ever find them in the store. A/K/A husk cherries.
I find purple potatoes fascinating.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So here's what I did with those orange daylilies after they bloomed.
I don't like them when they look like this.
1.  orange time to cut down copy.jpeg 2.  Orange time to cut down copy.jpeg
So I cut them down. All the way. Buzz cut. Like so:
3.  orange cut down #1 copy.jpeg 5. orange cut down #3 copy.jpeg 6.  orange cut down #3 copy.jpeg
Yes, like this. It takes me a few days. This is hard work, requiring leaning over with hedge sheers in the sun.
7,  orange just cut down copy.jpeg
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I put the spent greenery onto my compost piles. There's a lot.
green lily folate on top copy.jpeg
Green lily leaves on top copy.jpeg
Then I turn the piles with a pitchfork to get the green stuff beneath the brown stuff.
just turned copy.jpeg
And in time the compost piles turn into "black gold." I'll spread this rich compost on top of the daylily beds in the spring before the new growth appears. I'll also spread it on my fern beds and on other beds if I have enough compost and enough time. You can see the good black stuff showing through in these compost piles.
black gold in the making copy.jpeg
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
An example of the results of my tomato pruning: I've never seen such big fruit and how they are all just hanging in huge clusters at the base of the plant. Usually this variety of tomatoes is long and skinny but this year they are fat with a slightly tapered end. Still extremely meaty and no issues with bottom rot! I will definitely continue aggressively pruning my tomatoe 542B927E-AE3C-48DB-BF1E-DEE18705BB5D.jpeg s
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Kimmyt I know you snipped the lower stems...what else?
Snipped all lower branches at least 12" up (started lower as the plants were smaller but as they grew i took off all the lower branches) and for the entirety of the plant I took off all suckers and any branches that looked like they didn't have any blossoms or only had 1 blossom. Once the summer got super hot and the plants hit a growth spurt i slacked a bit and probably could clean the top of the plant up more to get more air flow but most of the fruit is set now and tomato vines irritate my skin so i haven't gone back to clean things up. I followed this youtube tutorial, you can see just how much foliage she takes off. Its kind of daunting to remove so much of the plant, but apparently it works!
 

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