Monday, July 7, 2008

Catching Up in the Garden, June 29 and July 7

It was my goal to post about the garden once a week or so, but I got overwhelmed by life and missed last week's post. I did remember to take pictures, though, so today's post is a catch-up.
This is the garden on June 29. You can see the butternut squash was pretty happy at that point!
It's a little difficult to see, but in the top middle of the pic, there are butternut flower buds in the joints between stem and leaves. The plants set male flowers first, so I know these buds won't give fruit... but they're exciting anyway. *grin* You can also see that the lettuce was already unhappy... fragile lil plants! Sheesh.

This is the purple mystery flower in with the golden marjoram and the parsley. Looking at this pic, I realize once again what a valuable tool that lil camera is--the growth difference between June 29 and today really startles me--not because they grew, but because I didn't realize how much!

Purslane, and basil seedlings. I went through and deadheaded the purslane a couple days after this photo. It was setting seed, and I want green growth. Looking at this pic, I have to say the deadheading paid off!

Pea seedlings at the back of the butternut pot. They're a darker green than the lettuce seedlings, and a much sturdier plant, as well. I poked the seeds in pretty deeply to give the plants a better chance at surviving the heat.

Herb seedlings. At this point I didn't know what the one in front was. There was a fly on one leaf; the fly was metallic gold, of all colors!
It's hard to see in this photo, but there are seedlings in with the pepper.
There ya go! Straightneck summer squash seedlings! (ha, say that four times fast...)

You can barely see a squash seedling in with the eggplant. What you can see clearly, though, is the bad thing the soil is doing... doggoned cheap potting soil! It has caked together and pulled away from the sides of the pot. What this means now is that any water which gets near the sides will flow down and out through the hole in the bottom of the pot without ever getting near the plant roots. I used a fork and broke the soil up to get it to go to the edges of the pot again... but yanno, it keeps on pulling away like this. Mulch might make a difference, if I can find some.
That brings us to today, July 7.

I love my purple mystery flower! The parsley and marjoram are doing well also--but I had thought the purple flowers were mostly gone, and the plant surprised me no end with more!

May I just say that I admire the temerity of this... um... weed? The basil seedlings are slow-growing to say the least, but the weed has just taken off! Not only that, it brought its little sister; you can see her at the back of the right hand back pot. *sigh* If only my herbs n veggies were that happy!
Well, okay... I have to say the purslane IS pretty happy! It's put on a growth spurt and is filling out really well. The basil seedlings at the front of the pot are also doing okay. At the back (or top) of the pot, looking like really large purslane leaves right behind the flower, are the punkin seedlings. I have my fingers crossed for a Halloween jack o'lantern *grin* even a small one would be amazing and wonderful!

This is the pepper pot today; look, true leaves on the squash and green beans! And, although tis hard to see, tight lil bitty flower buds on the pepper itself, right at the top! Wooohoooo!!

Peppers, like tomatoes, are normally perennials if you can protect them from frost--but here in Wichita the "frost" quite often seems to be a foot of snow topped with ice. I think this pepper, like all my veggies and herbs, will be an annual. I thought about trying to winter some of the plants over, but I would have the same problem that led me to set the garden up outdoors in the first place--four cats who love to dig. Tis easier to let it go and start again next spring.

We'll see if I still think it's easier come November! *wry laugh*

One of the mysteries of life... the seedlings in the eggplant pot, planted the same day in the same way and receiving the same water and fertilizer, are three days behind the seedlings in the pepper pot. Go figure, eh? The eggplant, I'm happy to say, seems to be much happier than it was last week.

Not so the butternut squash....

This is a HUGE improvement over the sad state of affairs this morning. I honestly thought it was wilted past recovery, and am amazed at the resilience of life in a squash plant. What this serious kind of wilting means for future squash I don't know, although I suspect it might delay it at the least and will probably limit production as well. But there is hope...
...check it out, the flower buds are still alive!

If I didn't already know these are male flowers, the stems would be a give-away. Female flowers would have teeensy baby squashes instead of straight stems.

So there you have it, the garden from the end of June into the first week of July. Oh, and I put a pot saucer under the seedling herbs... it rained the next day. Now I've watered thoroughly and all of a sudden we have clouds overhead even though the weather report said it would be sunny until Wednesday.... should I fertilize? Will that bring the rain right away? lol!

I leave you with a picture from the back of our building, facing the same direction (and the same yard) as the daylily picture last month. This is a mimosa tree with masses of feathery pink flowers. It hangs over the daylily fence from the yard beyond, and has been giving me pleasure for a couple weeks now.

Happy gardening!

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