25 July 2013

This Week in the Garden: We Like Hot Weather

 Yes, the garden reports that it loves the combination of hot weather and water.  I was gone for a few days, and my mother and brother took care of all the plants while I was away.  When I came back less than a week later, everything had once again grown by leaps and bounds.  The beets look ready for some beet green harvests, which I feel sure will delight my newly-returned husband, who enjoys the greens more than the beets.  I, on the other hand, enjoy the beets more than the greens, so we have an ideal set-up.

Even the Japanese White Egg seems happier than it has for a long time.  The leaves are bigger and greener, and its stalk reaches a little closer to the sky than it did this time last week.  The package says it matures in 65 days, and I'm hoping we'll still get some eggplants now that the plants seem recovered from the traumas of moving.

Before I left last week, I did a crazy thing:  I filled every blank spot in the garden with new seeds.  Yes, I did this in the middle of July.  No, I did not do this with fall-crop seed varieties.  When my mom and I visited George Washington's Mount Vernon this spring, we decided the perfect souvenir would be some heirloom seeds.  Our philosophy of gifts, even when they're to ourselves, is to buy something we wouldn't normally buy, something not entirely practical.  So although I had been limiting myself earlier in the spring to seeds that would give me an edible harvest, I bought flowers at Mount Vernon.  When I arrived home earlier this week, I was overjoyed to see my little Love Lies Bleeding seeds all sprouting in their row near the fence.  Now to thin them...
 Mystery Pepper Plant

If I had it to do again, and I had the option of a greenhouse, I would grow my peppers in it.  I'm finding they thrive when the weather is hot, and they've had a slow go of it here when the temperatures get down in the low sixties or even mid-fifties at night.  During the last week, however, they have had quite a growth spurt, reviving my hope that there will be a few peppers in my future...before the frosts of fall hit.
 Mystery Tomato Plant

In discussing the earliest possible frost dates with both my mother and Google, I discovered that the first frost date here could be in October, but might delay itself until as late as early November.  Now that the tomato plants have reached a respectable size, I'm hoping to enjoy many tomatoes from them between now and October.


This week the size of the tomatillo plant I've been showing you here defied the usual photo with the plant measured against my arm.  It was so tall that leaning over with it up against my arm and reaching far enough back with the camera in the other hand simply could not be done without endangering either myself or my plants.  I'll just tell you:  when my arm is straight up and down, with my fingertips on the soil, the plant is almost to my armpit.  It sure seems like it grows several inches a day.  Maybe just one inch a day, though.  I don't know.  Just FAST.  Which is why I would for sure grow these again.  I like plants that grow fast.  They make me feel like a good gardener.

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