The ups and downs of gardening
Plants: The predicted heat wave came and wreaked destruction on the garden -- and on me. Many of the plants simply burned from the constant sunlight, even the ones that were supposed to crave it. I shifted many of the containers around, and with daily watering, managed to save the butterfly bushes. But it looks like the blueberry bush is mostly dead and the two strawberry plants will not be offering berries this year. Very disappointing.
I suffered 5 migraines in a single week and pretty much hated the world. The only way I was able to keep up with the garden was by going outside every morning, as soon as my shift ended, to deal with the watering and deadheading. After that, it just became too darn hot.
Right after the heatwave came a week of rains, which pretty much overwhelmed the plants that had survived the brutal summer heat. Several of the plants developed a green hue to the soil, which apparently meant they could develop root rot if the rains didn't ease up.
The old lavender is doing well but the new seeds never germinated. Several of the milkweed seeds have also failed to grow. I'm dumping the pots that used to contain my sunflowers and carrots, since both crops were decimated by the chipmunks. The iris has died. The red wildflowers are just starting to show but I'm not entirely confident in them yet. While the blue ones in their own pot are making progress, the ones I planted around the daisies in the urn have so far failed to debut.
Speaking of which, those daisies bloomed beautifully and I was enjoying their friendliness. However, the weather caused the middle one to die and the rest seem to be both waterlogged and singed from the heat. The daisies in the balcony box, on the other hand, have grown to a foot tall and still haven't flowered. They've also spread, so much so that the nasturtiums I planted next to them were being utterly blocked by their foliage. Yesterday, I removed the blockers and transplanted them into their own pot.
My older tomato plants are making progress. I've staked both of them in the balcony container and they're training up the bamboo sticks nicely. Although the front one has already developed three small tomatoes, I had to remove one of the fruits because it had contracted a common disease called "blossom-end rot." I battled that by placing crushed egg shells into the soil. The tomato plants in the blue pot are about 6 inches tall now. We'll see if they continue to grow.
The red pepper plants have finally started to form peppers. There's one that's grown to about an inch and several more buds promising future fruits. We'll see.
The garlic and onions seem to be fruitful and multiplying. Or weeds have appeared in the pot and I can't tell the difference. Time will tell.
The outside herbs -- mint, chocolate mint, oregano and thyme -- have all resurrected from earlier troubles and are growing nicely. I've already picked some mint for use in an Asian chicken salad.
But the biggest success story? My potato plants. All three pots are full of potato-y goodness. The greenery has grown 2 feet tall with additional soil amendments. Clearly I need to become a potato farmer!
Purchased: The second Moroccan urn has finally arrived -- unbroken, no less. Now I just gotta figure out a way to pick up some more geraniums from Agway without coming in contact with anyone (darn you COVID-19) so I can have a pretty matching set near the front door.
Weather: Currently 63F and cloudy. Low 63F, High 87F. Partly cloudy throughout the day. More heat is due this week. Grr.
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Magdalena Roeseler