"Look and see, for everyone is coming home!" Isaiah 60:4

Friday, September 9, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow? Highs (and lows) of 2011

 I've been lacking on the updates of the garden because, really there hasn't been much to update. The flowers did decently well, but mostly because they all bloomed before the heat stress set in. Here's a few pictures from this past summer.
 I think I've posted these before, but I really like them, so here they are again! These are some daylilies that I transplanted from the backyard to the front yard. I'm so glad I kept them!

 These next few flowers were killed by the heat before they could get much bigger than this. Pretty sad.

The cosmos did eventually bloom! They were beautiful!
 So did the Sweet Peas. Also beautiful, but they didn't get up to their fabled 12' tall. This was about all I could get out of them before they too were singed by the torch of summer. I'm not bitter....promise...
 These daylilies (Grapette) were a big surprise this year. I bought them last year from K-States gardens, but they didn't bloom. They just needed a little time to establish roots in their new area. They bloomed this year and I'm so glad I waited for them! I LOVE the ruffled edges and the dark purple to yellow throat! Beautiful!

So this year wasn't the best year for the veggie garden. In fact it was a MAJOR disappointment.

At the beginning of the season I had 34 tomato plants. I had expected to be processing gallons and gallons of tomato sauce, puree, diced tomatoes...the list was endless! The heat this summer made it impossible for them to set fruit. So far this year I've had a record breaking LOW of approximately 10 purple cherry tomatoes and a weird wild hybrid plant that produced 5-7 Roma/cherry cross tomatoes. They basically look like giant red cherry tomatoes. The rest of the 32 tomatoes have yet to produce ANYTHING. And I fear it's too late for them. I've honestly about given up. I'm keeping them out there mostly for the blooms on the plants. We've got some hummingbirds close by that like tomato blooms. BUT, my rule is if they are benefiting in SOME way, they stay. But I'm no longer watching for anything to ripen. It's just too heartbreaking and disappointing :(

The lettuce was all eaten by rabbits, the peppers were stunted by the heat and almost never got established. Our pumpkins were attacked by vine borers and more or less done for by the beginning of July.
The carrots hated the soil they were in. Too much clay. When they were pulled up...it was just sad. They were shorter than your pinky finger and about as round.
And the purple green beans, while they did produce the biggest harvest, well, I didn't get them staked when I should have. They were attacked by heat, bugs, poor soil, and weeds that tried to choke out the little life left in them.

HOWEVER....I did plant my first fall garden. So far I've gotten carrots and more purple green beans in the ground. I'm still planning on 3-4 varieties of lettuce and spinach. And I'm working on a post for that as well. I'm staying hopeful the fall harvest will make up for the summer harvest. Until then, I'll be praying over the soil. 'Cause I don't know what else could possibly work.

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