Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Curb Appeal

The gorgeous pots from Garden District were filled with a super fragrant French lavender from Merrifield Garden Center and a moon flower vine. In my dabbling days, I grew moon flower and always remembered the fragrance, but I don't remember it being so sturdy. It soon overwhelmed the lavender, which I intended to plant in the ground eventually anyway. It is much happier in its new home, but the moon flower vines did not all survive.
I replaced the pot plantings with liatris and thyme, and there will be a home for both in the garden before the pots are put away for winter.


Lots of people grow a tomato or two, and the peppers are taking their sweet time, so the most excitement the DinkoDo garden has seen so far is the cucumbers--they are blowing up! The trellis is working out great.
I haven't worried about my tomatillos at all, because everything I read said just wait, you'll think you have none and then you'll have tons. That seems to be coming to fruition (no pun intended), because in the last week I've noticed several "balloons."

I have no idea how many eggplant I will get, but here's the start:


Second to having a garden has been enjoying the spectacle of the fireflies every night. There are 1000s of them, and now we know why:
In a Flash, Summer Love Is All Over Washington
I've read they are beneficial in the garden, and I see them all the time during the day, especially on the eggplant:

The Birds?

Or the squirrels, that is the question. Here is tomato victim number 2:
So I have not had one of my pink heirloom tomatoes yet! I, who turned her nose at cds and other such scare tactics, tried netting over the weekend, as I was worried the raccoon family might attack the garden (luckily they seem content to gorge themselves in the apple tree). The huge netting was a joke:

So, I repurposed a hanging fruit basket contraption, to limited success. My orange cherry tomatoes have not been touched (luckily because they are sweet and delicious) but I'd really like to have slicers too. I'm going to try a bird bath, as whether it is birds or squirrels, they are supposedly after water.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lite Blight and other conundrums

With all of the rain we had this spring, it was bound to happen--my tomatoes have a blight. But it is not a death sentence--the Master Gardeners at the Clarendon Farmers' Market took a look at my clippings and just recommended removing the affected leaves and using mulch to prevent soil from splashing the leaves. That was a relief, as I keep reading about a different blight, late blight (of Irish Potato Famine infamy) affecting tomatoes.
But with the good news comes bad--I refused to pull my first tomato before it was fully ripe. But the bird did not wait:

Another disappointment has been my carrots, which were mostly puny. It was harvest time, so I am guessing I have a soil deficiency. My raised bed soil should have been the right consistency, so maybe I did not mix the topsoil and compost well enough, maybe it was too nitrogen heavy for the carrots. The cool weather should have been a plus, and I saw no signs of pests, so I guess it is time to get real about soil testing.

Dave's Garden describes some carrots that do well in heavy soils.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

T.S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month, but June could stake a claim. The beds are prepared and the seeds planted, and I have nothing to do but watch and wait. The tomatoes and peppers are a lovely shade of chartreuse. The cucumbers are flowering and climbing. The eggplant's lavender flowers are open. Hurry up already! At least I have lettuce.