Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Garden update: August 2011

I took a few photos of my garden a couple weeks ago, but I've been so busy, I haven't had time to put them up on the blog until now.  I'm finding that this blog is an excellent way to compare my garden from year to year.  It gives me a better idea of what works, what doesn't and how my garden has evolved over time.

As you can see from the photo above, the little stack-a-pot strawberries I planted back in April are blooming again.  These are an ever-bearing variety, so they are supposed to produce fruit throughout the summer.  I was about to give up on these plants, after I only got one strawberry off them this spring.  But now I'm finding that the plants will bloom and fruit immediately after I fertilize them with Miracle Gro every two weeks or so.  The berries aren't very big or numerous, but they are very sweet. They are fun to snack on while I'm checking out the rest of my garden.

The banana peppers are growing very well in this summer's hot and dry weather.  I definitely have more peppers than I know what to do with.

And I couldn't wait any longer.  I finally pulled the rest of the carrots out of the garden.  They were tiny, but numerous.


My biggest success this year has been the gladiolus flowers.  I planted three different varieties, and they've been blooming at staggered intervals throughout the summer.  It's been so nice to have a vase full of fresh flowers every day in my kitchen.

After a slow start, the tomatoes finally started turning red.  The patio container tomato was the first to bear ripe fruit. The tomatoes were small, but allowed us to enjoy garden-fresh BLTs this month.

As you can see, my patio tomato is struggling with blight.  The container-planted pepper is still going strong in August.

 Here's another look at my potted herbs and strawberry stack-a-pot.  They looked a little wilted when this photo was taken due to lack of rain.  But they've perked up again since then.

The ever-bearing strawberries are flowering and setting fruit well into August.
 My cucumbers were also growing fast in early August.  Unfortunately, after this photo was taken, the vine started to yellow from the bottom up.  It almost looks like the same blight that has struck the patio tomato, but I'm not sure if cucumbers get blight.

I've been trying to add more late-season color to my perennial garden.  I planted another coneflower this year, and it's been blooming since June.

I also bought some half-priced coral bells after July 4.  I'm trying to establish a shade garden under our evergreen trees.  We're using lawn clippings as mulch for now.

Overall, I'm really happy with how my garden looks this year.  I wish I had more time to keep it weeded and groomed, but I'm trying not to let perfection take over and just be happy with what I have accomplished. So how are your gardens growing?

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