Monday, September 10, 2012

In the Garden: September 2012

Every night after work, I step outside the backdoor and check on my garden.  Now that the days are getting shorter, the sun starts to dip into the horizon as I do my nightly garden checks. 

It's been a strange year for growing tomatoes.  The long stretch of dry, 100-degree days stopped the fruit from setting. And then when we do get some rain, the tomato plants suck up the moisture so fast that the tomatoes crack from the sudden growth spurt.  I've also been battling the bugs this year.  If I don't pick the tomatoes fast enough, the bugs will get to them first.

But the other night, I picked the first absolutely perfect tomato of the year: no cracks, no brown spots, not bugs.  Just perfectly round and red.  So of course, I had to take a photo, even though the sun was about to set.

Then I stopped to take a few more photos of the cute little marigolds that seem to glow at night.  I planted them in dry dirt, and I didn't think they would last the summer.  But after a few little rain showers, they have really popped with the blooms.

Most of the ornamental flowers I planted from seed this year never grew in the dry dirt.  I didn't know what I was going to end up with until the flowers started blooming.  Well, I was quite surprised to discover that I had sunflowers growing in my garden.  I don't remember planting sunflower seeds this spring.  But I'm so glad I did, because they look gorgeous this fall.  They must be a dwarf variety, because they only stand about 2 to 3 feet tall. The bugs love the blooms, however, and eat the petals down to nothing almost as soon as the flowers start blooming.

Sunflowers titling toward the sunset.  Doesn't get much prettier than that.

Now I'm really hoping for some rain this fall.  We haven't had a good soaker since the spring; every rain has totaled one-half inch or less, while places north or south of us get more.  We could use the rain to replenish our soil moisture reserves before spring planting season.

How is your garden handling the summer drought?  Are you tired of watering your garden?  I know I sure am.  Nothing beats a good rain storm.

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