Thankfully, we've just had 4 days of good, slow rain which I know all plants in New England are sighing in relief. It has been very dry and windy here since the beginning of the month which has had me watering something pretty much every day. My soil is very sandy as I am sure I have mentioned before and anything I add to it in the way of moisture is quickly wicked away by the surrounding dry soil. Soaker hoses can only do so much and I was running them pretty much non stop when I was home. It wasn't a total fix but at least I could get some water on the root zones of my plants. I had to purchase a bunch more so I could have the vegetable garden set up with individual soakers for each raised bed and get some hoses around the back of Lake Larson and deck gardens. I started to get concerned about the lack of rain when I started to see plants around RI and MA starting to show considerable fall color in the middle of August. I took that as them going into survival mode by shutting down some of their canopy.
Viburnum in Taunton looking sad in their red leaves last week.
Hopefully, this is the end of our dry spell and we can go back to a more regular rain pattern which will make life easier for both us gardeners and our plants.
Despite the lack of rain, the edible side of the Garden Consultant has been pretty successful this season. I have tried some new things and some things we've grown time and time again. Squash was fairly miserable this season and we only got zucchini and yellow squash for a couple of weeks. Then the striped squash bug moved in and it was a slow and agonizing defeat. I attempted to make sure the plants wouldn't be stressed through lack of water and fed them very regularly with fish emulsion. I eventually lost the war even after I broke out some safer sprays to try to control them. Oh well, I'll be ready for them next year and I'm going to try some companion plants or more conventional methods of control. Cukes had been pretty decent this year and I have been pleased with them. I grow the little picklers and we eat them fresh because I always seem to throw out half eaten cukes. I just ordered a cuke trellis from Gardener's Supply Catalog and I'm dying to try it next year to lift them cukes up and plant the lettuce under it. I think it will be a good way to maximize space.
Eggplants where something we haven't grown before and I can't believe how easy they were to grow. I think I will try them again next year but do some weird ones like long asian ones and the white ones. With regular feedings and harvesting, they have been great producers. They have been taking a little bit of a break but I see new flowers coming at the top.
Tomatoes...what can I say. They are the staple of the home vegetable garden. Once again, I planted 4 plants and all different varieties. They have been fruiting their fool heads off...especially the yellow pear and grape tomatoes. Before the soaker hoses were installed, I noticed the romas had some flowers that shriveled from irregular waterings. With the fish emulsion and regular water, I see them beginning to produce fruit again.
Our little banana tree has been growing nicely this summer. I'm really excited about this plant because it is just so funky. I think it will add something fun in the living room this winter and I love the bold texture and the patterned colors on the leaves. This little guy won't set fruit, but he's cool just the same. Our passion flower bloomed over the weekend and I missed it with the camera. That one is supposed to bear fruit and it is self pollinating. The flower is a whitish with purple/blue highlights. It was super wild! I have a couple of buds ready to pop and I will be waiting with my camera for this time around.
Last but not least, my fig tree....yes, that is a fig on it! I cannot get over the growth it has thrown out this summer. It's about 3' tall and that's a long way from the spindly little thing I brought home from Logee's in February. The fig is taking a while to ripen and to be truthful, I'm not sure how to tell if it is ripened. I'm sure the fruit will soften and change color...but for now I wait. I just noticed today there are more little figs coming which is so very cool.
For my fall crops, I just planted a new crop of lettuce seedlings where the previous crop was. I also seeded white, french radishes, peas, and tat soi. I'm wondering if I should try to seed some beets for fall harvest...but I'm leaning towards not because I don't know if I have time for them to mature.