Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Garden Update

A couple of days ago I received a comment on June Garden Update that made me smile.  Within this comment, the author professed to a "black thumb" and indicated that, given my container garden, I would now "have someone to gloat over".  Beyond that fact that it's not really my style, it's very easy to resist any temptation to gloat.  This is why:

Beyond the fact that my fennel never developed the robust bulbs it should have, it became a buffet for seven black swallowtail caterpillars which apparently find fennel fronds extremely tasty.  Given that the caterpillars disappeared suddenly, I have a feeling that the cardinals that nested near our deck apparently find black swallowtail caterpillars extremely tasty.

I planted several varieties of tomatoes this year, hoping to be inundated with tomatoes for canning.  All varieties but the cherry tomatoes developed blossom end rot.  There are sprays available to prevent this, but I choose to keep my garden as natural as possible, and will have to sacrifice some of my tomatoes as a result.
We frequently have had to water the containers twice a day as the heat here in Southern Illinois has been of record-breaking intensity lately.  Too intense for my sweet peppers apparently.  Quite a few of them are suffering from sun burn.

Earlier in the year, the squash plants were covered with blossoms.  I had resisted using the blossoms, preferring to let them develop fruits.  (Katie, I should have just picked the blossoms!)  As it was, insipid little boring insects attacked the plants causing the blossoms to wither and fall off before they could fruit.  The plants are regrowing, but I'm not optimistic about being overwhelmed with squash.

On a more positive note, the chile peppers and tomatillos, though not ready for harvest, are doing quite well and I have harvested my first ever Italian cippolini onions.  Thankfully, the only fault I can find with the onions is that I didn't plant nearly enough of them.

And on an even more positive note, it has just started to rain.  Hallelujah!


  1. It's amazing how much there is to gardening and how easy it is for things to go wrong, despite all the precautions you can take. I'm having trouble keeping my house plants alive, so I certainly admire all the trouble you're going to here. I hope those successful plants pull through for you!

    1. Katie, I was rather confident of the plants remaining at the time I posted this, but in the short time since we have had quite a violent storm come up that's battered the plants significantly. Truly an example of things that can go wrong! I'm waiting for things to calm down so I can go out and see what I have left. There's always next year!

  2. It takes lot of patience to nurture a garden... And tremendous joy. I hope the plants recover from their storm injuries !! My impatience (no pun intended) are glorious every year but this year struggling to keep up with the heat. As u said there is always next year. :))

    1. Thanks, Simi. I managed to get out and look around before darkness fell. I think the plants will be fine and I'm sure the rainwater was wonderful for them.

      Your roses were certainly beautiful! The only rose I have right now is a miniature but in this heat, the poor thing burns up every time it gets a bud.


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