Bee Balm

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

 Last year I bought a cheap little four inch pot labeled bee balm.  It seemed to be about 30 seeds sprouting all at once, so I divided it up a bit and planted it out.  It didn't bloom the first year, so I sort of forgot about it. 

Imagine my surprise when this year I got blooms in two different colors, pink and raspberry red.  I think I like the red best, but they are both beautiful.  The blooms have enticed a few hummingbirds to my garden, but I will need much more practice as a nature photographer to capture those speedy little things. 

Grow Write Guild: The Essence of Summer

Friday, July 19, 2013

When I think about what plant embodies summer to me, I think of Sungold tomatoes.  Just going on looks alone, the bright orange spheres remind you of the setting summer sun.  But taste is where this little beauties really shine.

They have a bold and bright sweet tomato flavor that can't be beat.  Even if these aren't your favorite tomato, you have to agree that the taste of a vine ripened tomato belongs to summer alone. Another thing these tomatoes have in their favor is their early ripening.  They are always first of all the tomato varieties I grow and as soon as they start to turn orange I know summer is finally here.

This post is written in response to the writing prompt found here by You Grow Girl as part of the Grow Write Guild.

Garden Failure: Peas

Monday, July 8, 2013

My peas had a tough year this year.  I planted my peas towards the end of March (see here) but they never made it to maturity.  The quail came through and ate them to the ground.  I bought more seed and replanted, covering the row with hardware cloth until I thought they were big enough to make it on their own.

I was wrong.  The quail come in again and ate them, but not quite as bad as the first time.  The plants did nothing for several weeks and I was set to pull them out, when we got some cool wet weather in June and the plants bounced back.  I had a brief week or so of harvest, then the hot weather returned and the shells even of the smallest peas turned tough.

As to the variety, I don't like the Dwarf Grey as well as the Oregon Sugar Pod, but the flowers are so much prettier.  Next year I will go back to the good old standby variety and devise a better way to keep the quail out.


Friday, July 5, 2013

I planted four broccoli starts out on the 4th of March this spring.  I thought it was probably way to early, but they were tempting me at Columbia Grain and Feed.  At a $1.25 it wouldn't be a big loss if they froze so I figured I would just try and see if they would survive.  I did cover them with plastic jug with the top cut off to give them some frost and wind protection.

The variety was called Premium Crop and those little guys were the only ones that gave me a good harvest this year.  By the end of May I got a nice harvest of the main heads and the plants continued to send out side shoots for a few more weeks.

 I planted Chinese broccoli around the end of April but we had a 90 degree heat wave the beginning of May and it bolted.  I should have harvested it as soon as I saw buds since they tuned to flowers practically overnight.  I tried eating some of the buds that came up later, but they were very bitter.

I used the flowers in salads and even in cut flower arrangements, so it wasn't a total loss, but next year I will plant much earlier.