Monthly Archives: June 2009

Away from the Garden

I will be away from the office (and hence away from the Demo Garden) all week. I have prepared a couple of posts for the week, but there will not be regular updating. I will try to post a Friday PhotoEssay if I am back. Have a great week!

Friday PhotoEssay

Things are looking lush and green!

Green Roma TomatoesAre you ready for tomato season? I know that I am! Looking at these beautiful green tomatoes every day is only making the situation worse!

Tall FennelThis fennel was planted last year and survived the winter. It is taller than me right now!

Bronze Fennel BloomThe bronze fennel in the Family of 4 Garden is also starting to bloom. The blooms are my favorite part to eat because they are so sweet!

Snake in the ZinniasThese Swizzle Scarlet & Gold Zinnias are the home to our friendly snake this week.

Unique ZinniaThis zinnia is truly unique. I’m not quite sure if I like it though. We’ll have to wait and see what it looks like in another few days.

Ripe Tomatoes! Okay, so we do have some tomatoes ripening. These are hanging basket type cherry tomatoes. They are easily the first to ripen.

Have a great weekend!

Junior Master Gardener Day Camp

Today we are hosting some kids from McConnell Air Force Base for a day-long Junior Master Gardener camp. The Master Gardeners work hard every year to plan a fun day of gardening activities for the kids. I will be leading the “Garden Time” part of the camp, and we have lots of things to harvest with the kids today!

The first planting of beans from late April are ready to be picked. We have ‘Rocdor’ wax beans and ‘Tavera’ green filet beans. Rocdor Bean Of course, we also have the orange cauliflower to harvest. I think the kids will enjoy that! We also have lots of lettuce around the garden, especially in the salad garden. We could harvest some arugula and beet greens, but that probably would be less to their taste.

We also Banana Pepperhave a few banana peppers that are rapidly reaching the harvestable stage in the heat we’ve had this week. They were planted in containers early this spring for display at one of our garden tour gardens. Now they are in the Demo Garden!

After harvesting, the kids will have the chance to do some planting. We have some cucumber seeds that will be planted in the Salad Garden. (We were planning to keep planting more lettuce, but I think the cucumbers will be more fun for the kids to plant.)

Zinnia Season is Almost Here

The zinnias we planted from seed in the garden are starting to bloom! We planted them the first week of May, which means they went from seed to flower in 5 weeks! Pretty impressive. It is also much cheaper, as we filled a 100 sq. ft. area for about $8. You just need to be able to delay gratification in order to wait a few more weeks to have blooming flowers, rather than buying them from the garden center already blooming!

Queen Red Lime ZinniaThis is Queen Red Lime Zinnia. It has a red center with green outer petals. I can’t wait to see it in full bloom!

Zowie ZinniaThis zinnia is called Zowie. It is not as fully double as some of the other varieties, but has a beautiful color.

Today in the Garden

Today was a pretty quiet workday in the Demo Garden. The rain gauge measured 2.8 inches of rain, although I haven’t emptied it for a couple days, so that might not all be from last night. I would believe it if it was all from last night, though. Luckily we didn’t get any hail – or at least not enough or large enough hail to cause damage.

The few things we did do in the garden were largely cleanup tasks. We weeded where needed, trimmed back the herbs, and tied up some plants.

The tomatoes were ready for their 4th level of Florida Weave tying. June 16 Florida WeaveThese cherry tomatoes have really taken off and grown in the last week! There is nothing as enjoyable as the miasma of a walking near a jungle of tomato vines. Just don’t get too close or your clothes will turn green! There are lots of green tomatoes and blooms on these plants, so I think we will be overrun with tomatoes in another month. To give you an idea how many cherry tomatoes we’re talking about, my plant at home that I’ve been pruning (removing the suckers) has about 18 tomatoes on it. Imagine how many more will be on these plants that are unpruned!

We also pruned and tied up the black raspberries, which have grown too tall and are starting to fall over. I trimmed them back to about 3 1/2 feet tall, and we tied them to stakes.