Monthly Archives: August 2009

Watch Celosia

Watch CelosiaOn one end of our Zinnia garden, we have this flower planted. Does it look familiar? No? This is ‘Watch’ Celosia, an heirloom variety of celosia. Celosias are types of amaranth, the same family as one of the more hated weeds – pigweed. It isn’t blooming yet, so hopefully it will start putting on flowers before it freezes this fall. (Okay, it’s hot enough, we’re definitely not in any danger yet!) Celosias love hot, dry weather, so it should enjoy the next couple weeks.

This particular variety of celosia was discovered/selected here in Wichita, and because of that it is awesome in our climate. It used to be widely available, but most commercial bedding plant growers have switched to growing hybrid varieties that are vegetatively propagated rather than from seed. The only way to have this particular variety is to save seeds from a plant.

When the celosia starts blooming, I’ll post some pictures. If you would like some seeds to try for yourself, leave a comment and I’ll make arrangements to get them to you.

Today in the Family of 4 Garden

We were planning on a busy day in the Family of 4 Garden today, but with the weather projected to be in the 97-103 range for the remainder of the week, I thought that some of the projects could be postponed. For instance, planting the carrots, beets, and bok choy for the fall garden. They need to be planted soon, but hopefully next week will be slightly cooler. They would grow just fine if planted, as long as we keep the soil moist. I didn’t think that was going to happen this week, so next week it is!

We did harvest another couple tomatoes, some peppers, and a whole lot of Swiss Chard HarvestSwiss Chard! Here’s the yield and equivalent prices:

1 lb 2 oz tomatoes @ $2/lb = $2.25

1.25 lbs peppers @$1.59/lb = $1.99

6 bunches of Swiss Chard @ $2/bunch = $12

Total for the Week: $16.24

Year To Date: $161.76


I haven’t talked much about the peppers in our Family of 4 Garden – the tomatoes have just been so much more interesting! The peppers are relatively trouble-free, and they seem to be productive.

The ‘Padron’ peppers have been producing like crazy for 3-4 weeks noJalapenosw, as have the banana peppers. The Jalapenos are absolutely loaded with peppers, but they haven’t been sizing up very well. They are starting to turn colors though, so I guess they are ready to pick! The poor plants are almost falling over they are so loaded down.

The ‘Early Sunsation’ Bell peppers have huge peppers on the plants, but I am waiting to pick them until they turn yellow. I want yellow peppers, not green! Bell Peppers(I have to admit that I am trying to “stack the deck” for my Family of 4 Garden revenues, since yellow peppers are $2 each in the grocery store and green peppers are usually less than $1.)

The ‘Mohawk’ peppers would be spectacular in containers, I’m sure. However, they are less than impressive in the garden next to the other peppers.

We also have some peppers planted elsewhere on our grounds – out by our electronic sign in our EarthKind Soils demonstration. (For more information on the EarthKind Soils preparation, here’s an info sheet on it: EarthKind Soil (pdf)

These Anaheim peppers were planted in late May, and they have had EarthKind Peppersessentially no care. They were watered twice this summer (when it was extremely hot – over 100 degrees.), and have received no fertilizer or other attention.

You can’t really tell much from this picture, other than that the peppers are healthy. They are also loaded down with peppers, although that is hard to see from the photo. The pepper I picked smells like it has a fair bit of zing!

Master Gardener Information Meeting

MG LogoIf you (or someone you know) is interested in becoming a Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardener, we will be having an informational meeting tomorrow, August 4th, at 10 a.m. in 4-H Hall at the Extension Office. (21st & Ridge Rd.)

If you can’t make it to the information meeting, that’s okay! You can stop by and get information at any time. Applications for this year’s Master Gardener class are due by August 14th.

Anyone who turns in an application will be scheduled for an interview sometime in the last 2 weeks of August. We take 20-25 applicants each year, and sometimes we have lots of great applicants!

The fall Basic Training classes begin on September 24 and continue every Thursday until December 10 (minus Thanksgiving). Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on our Master Gardener Program, leave a comment or call 660-0100.

Odd Tomato Problem

One of the ‘Fabulous’ Tomatoes in the Family of 4 Garden has been showing some odd symptoms – purple-ing of the leaves, and some random lesions. The symptoms don’t follow the pattern of any of the recognizable tomato diseases, and only the one plant is effected.

Fabulous Tomato Problem The symptomatic leaves are appearing near the middle to the top of the plant, which is unusual. One of our K-State Plant Pathology diagnosticians suggested a magnesium deficiency…the solution would be epsom salts for that. I’ll let you know what we decide to do!