Blog Archives

Nearing the End…

We are definitely nearing the end of the busy gardening season. This week in the garden, the zinnias and the roma tomatoes have come to an end. The zinnias have been looking pretty pitiful ever since the powdery mildew showed up a few weeks ago. The roma tomatoes could have lasted another week, but the temperatures are so cool that they would not have ripened.

Tomatoes coming outWe picked off any tomatoes showing a hint of color, as well as the green tomatoes that were of mature size. The plants went to the compost bin and the cages went into storage. We could leave the straw to decompose into the soil, but we prefer to put it in the compost bins instead.

Emptier GardenThe garden looks just a little sad when I walk out the door now… 😦

Pre-CompostWe should have some beautiful compost come spring!

Friday PhotoEssay – Monarch Butterfly Edition

The butterflies are enjoying the zinnias in the garden, so you’ll have to suffer through several butterfly pictures. Hopefully you won’t find it to be too torturous!

Butterfly 1

Butterfly 2

CaterpillarI know, I know. It’s a dirty trick…but hey…Butterfly caterpillar, butterfly…same difference, right? (Yes, I KNOW it’s not a monarch butterfly caterpillar. Just deal with it!)

ClashMr. Butterfly, you kind of clash with your zinnia of choice.

Pink Zinnia

CannasI’m SORRY! Geez…you’re so critical! It didn’t seem fair that the butterflies get all the press, when the cannas along the front of the garden are so stunning!

A special thank you to Monarch Z. Butterfly for graciously allowing this photo shoot.

Have a great weekend!

Zinnia Powdery Mildew

Last week, one of our Master Gardeners asked, “Why don’t the zinnias in the Demonstration Garden have powdery mildew? Zinnias always get powdery mildew!”

My brilliant answer to that question was, “Well, for some reason the weather has not been as good for mildew this year. Let’s not complain!”

Of course, no sooner had a I said that, then I saw this out on our zinnias:

Powdery MildewYes, my friends, that is none other than the pesky fungus, Powdery Mildew. This fungus shows up on the leaves first, looking like spots of talcum powder. The disease will eventually spread to the flowers, then kill the plant.

Powdery mildew is particularly fond of cooler, low-humidity weather. That would explain why we are just starting to see it now. If we really wanted to fight the disease in the Demonstration Garden, we could spray with Immunox or some other fungicide. However, we’re near the end of the growing season. It’s probably just as well to let nature take its course at this point.

The mildew is showing up on the ‘Benary’s Giant Mix’ Zinnias, which is an older variety of zinnia with no resistance to the disease. You should be able to find zinnias to plant that are resistant to powdery mildew, but ‘Benary’s’ is THE BEST zinnia for cutting flowers. It will be interesting to see if any of our other zinnia varieties end up with powdery mildew.

Friday PhotoEssay

The garden has changed a lot this week! The hot weather is pushing things along, so there are some exciting things happening!

Golden Rave RipeThis is easily #1 in the exciting category! The first ripe tomato! (Well, not counting the tomatoes in the hanging baskets.) This is a Golden Rave Roma tomato. I expected it to come in first in the ripe tomato contest. Exciting!!!

Mulched EggplantThe Master Gardeners were hard at work earlier this week getting the tomatoes and eggplant mulched. We use wheat straw. The mulch will help keep the soil cooler and evenly moist now that summer is upon us.

Benary's Giant Mix ZinniaLast week’s Zinnia buds have become full fledged blooms. There are lots of gorgeous colors.

Cherry Tomato HedgeThe cherry tomatoes have turned into a full blown hedge! And yes…there are a few ripe ones here and there.

Red OnionThe onions in the Family of 4 Garden are rapidly reaching maturity. We may even start harvesting next week.

Everyone stay cool this weekend!

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!