2018 Container Gardening– Week 15

This week my container garden is winding down. Some plants have been removed because they are done for the season while others seem to just be getting started. Lo and behold my pepper plant is beginning to produce fruit/veggies. I have one pepper that will be ready by the end of this week and possibly three more before seasons end. This week one of my patio tomato plants was removed–it’s done producing and my petunias were done as well as one of my new guinea impatiens. It’s a hot and humid week so far so my heirloom pear tomatoes should ripen up well and then that will be the end of that plant too. Still thriving are plants I bought almost four months ago–a new guinea impatien, a fuschia, a prairie grass plant, lavender, rosemary, hen and chicks, and the lime coleus plant. This week I purchased a fall plant that I have never seen before– a purple aster. So, we’ll see how that goes. I have horrible luck with mums on my deck. In my photos, you can see in one week my peppers progression. Also, my pumpkins plants are thriving, but will they do anything before the first frost? The last photo has the last of my homegrown tomatoes on the right and an heirloom–for size comparison– on the left that I purchased at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend.



2018 Container Gardening- Week Ten

Each time as I sit inside listening to the rain or hail pelt against my deck, I feel like my Dad must have felt when his crops took on flood waters, or we had a drought during the growing season. What can you do? I feel helpless to protect my plants, although I have been known to stand on my deck holding on to my containers during high winds and such. There is nothing I can do when it rains really hard or hails. My plants get very wet and have had their leaves and in some cases stems destroyed by hail. Thankfully, my entire family isn’t depending on the income from my crop of tomatoes. That said I never take growing food on my deck for granted. This week my tomatoes are beginning to ripen–so far they have made it through intense heat, high winds, and thankfully at this time remain free of pests. Year after year anticipation of how well my garden may do and harvest time force me to plant again even though the previous season may have been a total loss. I’m guessing that’s a little like the kind of faith my Dad must have had each year to keep on planting his fields of corn and beans.

All in all this spring/summer has really flown by–it’s hard to believe we are already half way through July. As soon as I harvest my tomatoes my husband and I will be going on vacation. By that time most people will be getting ready for the new school year. This year once again we will be traveling to Door County, WI.

I hope everyone following along is having a wonderful summer. Until next time happy gardening!

2018 Container Gardening–Week Six

My container garden is chugging along and making good progress. I have several tomatoes on each patio tomato plant, and I’ve already harvested and ate four of the heirloom pear tomatoes (the tall skinny plant in pic 3). My lime coleus is flowering, and surprise, surprise my nasturtiums have the beginnings of flowers forming. Soon, if all goes well I will have grown my first edible flower! My geraniums from Walmart don’t smell like geraniums. In fact, they don’t smell like anything at all. I wasn’t able to find red geraniums at the nursery I bought my other plants at–so the geranium purchases were last minute. I won’t make that $20.00 mistake again. My hens and chicks are doing great and have doubled in size. The hostas were bought late and we intend on planting them in the ground outside our front door. My rosemary is the prettiest green and the healthiest plant I’ve grown yet, as well as the prairie grass (not pictured) I bought just for fun. Here’s the garden this week– week six on the deck, but in all I’ve been gardening since late March and feeding birds again since, well, last fall.

2018 Container Gardening- Week Five

The fifth week of container gardening brought me weather with heat indexes of 100 degrees and three storms with heavy rain and wind. What I end up doing when we have weather like this is move all plants closer to the door, make sure all my plants are staked, and watch how much or little I water. One has to be careful with the water during rainy, humid weather. I check my tomato plants and I remove all suckers from the bottom of each plant. When foliage on any plant gets wet it can rot the stem or in the case of tomatoes cause fungus rot. Fungus rot=blight and blight =plant death, no fruit. I’ve never dealt with blight and count myself extremely lucky. Early on in my gardening, I read about gardeners pinching suckers and removing the leaves from the bottom of the plant. Also, I keep my tomato plants well ventilated and never water over them from the top. I water around the bottom of them only. This year I’ve tried really hard to care for my plants before they look like they’re wilting from the hot sun. Of course, working full-time I’m not always able to throw a sunshade over them. The sun temperature on our deck this year is running between 90-110 degrees. HOT and very hard to grow a lot of things with heat like that. If I didn’t start my container garden with hardy plants from trusted nurseries, soil & fertilizer that I’ve grown to depend on, and attention to the plant once planted, I would never be able to keep my plant’s alive nevermind fruit bearing. I love, love the little solar lights my husband bought at Shopko. I think they were $4.00 each on sale and really compliment our garden this year. Until next time–Happy gardening!

Some purple flowers growing in the lawn–