Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hot summer results

More fallout from the hot, dry summer. Our moonflower vine (annual, fragrant, night-blooming morning glory) hasn‘t bloomed in awhile. It certainly blooms better during wet seasons. Our record for blooms This in one evening is 24, and that was definitely in a wet year. This year, it bloomed occasionally, but then shut down during the extended dry spell. This isn't unusual-many plants bloom less or not at all during times of stress. It helps the roots of the plant to survive until conditions improve. I do water the moonflower every day, but it is very hard to duplicate the effect of a soaking rain even if you water every day. The longer the dry spell, the harder it is to get plants to respond. How that we've had some rain, hopefully things will improve.

I did notice some cilantro that reseeded itself in the garden. It grows well early in the season when it's relatively cool. Once the hot weather cones, it bolts like lettuce does. Of course, this year with the weather being very hot and coming early, the cilantro season was short. l always advise people to let some of plants second flower, then seed. The seed falls and you usually get a crop later in the season when it cools off again. My reseeding was sporadic probably due to the dryness.

One plant that loved the dry season is gomphrena or globe amaranth. It produces clover-like flowers that are papery and dry well. Colors are a mix of purple, pink and white or red. The plants get quite shrubby in one season and are very productive. My red ones got off to a slow start because something bit off the stalks early in the season. But they‘re producing well now and the mixed colors have loads of flowers. Many of the papery flowers that dry well seen to tolerate drought pretty well. Gray foliaged plants are also drought tolerant. Gray santolina has been wonderfully happy this year-catmint, too.

Greenhouse and shop are open Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm. We‘re getting to the end of perennial planting season. The shop has plenty of non-plant herbal products available.

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