A few days ago, I posted the following: More people are gardening because they think the world (as we know it) is going to end soon.
QUESTION: What do you think? Go ahead … gimme the dirt.
And here’s some of the dirt…
Weighing in on FB:
Dwain Cromwell Not ending, but the world is changing. For the first time in my life, tomato plants are not producing in NW Arkansas because the temps don’t drop low enough at night for the buds to set. There are tomatoes at Farmers Market, but the vendors must have controlled set-ups. Back yard tomatoes just aren’t happening, no matter how much watering and care. It’s just so damned hot.
Crescent Dragonwagon at Dwain Cromwell, this is SO sad. They say if climate change is not reversed, there will not be maply syruping in Vermont in 25 years.
I have just started gardening the past year or two since buying a house. I have lost a lot of my plants due to the horrible heat in California. In my city it can reach up to 106 or 107. I have had to find hardy plants to stay alive.
People need to learn that we can’t kill our planet. We kill the plants and other creatures, and we are killing ourselves.
I’m wondering if anyone else is seeing this … my tomatoes are producing but taking long to ripen. Unfortunately, I do not have good gardening journals from prior years (@Ralph – yet another persuasive reason to keep one), so I have to wonder if it’s my imagination, poor memory, or another effect of the merciless weather.
I just picked my first red on the vine tomato yesterday. There are a number of other green ones, but ripening seems to be a slow process. I was thinking that maybe next year I should plant a lot more sunflowers around to make more shade
Next year I am thinking of growing things that are for a warmer zone than here in NY. I haven’t checked my soil temperature since it was cold out. I’ll have to make a few readings out of curiosity. I do know the floor boards of my wooden deck have hit 140 degrees in the sun, maybe higher now that it’s been so hot.
I just heard a podcast where they talked about using PVC water pipe to make a frame that will hold sun shade cloth in place over the garden. I think it was on Growing Your Own Grub podcast. The cloth comes in differing amounts of sun it lets through.
A couple things that seem to be loving the heat are basil, sage, and my bamboo. I’ve moved most of my containers where they get more shade. The bamboo literally grows a noticeable amount day to day, and from what I read it absorbs more CO2 than any other plant. One precaution if anyone decides to grow it- they can spread wide and fast if put in the ground. I keep mine in a large flower pot to keep it contained. If anyone is thinking of growing bamboo do some research first, there are hundreds of types. I got one that’s good to 20 degrees below zero ( P. Nuda), some do better in hot climates.
Does this mean that you think the lack of ripening is related to too much sun? I haven’t heard this before. Interesting. Sunflowers are a wonderful choice! You’ll see from my gravatar I’m quite fond of them myself, and more than a little regretful I didn’t plant any this year or see any resurrect themselves from last year. I believe you’re growing sunflowers this season, right? Did they come up on their own (natural seeding from a prior season) or did you start them from seeds this year?
My sage, also, seems to be more than happy this year. I am thinking about putting it in the ground for fall/winter and letting it take over some space that’s pretty barren. What are you doing with yours in the colder months?
Also, just curious how you’re using your bamboo? Is it all for visual appeal or do you use it on projects/for gardening, etc? How tall does yours get? In other words (no offense to the poor plant but…), what good is bamboo?
Somewhere I heard or read about too much sun slowing down the growth of tomatoes. My niece has been getting them like crazy and she lives nearby. Our temperatures should be the same, but I am not sure how much sun she gets. Next time I go I will have to check how the house is oriented (N S E W) and get an idea of how much sun she gets. This is at least the second year she has zucchini growing 15 feet or so up a tree!
I planted the sunflowers this year, only a few. They only got to be a couple feet tall, smaller than last year. A few days ago I went in the yard and a handful of sunflower seeds were on the ground. It looked like birds did a clean harvest of them. Quite a few on the ground were split open so I figure birds had a feast. One limitation of hanging CDs is they don’t shine very early or late (or on cloudy days) in the day.
Sage will grow wild like mint if you put it in the ground. Maybe sink a flowerpot or container in the ground instead to help contain it. I haven’t done it, but I was tempted to use cinder blocks to make a raised bed. The holes in the blocks can also be used for flowers or herbs, keeping in mind the holes go into the ground and unless blocked some things will still grow wild. The blocks can be painted to blend in and look better. If you have some empty space maybe think about just tossing random seeds there and see what happens. I tried that, it’s probably how my unexpected catnip showed up. Another case for a garden journal, but I think I had sage survive outside though the winter. I am thinking of getting a handful of small pots and putting herbs in each one to keep inside through the winter. Little by little plants are taking over the house in winter, like a science fiction movie where they start moving on their own. I hope they all remember who cared for them 🙂
Haha! I love it. I hope so too. You’re one of the only people who comments here. Your gardening tips, feedback, podcast suggestions, et al, have been great, btw! I do have a couple bald spots in back and in front that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. They’re pretty stubbornly barren. When I threw random wildflower seeds years past, the spot in front just stuck out it’s dry tongue at me. When I tried clover in the thin spots in back, some took but parts just remain naked. I think it’s somewhat unavoidable in the backyard where the dog runs and dies other thongs. The front areas, however, have me stumped. Maybe I’ll just plant all of the most invasive species I can think of and dare them duke it out. Then again, when I put wild ginger in earlier this tear, expecting it to take over, it’s big round leaves turned brown and just slumped over. Two of those plants disappeared into thin air while the third is on life support, and the prognosis does not look good.
For some odd reason I always liked bamboo. I ordered mine online and picked a variety that would be good in the cold just in case it ever got too big to bring indoors. For now I am happy and amazed watching how fast it grows. It’s often noticeable in one day. I read it should be left pretty much alone for the first year after transplanting so I’ve resisted the temptation to split a new batch off. Mine ( P. Nuda ) is one of many edible types, although I don’t know if I could bring myself to eating any. I do like bamboo in Chinese food. From what I read it could get 10 to 15 feet tall in a pot, maybe 25 feet in the ground. Mine is a type good for making a living privacy fence although I don’t really need one. Eventually when it gets enough shoots (actually called culms) they can be used as poles to prop up plants. Supposedly my type can be used to make fishing poles. Once it gets to where I can start to harvest it I’ll see what ideas I can come up with for it. If nothing else I read it absorbs more CO2 than any other plant. They also come in colors- green, black, and zig zag stripes.
If you’re thinking of getting bamboo, there are types you can make furniture from, built houses from, and arts and crafts items. It may take a couple years until it grows to full size, but some can grow over 70 feet tall. Depending on the type it can be somewhat invasive. I have mine in a big pot since it is a ‘running’ type that spreads. ‘Clumping’ types tend to stay in one area. Check out:
to see a few. I got mine from them, but there are other places that carry it too.
I still have one bare spot in the far corner of my yard, but it’s slowly getting filled with plants. I spread a lot of red clover seeds around the yard, and like you found it preferred certain spots and didn’t grow in others. I think it was on an old SSG podcast on weeds that I heard you can tell how your soil is by the type of weeds that grow and where. I don’t remember the details but I am sure you can find it on the website. That was one of the first SSG episodes I listened to and realized that it was a great program to follow.
If your dead spots tend to be dry, maybe get an empty 2 liter soda bottle, remove the cap and cut off the very bottom of the bottle so it looks like a tall funnel. Sink it into the ground neck first until it’s nearly flush with the ground, and fill it with water. It will wet the lower soil as it slowly drains out. That should solve dry soil in the area around the bottle, just fill it up once in a while.