Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bare Beds and Good Veggies

It is certainly summer here at Garden on Sherlock Street.
Sunny, windy and hot is the typical forecast.  Rain has missed us lately.  The rain barrels are getting lower.  A front coming though tonight may bring some rain and is suppose to cool us off for a while.

We continue to watch our water usage as the city informs residents of the water situation.  If we don't get significant rain soon, there will be more restrictions on outdoor water use.

I have three beds in particular which are looking pretty bare since I'm not gushing water on to them.

This is what I refer to as the 'red bed.'  Doesn't look very red does it?

There were red tulips in the spring and it contains a day lily which barely survived last year's heat, a gaillardia which returned but is very small, a helianthemum which bloomed a bit but has stopped and prairie switchgrass, Panicum v. Cheyenne Sky which turns red in the fall and is actually looking good.

I added some red salvia and red petunias in the spring but they've basically dried up.  This bed only gets watered by the soaker hose as I rotate through them every couple of weeks.  I have plans to find more drought tolerant red plants to put in next year.

This bed looks ok mostly because it is full of dill.

I also planted zinnia seeds in here but they need a lot of water to look good and I'm only watering it with the soaker hose as I do with the previous bed so the zinnias look like this.

Not sure what direction I want this bed to go in for the long term.  Happy with the dill currently although I know it will turn brown when it's done.  Need to research plants for this bed.  No more zinnias.

This next bed just off the patio looks fabulous in the spring when the dame's rockets, bachelor buttons and love-in-a-mist are blooming.  Now that they're done, I have nothing.

Four o'clocks used to dominate this bed in mid to late summer but I had to water them a lot when we didn't get rain and that's not happening any more.  So, that makes three beds to get new plants for.  I have some ideas for this one already.

It's not all dismal in the flower beds.

The lavender is looking great!

I have sunflowers (native annual which needs no attention).  These are not the kind that make edible sunflower seeds.  They sure get tall and fill a space.

These bright orange cosmos are volunteers and seem to be fine with only occasional water.

In the veggie garden, we're harvesting carrots and lettuce still.  Also, plenty of yellow squash mostly because I apparently mixed up some seeds and planted extra yellow squash and no zucchini.  It happens.  Tomatoes are starting to ripen.  I've pulled a few onions to eat.  The basil is good.

Looking forward to spaghetti squash.

Waiting for this bell pepper to turn completely orange.

Amazed at the size of this year's jalapenos.

A surprising plant for this year's garden is lemon grass.
A friend shared these starts.
I put one in a container to maybe overwinter in the house.

I haven't cooked with it, but enjoy chewing on a leaf while in the garden.

My reduced watering plan for the containers this year is working out.  I've adjusted a couple of containers to more frequent waterings and a couple to less frequent waterings.  I now know that I watered the containers more than I needed to for years.  

So, the garden is supplying food and beauty along with some new challenges.
It's still the thing I love to do.

Be well and I hope it's cooler where you are currently!


  1. Sorry to hear about your drought and bare beds. You're growing a great crop of vegetables though. I have lemon grass too. In the warmer months I grow it in the greenhouse otherwise it's inside my house.

  2. You are having great success with your being careful with water, and those veggies look yummy. It would be fun to grow lemon grass, probably good in a recipe with the tat soi I am growing.

  3. Glad the veggies are doing well but I'm shocked by the drought info. That has got to be a challenge! Our water bill for the property last month was1100 dollars! A first for this 16 unit community! I'm going to have to make some adjustments. The plants are sound.....but we will reduce the watering schedule. Hope you get some rain soon.

  4. So happy to see your vegetable beds are producing despite having to be so careful with water. I see you do mulch deeply with straw--this works well with containers as well. Mine get watered twice a week --I have mine covered with a layer of moss and that's helped a lot.
    I rarely my garden--the tomatoes and carrots and greens are the only things that get water, but I suppose we're lucky to have temps much lower than yours. You've gotta be TOUGH to hack it in your climate-LOL!
    Have a great day. Hope your barrels get filled.

  5. It has really affected your plants this year. We this year are more fortunate than you are. I would do as you and look for more drought resistant also.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  6. I think you are doing really well with limited water. I hope you get some much needed rain and cooler temps. I have lemon grass too. Lavender does NOT like it down here.

    Have a lovely Sunday and a great week ~ FlowerLady

  7. Hi There, Amazing how one state can be so different from another during certain times of the year. We have had a quite cool summer so far with LOTS of rain.. Crazy, isn't it???? I complain about too much rain, but I'd much rather have rain than drought.


  8. Yes, it's turning into another rough summer, isn't it? Even my Echinacea purpurea needed water recently. You might try some of the Gaillardia varieties for some drought tolerant color next year. They've been doing well for me. My aromatic aster is looking yellow (lacebugs, which attack every time it gets hot and dry), but experience tells me that in September-October it will be gorgeous, so I put up with the sickly looking foliage at this time of year.

    We just got about 1/2" of rain last night. I'm hoping this recent front brought some decent moisture to you, too. It sure makes a difference to have "the sky falling"!

  9. Sorry about your water situation. GA has received a lot of rain this year and things are much improved.
    I posted a healthy squash recipe a few posts back, if you guys like squash casserole.
    Your veggies looks very good and oh, the lavender is a fav of mine to enjoy the fragrance.
    Wishing you a nice week.

  10. It's good to hear that you are getting good 'eats' from your garden in spite of the heat and the drought. I hope you get some rain soon. I'd gladly send you some of ours if I could. We've already gotten what we normally get in a full year.

  11. We've had our fair share of rain and I am so saddened to hear that your plants are succumbing to the drought...yet some are doing very well. I hope you get some much needed rain soon.


  12. I applaud you for being diligent in your water restrictions. Even with fines, I know that's not always the case with everyone - especially passionate gardeners. Here in central Florida we had several years of very dry conditions that really made gardening a challenge (especially with our summer heat). I'm grateful we seem to be back on track (over 18 inches of rain in the past 45 days).

    I love your lavender and wish I could grow it here . . . .

    Mother Nature will wait for you to sort your beds out with drought tolerant plants before she brings the rain back. She's nice like that. :-)

  13. That lavender is telling you something-plant those drought tolerant Mediterranean plants and fuhgetaboutem! Those are my kind of plants I am learning more and more. I did not know you all were having water restrictions already. We've gotten a lot of rain this year which is so nice. That orange pepper is so pretty!

  14. Sending wishes of rain to you and some of our overflow this year. We have raised beds and most are too wet from all our rain.

  15. Have you ever checked out High Country Gardens? They sell xeric plants that do well in the dry west. Salvia nemorosa, coreopsis, nepeta, rosemary, parsley, orange milkweed and liatris would all do well in your garden. My lavender needs a drier spot and would much rather be in your garden than mine!

    1. Yes I have. I have several plants from them. The above mentioned Cheyenne Sky grass and lavenders are from HCG. I laughed when I saw your comment because I have totally dog eared a catalog from them with ideas for what I need to get!

  16. Yes we are sharing the same kind of weather. I decided that I had to water to keep the tomatoes going. I have never had that kind of squash but some people I know grow lots of it and really do like it. I hope your's makes it to harvest.

  17. I am sorry you are not getting rain. What do the wheat farmers do, I know it is not time yet, here they plant wheat as a winter crop. I would think your state would harvest in the fall. We went through Kansas in June and the wheat looked about ready if I am remembering properly. I was amassed when the wind blew and the golden wheat heads would wave. We watered yesterday and got rain today.

    1. We plant winter wheat as well. Harvest around here was pretty much wrapped up by Independence Day. If there is no rain from when it's planted (and snow in the winter) it just won't come up which did happen in our state's far west counties. Literally did not come up. That is why crop insurance is so important. Mother Nature makes farmers gamblers. Wheat is beautiful in many ways. Thanks for visiting. You really caught up on the posts!

  18. Oh, dear! I hope you get some rain and cooler temps soon. It's been hot and humid here, but no rain for awhile, either. I finally figured out a system with soaker hoses to water the veggie garden, half of it at a time.


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