Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - 7/27/13

Saturday Farmers Market is a weekly event originally created by the beautiful and nature loving, Heather at Capricious Reader. It's a weekly event that celebrates gardening, be it your own garden or gardens around you; local food, be that at your local farmers market or at a restaurant or festival that celebrates eating locally; a recipe that you've created using fresh ingredients or a whole cookbook; and veggies, flowers, herbs and farm goods galore. Anyone and everyone can participate. It was originally started within the book blogging community but I'd love to see it expand beyond as well. You don't have to have a garden or grow veggies to participate, just post about how veggies, flowers, local farms, etc. have impacted your life this week. You'd be surprised! It may be too cold to grow things and it may be too hot to grow things, but you may just want to post about the plans you have for when the ground thaws. Or maybe even share with us how your community aims to keep things more sustainable or even about the local trails and nature offerings around you! This will also connect really well with Mrs. Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking ;) Thanks Heather for letting me take over the reigns for this wonderful idea that spawned from your creative brain :) Feel free to leave the link to your post in the Mr. Linky below, spread the word, and come back to read everyone else's posts as well! 

Hey, it's technically still Saturday! Sorry I've been so erratic with this meme lately guys. Needless to say, I won't be winning weekly meme host of the year :p I try my best to get this up every week but some weeks it's just not in the cards. BUT I do love hosting this so so so much and anyone who knows me, knows how much I'm passionate about gardening, veggies, sustainability and all things related to this event. So I'll try a little harder to be more regular with this! But let's talk gardening, shall we?

This was a sad week for me as I had to pull up my two tomato plants :( I had the same problem that Heather had...they just got drowned with water with the constant storms we had over the last two weeks. And mine aren't even in the ground! They're in containers! BUT, I'm going to plant some new ones as I'm fortunate enough to live in a state where I can plant new plants now and still get a nice fall crop too! I'm not kidding when I say I've picked tomatoes into December! I pruned some more of my plants today while I was out in the garden too that needed cutting back. I got a surprise day off of work so I spent it catching up on the little things that needed to be done.

The flowers are all looking exceptionally pretty right now :) I'm loving my pentas so much right now! The colors are just so bright and vivid!! I bought them last year to attract butterflies and hummingbirds but I've seen exactly ONE butterfly this year :( And no hummingbirds. I saw a little hummingbird moth the other day though! Debi was telling me the other day that apparently butterflies have had quite a devastating year this year :( Made me think of Barbara Kingsolver's amazing, yet quite sad book Flight Behavior. If you haven't read it yet, YOU SHOULD!! The audio is excellent as well.

I'm loving my coneflowers right now too :) They're actually in the process of dying right now. Well the couple of flowers I have on the plant are and the petals are this really pretty shade of fading pink. Soon the petals will be gone, but one of the things I love so much about coneflowers is that their beauty is something you can appreciate so much throughout their entire lifecycle. They  take on a different form of gorgeousness with each cyclle.

I never tire of nasturtiums! They're just such awesome flowers, such awesome plants...I love their leaves too! And I love planting them in a planter up high on a table so that their leaves and flowers can trail and trellis...and the last picture is of the little purple flowers that I forgot what they're called :/ But they're quite cute and mixed in with some nasturtiums :)

Unlike the tomatoes, the peppers seem to be LOVING the rain! The ones in the middle actually bent the branch down and even though it looks like the branch is snapped, apparently water and nutrients are still getting through to the peppers and leaves because they sure are still growing! And I thought the little jalapenos were cute :p They're grouped in a little family of big, medium and small :p

The herbs are all growing WAY faster than I'll ever be able to consume them! Definitely need to dry some of them and I may try making some herb butter. I've never done it before, but it doesn't sound hard at all....from what I understand you basically mix herbs with butter, then put it back into the refrigerator or freezer to let it shape itself again and then VOILA! A stick of butter with an herbal infusion! I grew dill from seed for the first time this year and as you can see it grew! Though the oregano is outgrowing it's little spot and reaching into the dill :p And the mint is so out of control that I actually let a little caterpillar munch away in my garden today :p He can have all of the mint he would like, lol.

These are hollyhocks from Croatia! My friend Ante who lives there sent me some seeds which I promptly planted and they all came up :) I've already thinned all but the healthiest looking ones and I'm sure I'll have to thin them again as they start to really grow. I've never grown hollyhocks before but I think they're SO beautiful!! I really really hope they're a success!!!

And here is where I ask your advice dear friends! These are my problem plants this week :( First up is my pride of barbados plant which isn't actually a problem plant. As you can see, the foliage is actually REALLY beautiful!! I love that plant so much. But what I love most about it is it's flowers!! Seriously, they're gorgeous and when I bought it two years ago it had lots of flowers. It's never flowered again since though :( I know I had it in the wrong spot first because I barely even got foliage on it. So I've learned it likes the sun. But I can't get it to flower again. Does anyone have any experience growing these? Or does anyone know a good natural fertilizer that may help it? I don't like using any chemicals on my plants.

Problem plant number two is my baby lemon tree. I have four baby fruit trees, two that I've grown myself from seed, and two that I bought from Gurneys. This is one of the ones I bought from Gurneys and it looked fine for a long time! All of my other three baby fruit trees look fine except for this one. Now like I said we've had a LOT of rain over the last two weeks. Could that be causing the leaves to look like this? Or is it diseased? Anyone know?

And finally, my poor avocado tree T_T I got so upset the other day! Remember how it had the tree that finally sprout out of it? I don't know what happened but I went out one day and the top and been cut off :( Now the sprout is still on there, but obviously the poor thing has been decapitated. It's been like that for about two weeks now. The "bark" is still green though and it looks like it still has a baby leafling on the side of it. Do you think that it's a lost cause now or do I still have a chance that this may grow into a tree?

Thanks for any answers :D So now tell me how your garden grows, what's going on at your farmer's market, what kind of nature you're viewing in your part of the world, what you've been cooking, anything like that :D Leave a link in the Mr. Linky below!



Snowball said...

Your flowers are beautiful!

I was born and raised on the east coast where there are seasons and it actually rains, and when I moved to CA with its dryness and high heat, I found that my instinct was to drown everything.

The Master Gardener told me that if you don't see any bugs, and the leaves are not crunchy, then the problem is too much water. That is a two pronged problem as it causes root rot and washes away important nutrients.

I don't really know much about fertilizer, they recommend compost and such, but I keep some Miracle Grow on hand for emergencies. (bad, I know)

For potted plants you can re-pot with good drainage in the pot (holes & gravel) and add sand to the soil mixture to promote drainage.

As for the avocado, don't give up on it, it may come back. My dog defoliated my two while they were inside, and she topped the one. You see how well they came back. (and why they're outside)

Growing things in pots is much harder than in the ground, and you are doing so well. You inspired me to do a little more with pots.

DesLily said...

I went searching on the lemon tree leaves (but suspected too much water from the rain) This is what I found: There are two possible reasons why the leaves on your lemon tree are turning yellow;

1) TOO MUCH WATER- the tips of your roots might be rotten and can no longer uptake nutrients. You may have poor drainage around the roots or an extremely heavy soil. Citrus need to be watered about once a week and the soil should be kept a little moist but not soaked.

2) LACK OF NITROGEN- Lemons require lots of Nitrogen. Try using a fertilizer with a 2-1-1...or a 3-1-1 ratio.....such as a 20-10-10 that includes magnesium, iron, zinc and manganese. There are several fertilizers specifically made for citrus and avocados that can be found at any of your local hardware stores.

I still think you are a fabulous gardner!

Heather said...

This is what I found on the Pride of Barbados:

Pride of Barbados is very easy to grow in alkaline to acidic, well-drained soils. This is a fast growing, but short lived plant. It is moderately tolerant of salty conditions. Pride of Barbados flowers benefit from pruning, and can be shaped to tree form or shrubby bush form. These plants prefer full sun to partial shade. Pride of Barbados flowers bloom best in full sun. Also, Pride of Barbados is considered drought tolerant once established.

I'm still missing my tomato plants. :(

Jeane said...

I know your frustration. Most of my container plants have been failing- right now it seems to be aphids the main problem, I can't seem to get rid of them!

I love petunias and nasturtiums too, but mine aren't doing so well :( My purple coneflower is sad, too- it's just not purple anymore. I think I water it too much...

Is that last photo on the left your pride of barbados? Its foliage looks a lot like my mimosa tree (also called silk tree I think).

Debi said...

I'm worried that we're going to end up with a horrible tomato crop this year too. I've pulled up a couple plants, and have been constantly pruning off branches that start deteriorating in hopes of saving the rest of the plant, but they are just looking so. damn. sad. Like you--way too much rain. After canning over 60 quarts last summer (not to mention all the salsa), I'm afraid I'm not going to have any tomatoes to can this year. :( :( :( But also like you, it seems our peppers are absolutely LOVING the rain. Our entire garden has it's ups and downs this year. Like kohlrabi and cucumbers--we've always been able to grow them like gangbusters. But very few kohlrabi came up and no cucumbers. We suspect the seeds got washed away or simple drowned. We did replant cucumbers though and they're doing well now. But to only have 7 kohlrabi--that's sort of heartbreaking. Oh well, I'm just trying to remember to be grateful for every bite we do get from the garden, and to just keep in mind that some years are better than others. :D

Carole McDonnell said...

oooooooooooh nasturtium!

I didn't see any portulaca/moss rose. My other fave flower.

Daphne said...

Re: herbs -- a good trick is to make herb-cubes for soup or whatnot. I whirl handfuls of herbs with olive oil in the food processor, then freeze them in ice cube trays, then pop them out into baggies and freeze (label them so you know which is which). This is an AMAZING trick with basil -- it is so great to put a cube or two in tomato soup in the winter!!

tohko said...

Hope your hollyhocks are going grow nice and successful!! And herb butter:D Must be yummmmmy!