Smart Gardening in Hot Weather

When it’s this hot out, it’s difficult to do any yard work. I pretty much leave my garden to fend for itself, with a couple of exceptions:

  • Watering my trees: Casey Trees recommends 25 gallons of water per week during the first three years of a tree’s life. It’s important to do supplemental watering when it is this hot, and particularly when the ground is this dry. Follow Casey Trees on Facebook or Twitter, and you’ll get notifications when conditions are dry and you should water.
  • Watering containers: I don’t have many containers because my gardening philosophy of “thrive or die” doesn’t really support the container lifestyle. I always try a few, but this time of the year is really tough. I try to check my containers frequently (every one or two days, depending on the weather) during the summer. If the leaves are at all droopy, it’s time to water thoroughly.

Most importantly, if you decide you need to do yard work, be safe.

  • Start early and finish early. Don’t garden in the full heat of the afternoon;
  • Drink lots of water and replace electrolytes with sports drinks or juice;
  • Wear a hat with a large brim to keep the sun off your face; and
  • Wear sunscreen

Have fun, and stay cool!

(This post will be cross-posted on Kingstowne Patch)

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Butterflies and Hummingbirds, Oh My!

About a month ago, I was invited by Nalls Produce in Franconia (Fairfax), Virginia, to attend one of their gardening classes. I wasn’t able to make the herb class that I was invited to, but I was very graciously invited to attend the Plants for Butterflies and Hummingbirds class instead. I had no idea that Nalls offered classes until about three days before they contacted me, so I was especially excited to have been invited.
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Musings on Corporate Agriculture

I’m currently reading A World Without Bees, by Allison Benjamin and Brian McCallum. I know this is not a new sentiment, but all I can think about while I’m reading this book is: we have got to get away from our dependence on BigAg. Monoculture and pesticides are going to be the death of us, and we’ve already started on the slippery slope down.

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I’d mentioned in an earlier post that I have a plethora of Rudbeckia in my yard this year. And now they’re blooming like mad! This one is one of the transplants from last year. It didn’t take much time for it to fill in. 🙂

(It’s trying to take over the Red Twig Dogwood. They’re duking it out. Dogwood doesn’t know it yet, but he’s moving anyway, so they won’t have to fight for long.)

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GROW: Marigolds

As part of the SeedGROW project, I’m growing “Yellow Splash” Marigolds. These are Renee’s Garden seeds, and they are wonderful just because of that (I’ve had really great success with this brand.) Sadly, I’m not expecting much from them; because I am cursed.

I remember happily growing marigolds from seed as a little kid. You know, the Dixie cup method that you used in school when you were five? I was the champion Marigold grower. Now? I can’t get them to grow from seed to save my life.

If I buy seedlings, I have the most gorgeous, giant plants. They last forever and make my neighbors jealous. I try to grow from seed, and I get nada. I’m cautiously hopeful that this batch will prove me wrong…

Stay tuned for updates on my progress with the marigolds and other SeedGROW plants!

I’m growing with the SeedGROW project. Thanks to Reenes Garden for the seeds.

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There Will be Birds

Dogwood berriesI’m psyched because for the first year, my Red-Twig Dogwood have berries! Thank you little pollinators!

Because of the awesome bees, butterflies, and wasps, my Dogwood shrubs will have berries for the birds in the fall.

Happy Pollinator Week!

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Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

My Rudbekia ‘Goldsturm’ didn’t do much procreating in the last two years. Oh, they bloomed. They made the butterflies and the bees happy, and they made me very happy with their gorgeous flowers. But I was surprised that there weren’t many seedlings the second year. Some of the plants had offshoots that I could separate if I was feeling strong. (Those rhizomes (?) are tough buggers!) But no separate seedlings.

Apparently I had to wait one more year. MANY babies this year. Oh, so many! They’re almost a little weedy this year, but I have plans to share with friends.

What is particularly prolific in your yard this year?

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