Field of Science

Mid-summer garden tidbits

It's July, and tonight's low temperature will be 52 F, cat's on the bed, close kitchen windows, and have a blanket available kind of weather. On Monday the high humidity and high 80s temperature required the AC to take the edge off for an Italian soup dinner for a women's group dinner meeting. What crazy weather!
As predicted, early blight has shown us and will require some fungicide spraying to help the tomatoes survive. One 5 foot tall vine has mysteriously totally wilted. Blossom end rot (boron deficiency) has shown up too. It's not ususally a problem around here.
A not very vigorous golden chain tree suddenly died. No idea what to replace it with. It's on the edge of a Japanese garden, so something compatible with that theme would be nice, and the space is rather smallish.  Perhaps a new fancy tree peony!
Mulch is finally allowing us to make some progress on weeding. A lot of poison ivy is hiding around the gardens this year. Some pokeweeds have reached 4-5 feet in height already. Too bad poke isn't really good for anything.
Several trees, all 1st or 2nd year plantings, are trying to decide if they are going to survive or not: a dwarf dawn redwood, a Japanese snowbell, and a black tulip magnolia. Right now, TPP won't put much money on any of them especially, and most sadly, the magnolia. Already gave up and replaced an azalea that even with TPP's best efforts remained root bound after planting. On the other hand the new Loebner's magnolia has put on 12-18 inches of new growth!
Last week's treatment of plants showing chlorosis with a spray of liquid iron are looking much better. In another week, a 2nd dose should really fix them up.
Planting some annuals to fill in blankish spaces is not our usual practice, but with a wedding in the gardens in a month (Yes, the F1 is getting married!), the gardens need to look nice. Looks like a modest little wedding, probably no more than 230 people!
Late planted cucumbers and zucchini squashes are growing quickly and row covers are keeping the cucumber beetles (and the bacterial wilt they vector) and the squash borers (day-flying moth larvae) at bay. 

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