gardening summer

First things first

First, I need to do an early first Sunday of the month post for the GROW project report. It’s been a busy week, and getting busier, and with my oldest son coming up for a visit over the holiday weekend, I know I’ll be preoccupied with entertaining him and not have time to do much blogging.

Secondly, it seems something has caused a stir within the groundhog population around here and it’s turned into a small scale war. I’ve downed three in as many days!

Thirdly, well, I don’t really have a third point, unless it’d be about gardening in general. So, let’s get on with the GROW project report and go from there.

My “nasty” hasn’t really performed as well as I’d thought it should up to this point. But I might be convinced otherwise if more flowers start showing up. I noticed the first bloom on one today, and it does have a lovely reddish color. It’s the only flower on one I started from seed and it’s in a container with a black-eyed Susan vine. It may be finally adjusting to how I’m allowing it to flow down and out instead of up and over. I scattered other seeds here and there around the yarden and most of them have sprouted. What I find interesting about this is the fact that I sowed them in dirty dirt, not an organic mix like the one I started from seed, and they sprouted quicker. I think I read on another GROW project blog that nasturtiums do better in dirty dirt, this might be true, we’ll see because I sowed a few seeds in a spot that’s mostly all limestone rock and they sprouted. Will they grow and flower?  

Nasturtium 'Spitfire'
Close-up of 'Spitfire' flower

I mentioned something about the groundhog population earlier and just want you to know that nothing is ever left to waste when you live in a rural area. The following photograph depicts just that:


The latest news about late blight of tomato isn’t very good, they’re saying it’s reported in counties near and far. All I can do is hope it doesn’t get as bad as it did last year, and try to keep my heirlooms protected as much as possible with weekly fungicide treatments (I use an organic product, K+ Neem). It’s also that time of year for the massive influx of the dreaded Japanese beetles. I’m using a new product this year in my war against the beetles – “Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew” spray, it’s organic and supposed to be deadly. We’ll see.

Dead bug (method used - thumb/index finger death pinch)

“I’m growing Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”


By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

24 replies on “First things first”

It’s not a sin to write for free, at least I hope not! If it is, I’m in big trouble. I think I’ve read somewhere that there are some writers who thought just the opposite was true and were tormented forever by the thought that they had exchanged their soul for fame and fortune. Silly idea!

My parents tend to keep the groundhog population down, but whenever it fluctuates, they borrow the rifle from the Lutheran pastor next door and my mom shoots them from the bedroom window. She’s gotten pretty good.

No vultures that I’ve ever seen, but our neighbor’s scotty dog once found the pile of dead corpses out in the back …

Hi GM29. I try to keep most of my annuals well-watered, but being forgetful shouldn’t be a cause of death. If a plant, annual or perennial, isn’t tough as nails, it won’t find a home here, no matter how upset it gets. ;~)

I’m not the one who came up with callin them “nasties” Ms. Monica, I read that misnomer on one of the other Grow project blogs. Of course ‘Spitfire’ isn’t really nasty at all, unless you consider mine liking “nasty” dirt.

Your ‘Spitfires’ are looking good! I’m waiting for mine to adjust to me making them grow “down and out” instead of “up and over” as well, so they look a little funny right now. The blooms are really pretty, though.

Too bad about the groundhogs — that’s one annoyance that I don’t have. However, I am battling squirrels and bunnies this year.

Happy 4th of July!

Hi Ms. Colleen, squirrels and rabbits sneak in around here too! But it’s the whistle pigs that are most bothersome!

We’ll be usin some of the nasturtiums in salads, they really make it look uppity!

I hope the weather has cooled some for y’all Ms. Susie! It’s warmin up here just a bit, we’re supposed to hit 90 for a two, possibly 3-day stretch!

I’m glad your Spitfire is doing okay in the dirty dirt (I didn’t know there was any other kind). Since nothing goes to waste there, did you find something to feed that dead bug to, like a pet lizard or fish? Thanks for the neat info on the magnolia music video, by the way.

You’re welcome Ms. W2W. I got a lot of comments about that video after I posted it to my Facebook page. So, thank you for the inspiration.

About that dead bug on the black-eyed Susan; I left it there, my thinkin is other Japanese beetles will see it and decide not to stick around!

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