annual flowers climbing cottage gardens gardening nasturtium spitfire summer vining weather

Weather like this scares me!

After last year’s late blight epidemic, I’m very watchful of my tomatoes and potatoes. I’ve allowed lots of space around my tomato plants this year, three feet between each. And the potatoes are growing in straw mulch, which should provide some protection. I’ve also mulched the tomatoes heavily with straw, and I’ve started a 5-7 day fungicide spray application.  However, there are no guarantees, and with rain and cooler weather settling in, the chances for another late blight appearance in my garden are probably some better than they were a few days ago when it was hot and dry.

Nevertheless, the summer gardening routine goes much as it has for the past 25 or 30 years. But it never gets old, as I don’t seem to be getting tired of growing things. Sometimes I wish I would get tired of it, but something out there keeps calling me, and I keep answering.

I’m late with my nasturtium GROW project report, and offer an apology to Mr Brown Thumb for my lack of ambition. I’ll offer an early review of ‘Spitfire’ now, before it’s flowered: disappointing. I was expecting a much more vigorous growth spurt once I planted my seedling into its new home – a container with good organic potting soil. But what I’m getting so far is a droopy, lazy, unattractive, resemblance of something akin to a nasturtium. Maybe it’s how I’m letting mine trail out, instead of having it vine up? We’ve still some growing to do yet, so I’m hoping for a better result by season’s end.

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


annual flowers gardening last frost date spring summer vegetable gardening weather winter

Spring’s Winter Weather

It never fails to return, if just for a few days, with snowfall even. When I first moved here from Kentucky I was stunned to find that it’s not unusual for it to frost in May around these parts, and snow on occasion. That was 22 years ago and I’ve still not gotten used to the weather patterns here in the northeast. Especially the wait for warm weather to finally settle in.

When it comes to planting warm season veggies, we generally try to wait until nighttime temperatures stay in the 50s, not in the 30s like it’s been lately. Our tomatoes and peppers are overanxious to get settled out in the garden, and we’ve annuals to pot up and plant. Memorial Day is our “last expected frost date,” should we push our luck and plant this coming weekend when temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60s with lows around 50?

The weather lately feels kind of Antarctical, perfect for penguins perhaps, but not for planting.

Handcrafted penguin gourd