Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime plants and food...

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime plants and food...
Fri, 06-27-2014 - 12:58am

 Which intersect at the corner of edible and plants!   I could have posted in food, gardening, or both, but NOBODY goes there.   So here I am.  This June has been the WETTEST in Chicagoland in 25 years.  There have only been 4 days this month when it did not rain.  However, "rain In Chicagoland" covers a LOT of territory, so while one suburb may be submerged, another may facing drought conditions.  That is because 2 inches of rain in 24 hours does NOT sustain a garden for 2 weeks, and plants can't live on fog. 

So, my basil is bolting, which means only one thing--PESTO!   I ended up with about 3 cups of finished product, which will sustain Rae, Lolo & me about 3 weeks, or me alone about 5 days......

I also harvested about 2/3rds of the stems of parsley, trying to beat the swallowtail larve.  There is enough left to regrow, and since this is the first year, if I bring the pot in this fall and let it rest (and NOT rot)  I might even get some next year.

Tomatoes are suffering blossom end rot, and "Aubrey incursion".  Thankfully, the Roma plants have born heavily, altho at least a dozen found their way to my windowsill while still quite small and green.  I should have realized that the basket I was putting the basil and parsley in, was getting quite heavy...

Rain has caused al least a half dozen of my Coral bells to rot & die.  I transplanted them earlier this spring, but foolishly put the crown at or beneath soil level. to combat heaving NEXT WINTER.  Well, THIS SPRING, has been very wet, and they did not survive. Here are the main contenders for replacments.  Or just run your cursor down the Heuchera list to see the palnts

I also FINALLY got Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea.  Each pot had tricolor plants., so I figured the cost was equal to three plants each.  The highlight here is that they come true from seed, and blossom the FIRST year it germinates

My last pean to summer is the hydrangea.  The rain had knocked over my Annabellas even worse than their own weight had, and dh had to cut lawn, so I cut a huge bouquet.  Nothing says spring and summer like a beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009

  DH has a fairly small garden, a few tomato plants,  couple of pepper plants, okra, basil, oregano, thyme, couple of blackberry bushes.  Our biggest issue is birds and rabbits eating everything before we get a chance. Every year DH puts up a better fortress of deer to keep them out but they eventually make their way in.  Was doing pretty good this year, getting lots of tomatoes and then they made their way in.  He added chicken wire along to bottom and thats seem to be helping.  Weather wise we have had a wetter spring then we have had in a long time but nothing like you are talking about, enough to make it too wet to get into the garden a couple of days and to not water.   Summer is supposed to be dry but I think not as quite as dry as the drought of the last few years. 

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997

Suggestion we got for the deer, which seems to be working in/around ds's small veggie garden, is Irish Spring soap shavings - 'the smellier the better'.  He actually used more like chunks/slices (maybe 1cmx1cmx1/4cm) so that he doesn't have to repeat after rain (which we've had a ton of but not enough for our horrible clay soil to stay hydrated).  And so far, so good.  Prior to that he did see tracks.  Corn is a good 3' high but he planted tomatoes and peppers late so they're just about 8-12" high so far, no flowers yet.  Sunflowers probably closer to 4' high.  Pumpkins starting to spread vines.  His first garden since he was little and he's having a blast.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

We have a lot of rain here too. This week, it was especially heavy. My tomatoes are doing fine,especially those on my deck. (I have a garden patch plus decided to put some on the desk). The Zuc's are starting to flower.

With all this rain, I am going to have to cut the grass again this week. We are "old school" when it comes to lawn mowers and we have a good size lot.  Takes me an afternoon, when I factor in water breaks.

But, this year, I have never seen so many huge ant hills. Horrible. I have gone through several cans of raid to get rid of them. Ugh!

The hydrangea I planted last year is blooming; I was concerned about that one. Have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised that so many of the plants I put in last year survived the winter. Unfortuately, the rose bush is not one of them. It start to come back and then stalled-I am going to just leave it. Give it some time.

The heavy rain has been brutal with some of my plants. I've been doing a bit of caging with some to keep them from falling over (and become a treat for my dog. He loves to munch on flowers)

This year, I planted a section of "wild flowers" and large marigolds from seed.  The wild flowers are near the garden shed and in a good sunny location; you would think that they would be taking off. Nope, they are not.  The marigolds from seed are slow but have sprouted at least.  Next year, I am going to start them indoors.

Anyways.. time to cut the grass

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Sabr, this is a fine place to post about gardening and food. Several of us are gardeners and ALL of us like to eat! Its a shame those other boards are so slow though. The Food board gets occasional spurts but Gardening is practically dead.

I'm still planting...but then, our "summer" runs into everybody else's fall, so hopefully it will work out. The autumn temperature's not a problem but sometimes the photoperiod is. Anyway, I'm harvesting a few early tomatoes but that's all so far. This year I got 2 San Marzano tomatoes and planted them in containers, one of them has set a lot of fruit and the other only a couple---crossing my fingers that it catches up because I'm dreaming of making sauce from homegrowns.

Roses and alstromerias are blooming but I generally leave them on the plant to brighten the garden. Today I bought starts for more snap beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatillos and also some bedding plants for a mixed veggie and flower bed. Still need to amend the areas where most of this will go in, so hoping its all planted by July 4th. I debated whether I should plant some of it because we are on voluntary water conservation due to the drought but decided to go for it.

No rain here which is normal; and fortunately not too hot---upper 70s most days so really pretty nice. The evenings cool off quickly so we haven't been eating outside yet but that will happen soon enough.