My goodness gracious. It has been so hot and DRY lately, things are dying all around us. Lawns are brown, trees are loosing their leaves, the people are wilting themselves. Team WWOOF is so bored, I can tell. They spend a lot of time, all day usually, watering. You see with the CSA, we can’t let things die on us. Our customers are depending on a crop. Let me rephrase that. We could totally let it ALL die and the customer would have to understand, because they signed a piece of paper, and something like drought is part of the liability. But we’re too nice, and since we have a lot of help and it’s too hot to do much else, we put a hose in their hand. It’s funny, because as I type this out, it is currently raining. The rain, which has only been going on for about 20 minutes or so has prompted me to write about the dryness, because I’ve been needing to. One of our CSA members asked me the other day how things were growing. I let him know how tough it’s been and how some things are just wilting away. He totally understood if the bags were empty for the next few weeks. He shared the story of his garden with me. He said he and his wife had been gone for three weeks. Even though they had someone watering it for them, they returned and their garden was dust. This “heat wave” that the weather man has talked about has lasted for two months now. It’s more like a heat tsunami! This wave won’t leave. I guess my message to you dear reader is respect the fact that there is produce at your grocery store, and there are many, MANY factors that go into its survival. Uh oh, the rain knew I was talking about it, it just stopped : (
I am quite satisfied with these flowers, these are a cactus variety of zinnia from Baker Creek Seed Co. The package said “Giant”. Not quite so sure about that, but the color is really nice. We’ll put this into the “Love” category.
This too can be put into the “Love” category. This, another cactus variety of zinnia, called “Bright Jewel Cactus”, seeds from Baker Creek Seed Co. I’m in love with the color. Anything orange attracts my eye, but when it’s a beautiful flower, even more so. With this pack of seeds you get a few colors. I’ve noticed a few white, a few yellow, some orange and pinks. I’m satisfied with this mix of seed. A beautiful mix of color.
This is the pink that comes mixed with the “Bright Jewel” packet. It’s pretty, more of a salmon pink.
The award for “I love you, I love you, I love you!” goes to the “Righteous Red” zinnia from Seeds of Change. These seeds had an excellent germination rate and produce hearty, vigorous plants. The color was very chromatic, no complaints. Absolutely stunning flowers.
I am also in love with my Celosia, seeds from Seeds of Change. The germination rate was good and the plants are healthy.
Dum dun dun dun DUM!!!! It’s that time to talk about the things that make me shudder and ultimately mean a swing and a miss on my part. These pictures are of a zinnia variety called “Envy”, which is funny, because there is nothing to envy here. I was so excited to buy these seeds, more than any of my others. I bought them from Baker Creek Seed Co. Zinnias should be direct seeded, but can be started in your green house, or indoors. The risk of starting them early is to not let them get root bound, because they can suffer a transplant shock, which can send double blooms, (refer back to the picture of the Righteous Reds), to turn into singles, which you will see:
The single blooms are not pretty and they fall apart AND they look ugly a whole lot faster than they should.
I only have one plant that produces double blooms, but the color is far from what was advertised. Let this serve as a warning to stay away from this variety of zinnia. Notice the brown petals, this flower just bloomed! Shouldn’t be brown. Yuck “Envy” zinnia, just yuck.
If you want to grow ANY kind of squash in Northwest Arkansas, you have to fight the good fight with these guys, squash bugs. Organically, there aren’t too many options for you…just don’t grow it. I’m fighting for these babies here, I’m determined to keep them alive some how. I don’t have many plants in the ground, so I’m scraping the eggs off of the leaves just to see if my plants can have a fighting chance.
The eggs and a newly hatched baby.
Another squash plant culprit, the stem borer. Little white moths lay their eggs at the base of the plant and the baby bores into the stem and eats the inside of it, killing your plant. This day I took a knife and split it open and yanked the grub out. Fingers crossed the plants still make it. I’m determined to get a crop.
Calendula and dill. In case you were wondering, this is a picture of something I love.
Cosmos. These are called seashell. The produce this beautiful tubular petal. I ordered the seeds on a whim, and am very pleased with them.
My sunflowers are my pride and joy! I LOVE them as if they were my own children.
Except when the deer nibble off the tops!!!! If anyone has any advice on dear deer solutions, I’m all ears!