Tending the Garden – July 29, 2015

Every gardener has successes and failures. Some are caused by unavoidable problems like the weather, and other are caused by the gardener. Here are a few I am having in my garden.

This beautiful tomato was destroyed by squirrels and birds. If I don't harvest them just as they are turning color they become damaged. Last week one day the score was varmints five, john one.  Because I am picking them just when they start coloring, I am winning for now.

This beautiful tomato was destroyed by squirrels and birds. If I don’t harvest them just as they are turning color they become damaged. One day last week the score was varmints five, John one. Because I am picking them just when they start coloring, I am winning for now.

Here is John doing something stupid. I applied granular fertilizer too close to the stem and did not water it in at the time of the application. While it looks dead the stems are green so I have some hope it will re-foliate.

Here is John doing something stupid. I applied granular fertilizer too close to the stem and did not water it in at the time of the application. While it looks dead, the stems are green, so I have some hope it will re-foliate.

This problem is caused by the weather. My ageratum has either wilt or a fungal problem and that is caused by the high humidity and damp conditions. Solution, none. Just remove the damaged part of the plant and hope the humidity will be better soon.

This problem is caused by the weather. My ageratum has either wilt or a fungal problem, and that is caused by the high humidity and damp conditions. Solution: none. Just remove the damaged part of the plant and hope the humidity will be better soon.

Other issues in my garden include: some broken tomato limbs because of wind that yours truly did not tie up, okra getting too hard because I am not harvesting it regularly enough, late cucumbers not germinating because the seeds were several years old, and several hydrangeas not blooming because of last year’s fall freeze and winter’s cold weather. There is no question that from the very early fall frost, through the hot humid and off and on summer showers, followed by a very dry period, we have had a very unusual few months of weather that is affecting many of our garden plants.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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