End of Month View – Hello Fall! – September 30, 2019

Have you ever spent all the time necessary to craft the perfect post, loading all sorts of supporting photos and painstakingly making sure it made so much good sense and then left it in draft status as the magic time to publish it wafted away? Well, I did with last month’s End of Month View post. So if you think you are seeing a double post you are not, I just couldn’t bear not to publish the one for August too.

If you compare the two you will see that there is a definite difference in where my garden sits after 30 days. For instance the beans are totally out of the ground and well on their way to canning jars.

This next shot is of our poor, pitiful tomatoes. What was once a vibrant crop with so much promise eventually gave up the ghost as our perennial nemesis, tomato blight finally took its toll. But before that we enjoyed bushels of eating and made 38 pints and 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce.

I talked to my uncle, the only member of the second generation of dahlia growers still remaining and he reported all his dahlias had dried up. We are suffering through a very long dry spell and it is affecting a number of plants in and around our area. So far however my dahlias are valiantly pumping out blooms.

The main perennial bed is also perking along. We even have some late summer phlox joining the butterfly bushes, sedum and hydrangea to keep color options and filler pieces for bouquets available.

In front of our greenhouse the dahlias are pretty dry. I help them out periodically, but no amount of hose water can apply the same nourishment and results as a good, soaking rain.

Most of the front side window boxes are long gone, the geraniums and Fan flowers unable to withstand the extreme dry spell. A pair of New Guinea impatiens, one set in a window box on the cooler side of the house and one near the hair salon door that benefits greatly from the daily dump of dehumidifier water continue to thrive.

Nearby a fresh planting of fall mums is beginning to show some real color.

Unfortunately all of the sunflowers and all but a very few of the Zinnias are long gone. However I did manage to collect a large quantity of spent heads for seeds to increase the crops in 2020.

You would expect a tropical plant like this Mandevilla to thrive in the heat we still have, 90 degrees a lot of days, but it is suffering from the lack of moisture too. There was several more blooms the last time I took a photo for the End of Month post.

One plant that defies the dry spell is the Lantanas planted at the hair salon sign. It seems the hotter and drier the better they like it and they are looking very robust on this last day of September.

The hardy Gerber Daisies haven’t continued to produce multiple blooms although the foliage still looks plenty healthy and dark green. I will pay special attention to them between now and whenever they are finished for the season to help them have the best chance to survive until Spring.

The Orchids are still resting outside since we still have 90 degree days and nrights in the 60s. At a Master Gardener class we learned from an Orchis expert that triggering the bloom on the beauties requires a petiod of 50 degree nights. My wife just saw on the extended weather ed r forecast that such a weather change is dhe in about a week!

With the continuing heat it is hard to imagine frost on the horizon, so there is no way to know if I will still have flowers to show for EOMV-October. Also if the dry spell continues everything may be dried up by then.

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