Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 9/22/14

What a great week it’s been in the garden! Over the course of several days, we received over three inches of much needed rain. The temperatures have dropped some, as well, and my garden is so happy. New leaves are growing, new flowers are opening, and new fruit is appearing. Oh happy day! Come take a look.

WHAT’S NEW:

Over the weekend, I pruned and staked my key lime trees – in their pots. They were leaning over to one side and starting to grow crooked. It was time to prune wrong-growing and low growing branches and stake the main trunks to train them to grow upright.

Key lime trees ~ pruned & staked

Key lime trees ~ pruned & staked

While pruning my trees, I noticed one of them had some new buds. Ooh…more lime potential.

Key lime buds

Key lime buds

My second crop of snap beans are starting to flower.

Black Valentine snap bean flowers

Black Valentine snap bean flowers

My first small harvest of butterpeas were eaten by grasshoppers (who have since been killed!). However, I noticed this week that I have more pods growing and LOTS of flowers. I’ll get to try these beans yet.

Dixie speckled butterpea pods and flowers

Dixie speckled butterpea pods and flowers

This weekend, I pulled all almost all my tomato plants to prepare for the fall crops. However, I left this guy alone. Look! Tomatoes are growing!

Wisconsin tomatoes

Wisconsin tomatoes

Remember the petunias I bought on the clearance rack at the beginning of the summer? I was so surprised they lasted through the summer, especially as hot as it was. They finally died the beginning of September. Or…so I thought. They’re now growing new leaves! (Good thing I didn’t get around to pulling them yet.) I’ll give them a good pruning this coming week.

New leaves on petunias

New leaves on petunias

IN THE GARDEN:

The three-week drought has ended, and the temperatures are finally below 90 degrees on a regular basis. My pepper plants are starting to flower abundantly again.

Jalapeno pepper flowers

Jalapeno pepper flowers

My lemon drop pepper plants (a Peruvian pepper from the Andes Mountains) have been producing prolifically the entire summer. Look at the peppers on this plant! (This is predominantly one plant in the picture with a couple more behind it. There are a couple more than that not in the picture!)

Lemon drop pepper plants

Lemon drop pepper plants

I’ve had my parsley for two years now. Because they’re biennials, they bolted and flowered this summer. One of my plants is now dead, as expected. However, one of them is growing back. What a nice surprise.

Curly parsley growing back

Curly parsley growing back

While I was out in the garden taking pictures, my butterpeas were swarming with bees. I tried several times to get a picture of one of the bumble bees on the flowers, but couldn’t get a clear shot. Just as I was about to delete one of the pictures, I noticed two lizards (Carolina anoles) on the leaves. I never saw them until I looked at the picture. Here’s one little guy.

Carolina anole

Carolina anole

A few plants over – in the same picture! – was another anole in the process of turning color. (They turn from brown to bright green and vice versa, depending on their environment.) I’ve never taken a picture of an anole in the process of turning color, and I got this one by accident.

Carolina anole turning color

Carolina anole turning color

Only a gardener (or farmer) would take a picture of dirt and call it pretty. But look at this beautiful black gold, ready for my beet seeds. (Later this week, I’ll share how my garden is growing this month and tell you all I planted.)

Pretty dirt

Pretty dirt

IN THE KITCHEN:

This week, I was blessed with a few bags of pink lady apples – my absolute favorite for making apple chips! I filled my entire dehydrator and still have almost three pounds left to dry. (To learn how to make apple chips, see my post, How to Dehydrate Apples.)

Apples ready to dehydrate

Apples ready to dehydrate

I also dried a bunch of basil in the oven. (To learn how to dry herbs in the oven, see my post, Drying Herbs in the Oven.)

Basil ready to dry

Basil ready to dry

Click here to see the Garden Bounty I harvested this past week.

What’s happening in your garden?

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