Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 5/11/15

Tropical Storm Ana formed off the coast of South Carolina this week and definitely affected our weather. My homestead is about 25-30 miles from the beach, so we didn’t didn’t get as much rain as other areas and it wasn’t as heavy. Steady, soaking rain is good! It’s been fairly breezy off and on for the past three days, too – ebbing and flowing with the storm bands. And now, the humidity is setting in. Ugh. Thanks, Ana. Fortunately, the garden is doing well, as you shall see.

WHAT’S NEW:

Before the storm formed this past week, I staked my tomato plants (all but the Tiny Tim tomatoes). You’re looking at 51 stakes! The tomato plants will be growing up the stakes before I know it.

Tomatoes staked

Tomatoes staked

Most of my peppers, both sweet and chili, are starting to bud – despite their small size. (I’m sure they’ll have major growth spurts once the weather turns hot and humid.)

Mini yellow stuffing pepper buds

Mini yellow stuffing pepper buds

About half of my tomato plants are starting to bud and bloom.

Cherokee Purple tomato flower

Cherokee Purple tomato flower

My Edirne Purple Striped eggplant are the first to bud.

Edirne Purple Striped eggplant bud

Edirne Purple Striped eggplant bud

One of my fingerling potato plants is blooming.

Fingerling potato flowers

Fingerling potato flowers

I found the first tomatoes on one of my Tiny Tim plants. Look how little they are.

Tiny Tim tomatoes

Tiny Tim tomatoes

My raspberry canes are full of flowers, and some canes already have small fruit forming.

Raspberry beginning to fruit

Raspberry beginning to fruit

My hydrangea are starting to bloom.

Hydrangea bloom

Hydrangea bloom

IN THE GARDEN:

Thankfully, I had no damage from the tropical storm. However, my cucumber trellis was blown down. I’m glad the plants aren’t big enough yet to attach to the trellis, else they would’ve been ripped out of the ground!

Trellis blown over by Tropical Storm Ana

Trellis blown over by Tropical Storm Ana

I finally got a picture of the female cardinal that comes to my feeder.

Female cardinal posing for me

Female cardinal posing for me

My onion flowers are almost all open. I love allium flowers.

Onion flowers

Onion flowers

One of my elderberry trees is in full bloom (the other one just starting). I have a cane that’s looking rather purplish-red; still unsure why.

Elderberry in bloom

Elderberry in bloom

The pink astilbe in my L Garden are blooming beautifully.

Pink astilbe blooming

Pink astilbe blooming

The grape flowers are opening up.

Concord grape flower

Concord grape flower

The Red Sails lettuce I planted among my sweet peppers is growing very well.

Red Sails lettuce

Red Sails lettuce

Last year, I planted three dahlias on one side of my patio. So far, two of them have grown back. (My plan to weed and top dress the mulch around my patio this weekend was washed out, so excuse the messy surroundings.)

Dahlia, year 2

Dahlia, year 2

The first tomato on my Black Krim tomato cutting (cut from last year’s plant) is growing well. I’ll be having my first tomato extra early this year!

Black Krim tomato

Black Krim tomato

GARDEN BOUNTY:

This week, I harvested 3 ounces of Tom Thumb peas, which I used in a stir fry (sorry – forgot to take a picture), and 11 ounces of Fordhook chard.

Fordhook chard

Fordhook chard

Many of the leaves of the chard had been attacked by leaf miners and spider mites, so I had to compost them. However, I still used the stems to make Roasted Swiss Chard Stems. I should’ve had a picture to show you for my “In the Kitchen” section, but they barely made it off the cookie sheet before I had eaten them! Trust me, they were yummy!

What’s happening in your garden this week?

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