This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Jun 20, 2009

Well good morning to you too...


On this fine rainy, sunny cloudy first day of summer! Yes, the first day of summer is today this year in the Western Hemisphere. I was surprised too. And look what was greeting me!

Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' and Black-eyed Susan

 Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’ and Black-eyed Susan


Not as blue as is will be later- but a lovely sight. And just so it didn’t feel lonely the Black-eyed Susan decided to join in on the summer celebration!

As you can see from the shot, it is a bit muddy out. We were hit with a torrential downpour (and wind)- yes, I was out in it when it hit! That’s not the sad part, however. On the 18th, I finally had some time to plant the peppers I purchased and my Sweet Basil that had been sitting around waiting impatiently to be planted.  Not feeling well, I had to quite early after planting these- so a layer of compost as mulch will be next. Perfect after getting soaked.

Sweet Basil and Pepper

 Sweet Basil and Pepper ‘Red Bell’ sweet pepper

The Basil is sooo sad! The weather just isn’t warm enough, but they were outgrowing their pots and had to go in. I didn’t really want to up pot to a 6”.  We’ll see how they do. And yes, you read right, the peppers were purchased! Foreign peppers ;). I simply didn’t have it in me to start anything else. If I had they would have been started too early like everything else ;).

Some things that I really thought were started too early are doing well, however.

The watermelon that I started is a surprise! A couple weeks ago I was looking at some in our local grocery store and saw some that were the same size as mine I started from seed! I was thrilled! That means that I didn’t start them too early, I just planted them out too early. If I’d kept them in the greenhouse a while longer and planted them out they’d be in better health and bigger. I would have had to up pot a few times though I bet.


Watermelon ‘Red Little Baby Flower’ 

I planted all three in a half garbage can and planned to keep whichever one does the best. I know I have to do it- 2 must go! I’ll dig 2 out and give them away, hoping they won’t be in too much shock because I don’t have the heart to compost them! They are starting to hang off the sides of the can, so I need to put something on the edge to cushion the stems- the cut plastic is just too sharp, I think.

The eggplant is the other one that is a surprise. I’ve posted some flowers and they have many more, but I’m just really pleased with the overall health of the plants. I’ve kept the black mulch in place to keep the soil warm and they had a tunnel over them for quite a while.

Eggplant 'Hansel'

Eggplant ‘Hansel’

This is the first time I’ve grown eggplant and I have no idea when to harvest the fruit. I’ve kept track of everything I’ve done because it looks as though it has worked well- the fruit will be the real test, however. Any suggestions on preparing eggplant or recipes will be greatly appreciated. I only know one way to make them- breaded and fried!

The bush beans started in my version of root trainers (long paper pots) are not liking our ‘lettuce and pea’ weather. They were planted out on the 28th of May, I believe and since then the weather has been very mild on and off. I went out today and had a conversation with Weather just to give her a heads up that it is, after all, the first day of summer- get to it!

Bush Beans 'Blue Lake 274'

Bush bean ‘Blue Lake 274’

Since these are bush beans I started a second round on the 12th along with some pole beans- since my first round was eaten! A Monday seedling update will follow.


Another warm weather crop that is doing well, the volunteer zucchini.

Volunteer Zucchini

Volunteer zucchini variety unknown at this time ;)

This plant saved my you know what! Mine, again, were started too early (seed packets lie!) and planted out too early! I have kept a sad one and moved it away from this one. I may pull this one after it has produced for a while and when it is just too big. The other one that I started should, in theory, start producing not long after that- we’ll see!

All heat lovers on this first summer day! Now if Weather would just pull it together we’ll be set!

I hope you all are enjoying your gardens today! Blessings!

Happy gardening,



  • Anonymous

    Hi Tessa~~ I can't remember if you're in Portland or Salem. I'm going to say Portland because I heard it received a record rainfall yesterday. I'm so jealous. Would you believe that here in Albany it was semi-cloudy and no rain whatsoever? The ground dries so quickly as I'm sure you know, so although we got hammered during the weird thunderstorm a few weeks ago, the ground is dry again.

    I know what you mean about seed packets. Maybe they're written for gardeners in the midwest or something...not for the PNW. I've never been a patient person but the garden sure softens the rough edges.

  • Joanne

    Such pretty little faces the Morning Glory and Black eyed Susie.
    The vegetables are coming on.

  • Muddy Boot Dreams

    Everything is looking good to me. Love the blue of the morning glory. Every winter I look at those seed packages in Feb. and it makes me want to grow them so badly. But usually we don't get enough heat for them to do well.

    But we have had over 30 days without rain, unheard of for us in June. And it has been very warm, after a cool wet spring. Happy first day of summer.


  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    I planted one of those Black-eyed Susan vines this year. How tall to they get? I think the flowers are so pretty.
    We had a downpour too yesterday and we really needed it. I can see a difference in the plants already. No wind here though.
    I'm sure your basil will be okay, our is already getting flowers. I can't wait to see how watermelon does.

  • GardenJoy4Me

    Hey Tessa girl ! I have had a touch of flu or something too that made me feel crappy and crabby ? LOL
    Your veggies are amazing .. you have so much patience ! I have a skinny leaf purple basil (and a sweet one in with my morning glory vines) .. this purple basil is so pretty I hope it survives our wacky weather too !
    Now if only I had space to grow some good Halloween pumpkins ?? LOL

  • Kathleen

    Morning glories & "susan" vines are a great way to greet summer. It's supposed to be 90 degrees here today which is the perfect way to kick off my favorite season. Your veggies are looking grand. I wish I had a good eggplant recipe to share with you but it's not a veggie I eat much. Happy summer!

  • Rosey Pollen

    Lovely blue morning glories, what a delightful post, your basil is kicking butt over mine, so don't feel bad. I am cravin pesto. Do you like that on pasta?

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