Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lessons learned

Lesson # 1: Some flowers don't like the heat!
My experimenting with growing flowers from seeds had some mixed results. I tried nasturtiums. I planted the seeds in a huge pot and kept the pot, in an area that is mostly shade, with some late afternoon sun. The plants grew fast and beautiful at first, but once the heat hit here, they scaled back quite a bit and I only ended up with 2 tiny bedraggled little flowers.

I planted green "Envy" Zinnias but the flowers so far don't resemble Zinnias much at all. What the heck happened to the petals? Maybe the heat again?

And "Four O'Clocks"- well here in Tucson they bloom at 6 AM! Talk about confused little guys- they put out little blooms that wither and wilt in the heat. I've never seen one open in the afternoon but this morning I went out just before 6 and there was one valiant little flower trying desperately to bloom before it got hot.

Here is what the rest look like- blooms that will never open.

Lesson # 2: If it is a succulent or a cactus, and you think you killed it- you probably didn't.
These guys fake death amazingly well, but stick them in the ground somewhere where they get mostly filtered sun/shade and they come back to life! This little sunrise plant looked awful last February, having gotten too much water in the pot in which it lived. I was going to throw them, but planted them in the corner of a bed, surrounded them with stones and they resurrected beautifully. The flowers are so tiny and delicate- one was in bloom early this morning. Ignore all the olive leaves- I can never keep up with the debris!

Lesson # 3: Birds like tomatoes!
ok so this one isn't really a lesson but since it is my counts for me!
I have really enjoyed a wonderful bounty of tomatoes from my two Early Girl plants. I am getting about 4 small tomatoes a day now, and they are so delicious. However almost every day there is one tomato riped on the vine, with about half already eaten. Nothing like fresh! I throw it in the bird area and the birds just go nuts for it. They eat the entire inside, leaving a thin papery shell. Here are a few that made it into the house- along with 2 peppers.

Happy Saturday!


Deborah Godin said...

A really interesting post! Those poor little nasturtiums do look kind of exhausted. We are due for some heat up here soon, and I don't think I'm going to feel much like blooming either...

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Yes, this is a very interesting post. I plant nasturiums seeds in January here in Phoenix and they bloom well in earlier spring. The same for zinnias. They do better if you start the seeds around January or February; although I do have a few hardy profusion variety of zinnias (especially white which seems to take the heat better) blooming now.
It's fun to experiment though and see what happens.

Aiyana said...

Good info. I've found most all annuals dry up in late May. The only thing that looks good in summer here is Vinca. Mine self-seeds every year and so I have flowers all summer.
If you are looking for a banana tree, check out this website. Tropica Mango Rare & Exotic Fruit Tree Nursery is in the Phoenix area,
They have every kind of tropical fruit tree you can imagine, including many varieties of banana. They also give great advice on growing.

Pudgeduck said...

I only plant vinca in the summertime. Nothing else will live in this heat! But... Lowes had a new crop of zinnias in stock this morning and I did buy a few! I'll let you know how they do--I'm sure they won't make it but they were soooo beautiful!

Jenn said...

I'm slowly killing a pretty pink jasmine I bought in full bloom in February. Sigh.

I'll keep watering it. Maybe it will come back from the roots?