gabriola garden

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A heatwave can be tough on your garden

The heat wave just broke today, but I see on The Weather Network that it’s due to come back the middle of August. Most of July was like an oven around here, and needless to say, Sara’s garden suffered. Not to mention my vegetables, which needed constant watering or else they drooped and were very unhappy.

The catmint hung in there for a while, but eventually it dried up. Some of the roses fought heroically, but eventually they succumbed to the 30 plus Celsius heat. Sara trailed a hose into the middle of her flower garden and kept the water flowing at half strength, but even that didn’t save all of the plants.

The ones that did survive, however, thrived. The golden lilies grew over seven feet tall (“What do you have here, a lily tree?” quipped one of our neighbours) and one of the red rose bushes outdid itself in delivering not only visually beautiful, but fragrant blooms as well. The margaretas or daisies were prolific for the longest time, and the butterfly bush flowered, dried up, and is now flowering again.

Sara took the kids camping in the middle of the heat wave, in addition to visiting many of the region’s waterparks with them. I stayed cooking in my basement home office with three fans aimed in my direction and dreamt of buying an air conditioner.

I had to spray some plants with Piranha, since the constant watering created a fertile ground for mold and mildew. Spraying them with beneficial fungi helps to counteract the damage from the harmful ones and actually strengthens the plant’s immunity system. I usually spray with Scorpion Juice as a preventative, but this time the infestation was so intense that it called for stronger measures.

We’re feeding our tomatoes and blooms with Iguana Juice Bloom, in order to give them just the right ratio of Potassium and Phosphorus (not too much Phosphorus). Once the plants go into their bloom phase, giving them Iguana Juice Grow would be a mistake, because they would get too much Nitrogen, which would only encourage lush foliage with very few flowers.

We look forward to harvesting some prize-winning zucchini and squash, crisp snow peas, our usual green beans and lettuce, as well as some giant tomatoes with the succulent goodness of home-grown produce, fresh off the vine.

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posted by Tim at 3:14 PM | 3 comments