Gardening with some flowers and produce return and an eye on sustainable practices keeps most of us ready to try next season, even in challenging weather conditions.
Rudbeckia was last year’s blooming standout perennial. Drought bested some returning rudbeckia, and deer widened their taste palate for them this season, but some survived to bloom again.
Article suggestions in the September/October Northern Gardener magazine (available for browsing at the Yankton Community Library) make sense to consider for next season.
Plant early, the article says. The summer squash pictured here was planted in mid-June, even late for this procrastinator. Now the first squash is about four inches long, not ready to harvest.
Plant Natives. Leaning perennial with native plants or their cultivars was this season’s goal. Plants survived 100-degree days, drying winds, and below-season moisture and have rebounded well in recent milder growing days. Pollinators like the natives.
But if you want flowers in the current season you plant, the native perennials in this flowerbed require gardener perseverance. Great to see the Gaillardia flowers.
Make some changes. Gardeners find practices that work and continue them when they don’t. I must trim some tree limbs shortening full-sun exposure for next year.
Geraniums, ‘Diamond Frost’ Euphorbia, and a variegated vine looked promising at the local box store for window box plantings this spring. Before planting, I read the full-sun tag for these plants. The north-facing windows get less than two hours of direct sun. It was an error that needed correcting. Instead, I reasoned that the plants wouldn’t need robust growth to look attractive in the window boxes. Luckily they appear to last the season. These window boxes need shade plants!
Succession plant at several intervals for fresh beans most of the season. While the harvest is below average, the plants have rejuvenated after hot days and are blooming again. The most recent bean seeds were planted in late July.
Stay in your zone. Edge-of-zone plants are fun to try growing until they struggle to return each season. This Japanese maple had early season die back and now appears destined for replacement.
Find new varieties to try each season. These Monarda or Bee Balm navitars have survived the drought and deer pressure this season. Now the winter. The article addresses more pointers for sustainable gardening in variable weather.
What are your challenges this growing season? Comments welcome.
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Our summer has not been particularly challenging. There has been no rain, and the weather has been rather arid and somewhat warm, but that is normal here. It has actually been a bit milder than normal. It seemed rather unfair while heat and aridity had been such major problems elsewhere.