Our old friend Kevin Twomey comes to chat with us about what has been going on in the growing world this summer. On one hand it has been hot and humid most of the summer after a heavy rainfall this spring, and that was good for some plants – many trees for instance. But some plants did quite the opposite.
Cucumbers and tomatoes were either very prolific or there was very little fruit. Kevin says in his area, there were not enough pollinators which affected his crop. Dorothy had runaway cumber vines on four plants, lots of flowers but only three cukes – again, probably due to a shortage of pollinators, even though she plants plenty of native species.
The two live miles apart, one near downtown, the other near the Perimeter and one thing they had in common was a bunch of hungry squirrels which shared the early tomato crops. Kevin was quite miffed that they would wait until the tomatoes were ripe, take a bite and leave the rest!
The big disappointment of the year for Dorothy was the petunias. Some varieties contracted a fungal disease in mid July. It attacked leaves and even stems, leaving only a dead brown stick behind at The end. Most vulnerable were newer varieties, although the pretty new gold orange petunia introduced quite recently was very happy.
They had a discussion about lawns which both believe do not deserve their bad reputation. This stemmed from a discussion about why a listener’s peony did not thrive set alone in a bad of river stone.
Firstly, the stones heat the soil to an intolerable level for some plants. Secondly, grass retains moisture in the soil and helps protect other growing things in the vicinity. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free yard, so those laying down stones instead of lawn will soon learn that weeds find a place to grow as debris builds up on landscape linings under the stones, Leaves fall among the stones and even powerful blowers cannot remove them all.
As a sidebar, Dorothy spoke about her new recycled rubber tire driveway. A photo is attached.
In the break you can listen to Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding, The Garden Song by John Denver and Mighty Oak Tree by Hank Williams.