Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Midwest Gardening September 2018

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Well, it's officially Fall on the 22nd, but the vegetable garden and some flowers have said--it's time to give up! This isn't a perfect garden post---but a tally of what worked and what really didn't make it.

Chicagoland had such high summer temperatures with intermittent drought and then drownings. Last weeks rains and heat unleashed some mosquitos of monumental numbers. I took pictures between swatting...so...,

Starting in the backyard---

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The last month of heat had our GREEN Gardening a dash in dash out--snip this, 
grab that for supper kinda gardening. 

This combination of Impatiens, Rex Begonia, and Coleus did very nicely on the shady back steps---note how green the wood is with mold. Tough year! 
All the other flowers in this pot and OLD watering can, (geraniums/petunias died) Yes, that is peppermint in pots---used to keep bees away from people areas, a GREEN way to deal with our precious Bees.
The Rex Begonia --will be transplanted to new soil and brought into the house. The last one I had, I kept for 8 years. They are pricey but gorgeous.

We have a HUGE Silver Maple with black spot disease----and it's been dropping leaves like crazy. Can't keep up with it. Sadly we may lose the tree and it makes the entire backyard BLOG un-photogenic.


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Another shady spot.. Dusty Miller and the Caladiums struggled, but the Sweet Potato Vines and Impatience recovered to a great spurt this month. That's an OLD pot I've been using to store a flexible hose in---but it kept collecting water, so I turned it upside down.

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We had teeny wrens in the gold birdhouse and oodles of baby sparrows raised in the other two houses to the right. Unwanted Morning Glories...adding some color, where the climbing roses did not. 

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Below, the only flower seeds that survived my planting this year were these few Zinnias. YAY...This area gets full sun all day. Liatris bloomed and yarrow and the roses in early summer, and that's it.

HERE IS A QUESTION --what the heck is this?

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This magnificent 6' plant, I had never seen before appeared next to the play house. Suddenly it had these huge clusters of berries. 
I had to look it up---via image search under Illinois native prairie plants. 

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RESEARCH SHOWED: It's Pokeweed and POISONOUS!

"The toxins in Pokeweed, depending on what source you’re working from, range from deadly to mild.  They are usually concentrated in the roots, berries and seeds and include an alkaloid (phytolaccine), a resin (phytolaccatoxin), and a saponin (phytolaccigenin). Their effects can range from embarrassing to very nasty, including diarrhea, vomiting, internal bleeding, rapid heartbeat, convulsions, and much more, up to and including death."
The above info - Warnings: Pokeweed on this link from Nadia's Yard. 

Luckily the Grand hasn't been around so we can get it removed before she comes again. 

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Interesting ---all the flowers boiled in this pot...literally, but the spikes survived. It gets Sun--5/6 of the day.

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You can see the leaves from the diseased Maple. This area, we just haven't dealt with yet. 100% shade, if the Maple is removed, we might be able to grow grass again? The light now---is because the tree is half bare already. 

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I trimmed back the bushes, and some of the Hostas are doing better. I don't know about the bushes though, I might have stressed them too much? We have directed our gutters into this bed. Maybe they have had too water. 



Our shed has a walkway that is in shade---This combo survived minus three dead Petunias. 
'

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Shady plants survived here also...the shrubs were having a great time of it, though.

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This planter gets sun 4/5 of the day-- despite lots of deadheading and watering---the flowers boiled in the sun. (Petunias, Dusty Miller, Snapdragons, didn't make it in this planter on the rail of the garden.)
Marigolds were good for awhile, and now are foundering.

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Six feet away, our potted Sweet Peppers flourish and are bearing like mad...and turning red. We planted Green and Carnival seeds from scratch, Excellent!

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On the fence in the garden -
Cucumbers suffered greatly. This one was hidden in foliage but the critters got it. 
We only made one gallon jar of pickles made.
Cucumbers, Zucchini and Tomatoes are all done---died about two weeks ago,VERY EARLY, considering how late everything was planted last Spring.

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Pumpkins: Marks from worms

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This poor pumpkin was gnawed on by a bunch of critters..scarred and continued growing
---it's about 6" across. 
Normally we have 50 or more pumpkins and squash---and this three is it. NO squash! Vines died/drowned.

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This is the third one which is maybe 4". Really a poor showing for a dozen or more mounds of seeds.



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The Hollyhock on the eastside fence. 

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--promises to seed itself---I will scatter the seeds and throw some dirt on them and cross my fingers.
Note the mold on the fence despite sun here most of the day!



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The purple Petunias died here---the angle of the sun in August---made it sunny all day the last month...and decorative grass with  some struggling Impatiens are holding on. 
The neighbors Morning Glories are taking over!


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I always leave one branch of dill for reseeding. Today these caterpillars were feasting on the succulent stems.

The below info was taken from Owlcation- 

Papilio polyxenes: The Black Swallowtail

This caterpillar looks a lot like the monarch caterpillar (above) -- and that may not be an accident. The monarch is most likely "protected" by the bitter sap of the milkweed plant that it eats because some of the toxic compounds in the sap become incorporated into the insect's tissues.
The black swallowtail caterpillar eats the leaves of carrots and other Umbelliferaespecies, which gives them little protection. But sometimes just looking like you're poisonous can be protection enough -- that's the basis of one major form of mimicry. It's thought that the black swallowtail caterpillar mimics the monarch caterpillar so birds and other predators might leave it alone, putting a mistaken identity to good use!
These caterpillars can be kept in a safe, unbreakable habitat designed for raising caterpillars. Make sure you give them plenty of the host plant—for this species, carrot or dill—that you found them on.
This attractive caterpillar turns into a beautiful, big butterfly known as the black swallowtail.
The Basics:
  • Does it sting? No 
  • What does it eat? Parsley, carrots, and dill
  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? Sometimes they can eat a lot of carrot greens.
  • Is it rare? No, but it isn't always common in all areas.
  • What does it turn into? The gorgeous black swallowtail butterfly.
  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes, if you give it an upright stick to pupate on.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly











https://owlcation.com/stem/caterpillar-identification-2
I'm so excited that our GREEN gardening is encouraging wildlife...at least SOME of the wildlife.

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Our pond frog has a new buddy. There are two of them now---! Some strange markings on this one. he's about 2-1/2x 3" a little larger than our almost all dark green guy, who dove to the bottom of the pond during pics.


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Only color near our front pond right now--is this pot...shaded by the garage. Note the saucer removed. I had to remove saucers a dozen times this summer from the huge rainfalls of 3 or more inches at one time. Even my big pots had standing water in them.


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Porch herbs and marigolds doing better. 

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This planter I moved into the shade all summer, .and 6 feet from the front door---it did very well, I had to top off the growth and pinch it back.

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My urn was protected under our Red Maple tree. I do have to water this one constantly and the hanging pot.

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Lime Sweet Potato Vine and Petunias did well in the half shaded pots---however all the Geraniums died maybe from this area holding heat because of the rocks and concrete sidewalk, bordering it.


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By our front stairs---this pot has Dahlias, impatience and a Springerii fern. I had Lobelia in here, but that just gives up when it's hot. Dahlias produce blooms but the fold after two days in heat.

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This is New Guinea IMPATIENS which apparently loved the sun, heat and crappy dirt, here(clay). The red stuff is some sort of Amaranth, that made it. NO sunflower seeds came up here though, usually I have them towering up the flag pole? 


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Down in front of the garage (south facing) pot though it looks like it is sun---it is shaded by a tree half the day. So long as it was watered, it was happy.

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6 feet away---this planter had a tough time---the geraniums and the dahlias on the left died? I almost killed this mum---not watering it often enough. This bench is being removed this fall---it's dying too.


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Under the front Hawthorn tree---spent--day lilies to the right and let, the pot---was happy (Geraniums died, but the Dahlias and Impatiens made it. Petunia is gone.

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At the street---this planter held on---that's blue/purple Salvia, Wave Petunias and Marigolds---some of which died in the middle which makes no sense---LOL. This is full sun and wind all day!

In November, I will go through my posts and assess what did well, where, 
and try to figure out why.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.
Thank you for your cooperation,

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them. 



 Sandi Magle














11 comments:

  1. Your garden is gorgeous!Beautiful pics!Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Dear. We tried really hard this year. What survived did Okay. Hugs, back!

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  2. I do think coleus is one of the loveliest and showiest of plants! I wish I'd planted pumpkins this year -- even with worms I love yours!

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    1. Thanks Jeanie, the Coleus did surprisingly well. Last year I grew them from seed, but the cold spring this year had us skipping so many things because of space in the house. And it was too cold to use the new greenhouse, until too late.

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  3. You have lots of lovely plants growing. A lot of them did very well. I'm guessing your garden will welcome Fall and some cooler weather.

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    1. Thanks, Kim. It has been a very trying year...we did get tons of tomatoes, though.

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  4. Hi Sandi! Your garden is lovely and I am so glad that not all of your plants died. We had a bunch die off here due to the wicked July heat and drought then a ton of rain brought some back from the brink! Still hoping two rose bushes recover as they are still solid in their pots. One croaked for sure, sadly. I am trying English roses in north central Texas and this area is known as a rose killer ~ only Knockout roses do well here. I am determined, though! :)
    Just stopping by from Share Your Style #175 as I am one of the new hosts ~ thank you for sharing your post!!!

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    1. Thanks for visiting---and roses didnt' do well here ===bloomed a bit in june and then nothing---too hot, they are just hanging on.

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  5. Your garden is fascinating! How many years have you been gardening there? I'm hoping ours will be more and more interesting as the years go by. We too have a silver maple in the back yard, I must go look and see how it's doing. We also have dill cropping up everywhere from last year but as yet there aren't any catapillars to be seen even though we had plenty of black swallowtails this year on butterfly bushes. I enjoyed the tour of your September garden. We need to write down what worked in ours too, and what didn't--for one thing I will never ever fool with petunias again. I do nothing but make them ugly.

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    1. Hi, Dewena. We've been here since '84'...and have been fighting the clay ever since. The petunias did well, until...the last drowning/storm beating and heat, just did them in. Even marigolds were boiled--and they are tough. I know one thing, bigger pots---survive the best with heat...and water(just harder to empty the saucers). Good luck on the butterflies! I can't wait until they make chrysalises? Lol. Have a great Fall.

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  6. Some things may have struggled with the crazy weather, but some things look beautiful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi