Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Blooms, August 15, 2017

Morning Glory at sunrise
Today I am linking up with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to celebrate with gardeners around the world and will share the blooms in my zone 6b/7a southern middle Tennessee, USA, garden.



Intense Purple Amaranth

Thank you Reese for giving me this dahlia.
Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia

A daylily rebloomed!!!
Mexican Sunflower
An unknown volunteer I must research.
A sunflower planted by a bird.


 Each year I grow zinnias and when the hot, sultry miserable dog days of summer arrive, some will be covered with powdery mildew and leaf spot, others will be fine.   I find this a mystery.

I would like to give a better understanding of this situation.  Below is the path from the driveway to my flower garden.  When we bought this house years ago, I started planting in the far back corner by the field fence and began moving forward.  Every year I dig up a little bit more.  The area to the right did not get planted this Spring so I decided to save it and use it as my Winter vegetable garden.  I will start planting it this week if the weather allows.

Last year I scattered a few zinnias around to add color between the perennials and this year volunteers appeared all over the area; I let them grow.  The few volunteers on the right side of the path are doing great; however, the ones on the left side are having problems.  I am showing the path to make it clear how close the beds are from each other.


These are the zinnias on the right side of the path where everything is doing fine.



This is the area on the left side of the path where most of the plants are covered in leaf spots and powdery mildew. 



Leaf spot and powdery mildew are both caused by warm, humid weather, overhead watering, shade and crowding.   I have found spraying a mixture of 32 oz water, 1 teaspoon Joy dishwashing liquid and 1 teaspoon of baking soda will slow the diseases. It won't cure them, but will slow them down.


I have gone crazy trying to understand why some plants are fine and why others only a few feet away are suffering.  It is the same soil, weather, seeds and location.



















This week I finally realized the difference. I arose at sunrise to work in the garden (it is too hot to work later in the day) and realized as the sun rises, it hits the healthy plants about two hours earlier. Due to the tree line to the east of the flower bed, the healthy plants on the right side of the path dry earlier whilst the others remain covered in dew longer.  To me it was amazing that only two hours of sunlight could make such a difference. Mystery solved; however, I am still seeking answers to cure these diseases and would love advice. 


Now is the time of year we call the dog days of summer, between July and the middle of September when the oppressive hot, sultry weather (Northern Hemisphere, southern middle Tennessee, USA, zone 6b/7a) causes a feeling of laziness.  So to celebrate this miserable time of the year, I asked Scooter, our local canine celebrity to pose for a picture in front of my one and only zinnia plant in the vegetable garden.

Scooter said, "This is an ugly plant.  Why do you want me to pose with it?" 

"It is not ugly but perfect because it is in full sun all day long (no diseases) and I want to show it off.  Also, you are the honorable, chosen poster child representing the dog days of summer."  I cajoled. 


"But Mom, it is too hot and oppressive out here in this bright sunlight.  I can't keep my eyes open...so sleepy...must lay down...."


"Scooter, SCOOTER! I will give you a  hot dog if you can stay awake for one second." I bribed.

"Deal." said Scooter.



22 comments:

  1. When I view your pictures, showing all these lovely flowers, my second thought is, how much work you have to do to keep all those
    flower beds in neat condition! Weeds grow so quickly. During those dog days (we also say "Hundstage")there are not many hours for gardening because of the heat. Just the early morning hours. The sedum you showed us will be a paradise for bees when blooming.
    And for you your garden is also a sort of paradise. Well, if you forget the many working hours for a while.
    Christel

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    1. I translated it (since I am nosy) and it has the exact same meaning, not that I would doubt you since I can't speak any German. There is no working now, just looking out the windows while waiting for the heat to break. It will be another month, a long hot month.

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  2. You have so many lovely blooms and I especially love all those beautiful zinnias. I enjoyed seeing your garden helper Scooter as well! Happy Bloom Day!

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  3. Everyone has beautiful zinnias this month, yours included. I didn't plant any this year, but I plan on fixing that next summer. Scooter is adorable.

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  4. I remember those dog days of summer from living in Northwest Arkansas years ago. But I've never seen that problem on my zinnias, no matter where I live. The ones that are healthy are so pretty. Happy GBBD to you!

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    1. Thank you Alana, I know it is caused by the humidity and so much moisture in the air. I am hoping someone has an answer, of course planting only in the full sun is what I should do next year.

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  5. Yes we have very different climate types, you have the 4 seasons while we only got 2, dry and wet. But those zinnias are growing in very wide temperature range, as they are here too. Beautiful.

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    1. It is amazing how they can grow in so many different areas and still be beautiful.

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  6. I'm afraid I have to disagree with Scooter, your vegetable garden Zinnia is very pretty. Many of the others are pretty too. I wish I could get Amaranth to thrive like that, I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but it just will not grow for me.

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    1. Amaranth is invasive in my garden and I have to pull the seedlings up, (chop them in a salad) or it would take over the garden. I have no answers, it just grows. But zinnias are something else all together and are difficult for me to grow. Everyone else seems to have no problems growing them.

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  7. Aww, Scooter is such a good poster boy for the zinnias. I haven't had much problem with powdery mildew on my zinnias, but your conclusion about less sunlight makes sense. What I'm trying to figure out is why my zinnias are so short this year. They are only about a foot tall, and usually they're 3-4 feet. Same seeds I always buy, same planting spaces--I think Mother Nature just wants to throw us a curve every now and then to keep us on our toes. Your zinnias look lovely as does everything else in your garden, Jeannie; Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. I do agree Rose, Mother Nature is always throwing curves! Why are your zinnias short? That too would drive me crazy, well, everything drives me crazy.

      I called for Scooter to tell him your compliment, but he won't leave Pack Leader's side in bed. He said it is too early to get up. Oh well, my morning coffee is gone so fun blogging time is over.

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  8. Happy GBBD Jeannie! What a pretty garden you have. Those zinnia blooms are the poster child for sweet August color. It is amazing how 2 hours of sunshine can make such a difference on whether plants get disease or not. Scooter looks like a hoot! Cheers

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    1. Thank you! Scooter is a hoot, and a bit spoiled too.

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  9. Beautiful blooms, especially the Dahlia!
    Scooter is so cute!
    Have a great day!

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  10. Sometimes there is no accounting as to why one plant does well and another fails. In looking at the photo I would say that it might have something to do with those trees to the left. Maybe their roots are taking too much moisture and this is stressing your plants. And the spray you are using may just be too strong in the heat for the leaves. Other than that you have some pretty blooms for midsummer and a daylily blooming so late is quite a bonus.

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    1. I had not thought about the tree roots stressing the flowers, that is definitely a possibility. When I first planted the flower bed years ago, we cut down some of the torny, older trees and left the small ones. Now, years later the smaller trees are no longer small.

      I think I will water down the spray I am using and see if it helps.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

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  11. Your garden looks stunning. So many flower varieties and interest

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  12. Your zinnias are great. And that morning glory! Does it try to take over?

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    1. I want them to grow over the metal arch, but the perennials choke most of the seedlings out in the Spring so I only have a few survive. However, when we first moved into this house years ago, morning glories had taken over the neglected vegetable garden in the back yard and it took me years to get rid of them. I still fight them sprouting in the compost all the time.

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