Happy September! What looks great/awful in your garden?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)September 2, 2012

Hi everyone! Happy September! You know what that means, right? Yup, hopefully it means a few to many days that are below 100 (I know, it may not be for a few weeks still!), and usually an end to the monsoon humidity! We should get a few tastes of the nice, long, easy gardening season ahead of us. I don't know about you, but my garden got SEVERAL good, heavy soakings this summer. Definitely a good monsoon season as far as my garden plants are concerned! How about yours??

This is the time of year when several of the plants in my garden that sulked, and barely made it through summer start to revive a bit, and those that looked good in summer continue to do so. Here's something looking good right now, and messy, at the same time: the southwest corner of my garden. I know, I know, a lot of stuff is overgrown, but it's happy and blooming so I just can't cut it back. Yet.

It's really just a bed of magenta vincas, several orange and yellow lantanas, some super fragrant chocolate flowers, more fragrant daturas, and then several cacti, agaves, aloes and other succulents, and a few plumerias sneaking in as well.

What about your garden? What looks great? Awful? You have an eager audience here on the forum, so don't be shy, especially since it's so easy to post pictures now! But pics or not, we'd love to hear how things look this month.

Take care and happy gardening!


ps: by the way, if you love talking gardening as much as I do, connect with me on Facebook (Grant Meyer) or Google Plus (Grant Meyer, no shock there). 99.9% of what I post on both is plants, gardening, and nature-related day trips etc. Just let me know how we "know" eachother, LOL.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden September 2012

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Well I'm new to gardening (started in June). I'm strictly doing vegetables (all from seed) right now and have basically been using the urban farmer garden calendar to determine what I should be planting. So I apologize if this is the same old boring stuff that everybody's done a million times, but I'm like a kid in a candy store with this stuff. Since June, I've planted everything that is on that calendar on the dates that it's said is the ideal planting time.

In June I planted (in retrospect, probably overplanted) Armenian cukes (getting a ton of these. probably 1-2 per day)
cantaloupes and watermelons (produced several small, tennis ball sized melons but they never get bigger)
two different kinds of pumpkins (they don't seem to be doing well but that could be related to several problems I had early on. I posted the "silver leaf pumpkins" post. Because of advice I got from a nursery I changed the watering on those and this and a couple other factors may have had an impact. I've given up on them).
Corn (doing very well I think. Stalks are over 6 ft high and have several ears forming on each one.
Eggplant (looks good and healthy but not producing anything yet)
Tomatillos (looks good as well. Plants are 3 feet high and have tons of blossoms but no fruit)
3 differnt kinds of peppers (these are either really slow growing or not doing well. They plants themselves look healthy, just small. Maybe 8-10" in growth since June?)

Been looking forward to this weekend for quite awhile since the planting season is really starting to take off. I've got all sorts of root vegetables and leafy greens going in this weekend as well as a bunch of herbs in containers. Basically everything on that calendar that says Sep. 1 is the ideal sowing date is in the ground. I debated whether it was still too hot or not and thought maybe I should wait another week but I couldn't wait any longer. Too anxious.

I won't bore you with pictures of cucumber vines and tomatillos. But so far, I'm surprised by how well things are thriving in my garden. Had a lot of doubters in my family (we're all from So. California and they were all skeptical and thought I was crazy when I told them I was gonna try to grow some vegetables out here.) Skeptics no more.

Excited to see what everybody else has goin.
Grant, your pictures are always awesome and I'm fascinated by the odd (to me anyway) little things you've got growing.

I have another question about a "dead zone" in my yard but I 'll start another thread rather than hijack this one.

Happy September. Hopefully the end of the triple digits are near.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Hey Grant!

What a beautiful picture! It looks like a painting in an art gallery! There's something of an organized messiness to it- balanced perfectly between chaos and order-i.e. I wouldn't change a thing! :)

As for me...I'd like to share something we don't usually think of much here in Phoenix. But in fact, there is a fungus among us! lol After last week's downpour, I found one of these, a podaxis pistillaris (aka Desert Shaggy Mane) in my yard:

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:22PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Interesting 'shroom you got there.

Here is a link that might be useful: medicinal mushroom

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:04PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Fun updates! Thanks for the nice comments on my pics too, I sure appreciate them, especially since I'm a gardener and not a photographer!

Xica, that's a super cool mushroom, thanks for sharing it with us. I noticed a couple of flat-top shroomies in the southeast corner of the garden last week too. Neat stuff!

Erik777, congrats on your bountiful harvest, it sounds great! Keep us posted with pics and updates on everything. We love updates! It does feel a bit early to me for seeds in the ground for leafy goodness, but hey, give it a try, let us know how it works out, and if they fry, just try again in a few weeks, right?? It's great you're having such success already, and that you're convicing your doubters that we can grow stuff here. Remember, AZ is a huge producer of winter leafy greens, so it's definitely a good climate for it, autumn, winter and spring. I do a ton of easy leafy stuff all winter: leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, some spinach, etc. Plus of course citrus, pomegranates, dates, and so much more are super productive here as well.

Long time Valley residents know autumn is our spring so it's time to get excited about planting and the long, fun gardening season ahead of us. I'm a heat lover, and even I am ready for fall, LOL.

Just for fun, here's a huge container on the patio that is SO EASY that I really shouldn't boast about it at all, but it's so lovely, and so easy, I can at least highlight it, even though it does all of the work. It's just a Mediterranean fan palm surrounded with magenta vincas. It has looked this good since early May and will continue to do so for awhile yet. I've had a couple of work and family trips, plus a nice long trip to Hawaii this summer and I left this pot each time without any automatic irrigation etc and it did GREAT, even here, even in summer. I just gave it a drenching drink and wished it well and it did fine. What's not to love?? I'll rip out the vincas eventually and replace them with geraniums, or petunias or pansies for autumn through spring flowers, but for now, I'm enjoying these heat lovers.

Happy gardening all!

Here is a link that might be useful: My little garden blog, just a post or two a month.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Okay...I may have been overzealous in my description of what I put in this weekend as far as leafy greens go. I only put in kale and collards. The heartier ones I guess. According to the calendar, a few more should go in around the 15th and a few more in October.
Other than that, I put two different kinds of carrots and beets.
Here's a picture of my "work in progress". I'm trying to do as much as I can with re-purposed things from the yard that was there. I used to be a huge patch of grass area with a border and that volcanic purple rock for ground cover. The stepping stones are rocks that were once a small fire pit and the little rock wall that surrounds the sunflowers were all dug up from the ground while I was removing the grass.

I've got five 4x8 boxes, of which you can see three here. The one in front has the tomatillos/eggplants. The middle one will have the leafy things. The back one is pumpkins and corn. The tree in the foreground is a Texas Mountain Laurel of which you can only see one of the 4 trunks.
The pallet has wildflowers from one of those Botanical Interest mixed seed packets.

There's a big rock that was leftover when my pool was being built. I've spent countless hours sitting on it in the afternoon with a beer in hand just staring in amazement. Its comfier than it looks, using the wall as a back rest.

Need to come up with some kind of border and fill back in with the purple volcanic rocks some day.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:38PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

That's a great looking setup, Erik! I love it. Thanks for sharing it, plus the neat description! I can see how the rock would be a nice spot to survey everything. That's a neat way to grow your wildflowers in the pallet. I've seen some wall-mounted ones with succulents, but I've never tried it. Yours looks great. The plants look nice and healthy too. I'm envious!

I like how you repurpose things too--great idea. Are you doing square foot gardening? I see the grids on top of the soil so am curious.

Thanks for sharing your garden with us, it's really inspiring to see! You are way ahead of the game!

Take care and continued success!
Grant with vegetable envy!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:31PM
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grant you always have such beautiful photos of your gardens! i use alot of your photos as inspiration for my own little plot of Earth.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Grant...doing the square foot gardening thing on the new stuff (root vegetables and the leafy things) since it seemed more appropriate. Didn't bother with the vine type things.

Got the idea for the pallet from some other website and happened to have a small one laying around so I figured I'd give it a try. We'll see how it goes.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:09PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Erik, you've been working! Looks really good, too. I'm looking forward to a photo of that pallet with the flowers in bloom. I absolutely love pallets; there are so many uses for them, I can't believe people throw them out so readily.

Grant, is that a palm that will stay small?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:07PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

So happy to see this pretty bloom in the rain! It's a 99-cent hibiscus I picked up from the sale cart at Fry's. My kinda plant. ;O)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:48PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Awesome little hibiscus bloom, tomato, thanks for sharing it. I love hibiscus too. Yours is great and that's a really fun, tropical color!

Thanks for the nice words on my little pics, xill, I appreciate it. Tomato, yes, that Mediterranean fan palm will stay a manageable size. A really old one might be 12 feet tall after many, many decades.

Eric, definitely keep us posted on your garden, it really is impressive! It feels like we've turned the corner on the Blast Furnace this week (knock wood!), so you're timing seems perfect!

My little garden has gotten SOAKED twice in the last week. My 75 gallon rain barrel is FULL, and it only collects water from about 20% of the roof. I love it!

Here are a couple of things looking pretty good right now:

Epiphyllum guatemalense 'Curly' with a small pot of its seedlings, which also have the same twisted leaves. It's the only orchid cactus that has thrived for me outside all year here. I got it as a small rooted cutting several years ago.

Here's a nice big, fat, white-flowered Adenium obesum blooming away on the patio. These are so easy to keep happy I've accidentally let myself build up a mini collection of them. Sigh. This one is really looking great right now.

Here's a variegated calamondin "orange" starting to flower. This plant is painfully ornamental, with beautiful white-swirled leaves, green-and-white striped fruit that turns orange when ripe, and pretty, fragrant white blooms. The fruit holds on the plant for 10 months and often overlaps with flowering/formation of the next season's fruit so there's always something to enjoy. The fruit is a bit tart, and very seedy, so it's mostly an ornamental, other than occasionally slicing and tossing the fruit into a cold seltzer or ice tea now and then.

Take care and keep the updates coming. This is our transition month to the Good Weather!

Happy gardening,

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 8:30PM
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shamusoleary(On the couch)

Curry are putting on alot of growth. Guava are fruiting, fish peppers are blossoming, champak are starting to flower again. Shamus O'Leary

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:40AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Those curry plants look great! So happy, healthy, and vigorous, thanks for sharing them with us. I love seeing such happy, vigorous plants!

Here's a couple of random plants looking good in my garden right now.

Coryphantha elephantidens, originally purchased from IKEA several years ago.

Yup, Stapelia Season is kicking in to full gear, with several of these big, stinky blooms opening every few days. Fun!

Good ol' "Arizona poinsettia" (Euphorbia heteropylla) starting to bloom. The red petals are actually bracts (modified leaves), most folks know the true flowers are the little green-yellow cyathia at the centers, but we still just call the red bracts the blooms. It's an easy, native weed that looks good for several months and self-sows around the garden, often quite away from the parent plant since, like almost all Euphorbias (succulent and leafy) the seed pods pop open, ejecting the seeds some distance from the parent plant.

Take care, happy gardening, and keep the updates coming!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden September 2012

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:40PM
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I finally got to eat my own first dragon fruit! I've been growing them for TEN years and was finally rewarded with one! Last month I posted a pic of one blooming, that one didn't set on, but this one did. It's called "Alice", and was hybridized by Paul Thompson and named after his friend Alice Snow, both members of the California Chapter of the Rare Fruit Growers. I've had many blooms on my dragon fruit over the years and I've gone out in the middle of the night to try and pollinate them with no success. This one bloomed a day before I thought it would, so I missed pollinating it, but nature somehow did it itself, I thought it was a variety that needed to be cross pollinated, apparently not. Anyway, here is a picture of it before I picked it and the next post will but of it cut open. It was better tasting than I thought it would be, yummy!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:36AM
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And here's a pic of it cut open, ready to eat. It's a little bigger than Grants tennis ball :-)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:38AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

WOW, that's awesome, Kevin! It looks just like the fancy ones in the produce markets. I love it. I wonder why this one set fruit? Either way, I hope you enjoy it. Great stuff, thanks for sharing it with us!

Happy gardening all!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Okay, Grant (aka 'Mr. Enabler') - I saw a Epiphyllum guatemalense 'Curly' at Baker's and I had to buy it. So there.

And mine has a fruit on it!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Dumb question, but how do you eat dragon fruit (is it just that white seedy part in the middle that you eat?), and what does it taste like? I saw one at Whole Foods on the weekend -- I only recognized it because of Kevin's picture, lol! I was tempted to try it, but it was pretty expensive, so I thought I'd ask first.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Canna Lily 'Bengal Tigers' growing like crazy as usual. I'm gonna dig them up, split them and sell them soon.

Hong Kong Orchid tree loving the fall temps, so are the Canna 'Bengal Tiger', and Canna 'Bird of Paradise'

Split-leaf Philodendrons - My first year with these and they handled the heat a lot better than I thought. The plant in the middle is a giant umbrella plant.

Passion vine taking over.

More Cannas in this area lol
The plant on the right is my Chinese Parasol tree. Very fast grower! It must've grown at least 3-4 feet since it woke up from dormancy this past March.

My Plumeria on the right - It hasn't given me any flowers this summer :( It might've needed more fertilizer to trigger it to bloom.

Chinese yellow banana in the middle, handled the full sun a lot better than my Ice cream Banana. It actually has two pups on it's side.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 2:32PM
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PLSTQD, I just slice it down the midde and then eat it with a spoon or slice it further, you don't eat the red skin. It's better chilled. And taste, uh...it's sweet but it doesn't have a flavor like anything else that I can think of, besides "pleasant". The consistancy is like a kiwi, you eat the black seeds. Some dragon fruit are white flesh, pink flesh or magenta flesh. I bought one at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago, yummy but EXPENSIVE! I buy at least one a year, but this year I bought two AND had my own free one. ;-)
It's something you have to try once....


    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Gorgeous Dragon Fruit...Congrats!!! It brings back some great memories for me...I haven't had one since I visited Vietnam several years ago as a tourist. So delicious- but yeah...it's kind of hard to describe the flavor.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:46PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Fun new updates everyone, thanks for sharing what's going on with you and your gardens! Really fun to hear about.

Congrats on your 'Curly' orchid cactus, Pagan, they are so low maintenance here, I'm sure yours will thrive for you. Aren't the fruit fun? Mine gets covered each year in those fun, small Barbie Mattel pink fruit. Neat. Keep us posted on yours, especially now that it's so easy to post pics. Great job!

raimeiken, your new pics are awesome as always. So nice to see. You grow so many wonderful plants, and so well! I really like all of the hardscape in your garden, really elegant, tasteful, practical and attractive. Great stuff!

The temperatures sure have improved, haven't they? I absolutely LOVE this time of year. Pleasant mornings without a hint of being cool/cold, and nice warm afternoons that don't feel HOT. Love it!

Here are a couple of plants looking good as the month wraps up:

Lycoris radiata, one of the plants that goes by "surprise lily", and for a good reason--these stalks just popped up out of nowhere like they do each autumn, and then suddenly explode into bloom. I've had them several years and they follow the same, smart routine: leaves in late winter/early spring, dormant in summer, and then surprise! flowers in autumn. The red ones have FAR outperformed the yellow ones in my garden. Full, hot, sun for these puppies.

Hybrid Aloe 'Hercules' which I bought as a small two footer five years ago, it's now almost 7 feet tall. It's a hybrid between Aloe dichotoma which loves it here, and Aloe bainsii, which hates it here (melting in mid summer usually). Happily it takes after the A. dichotoma and thrives here. The other thing it takes after dichotoma about: little to no summer water when it's in a heat-induced semi-dormancy. This one has done great and certainly isn't hard to find these days.

A sure sign of autumn: Zauschneria californica beginning its long, vibrant autumn display of flowers. This plant has a huge flush of bloom in early summer and then again in autumn. Full hot sun and weekly watering keeps it happy. I love it! It self sows around the garden too, often nestling in with very xeric cacti and succulents, so that shows how drought tolerant it is. Here's a pic of it right next to a golden barrel cactus, surviving on the same twice-monthly-in-summer watering schedule as the cactus. The only downside (unless you dislike self-sowing--then there are two): the stems are very, very brittle, so keep it where you or your pets/kids/hose won't slam in to it, breaking the stems. Fun, gorgeous plant, that the hummingbirds adore.

Take care and happy gardening! Keep the updates and posts coming!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, September 2012

1 Like    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:10PM
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