Share your September 2013 garden updates!

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)September 1, 2013

Hi everyone, happy September! This is the month where I REALLY start getting excited about the long, gentle, productive gardening seasons ahead of us.

We'll start to have a few mornings in the 70's again, and while still hot, afternoons won't be AS hot AS long. Plus there are tons of signs of rejuvenation in the garden: new growth on citrus trees, fresh active growth on desert penstemons again, and so on. Plus, it's time to start sowing a lot of seeds indoors for autumn and winter flowers and veggies. Fun stuff!

SOooo....what's looking good, or awful, in your garden? I have two things that look awful, LOL, one is to be expected: my zonal geraniums which have been limping along since the Blast Furnace started. I usually toss them, but one is an heirloom type ('Mr. Wren' with salmon blooms with white edges) and one just kept going so I took pity, LOL. They both look AWFUL, which is expected as they are happy here autumn, winter and spring not summer. Buuut, I took pity I'm keeping them going. If they can just coast for a FEW more weeks they'll have 8 or 9 months of great conditions to revive. We'll see if they make it, hah!

Another thing that looks horrible, but really shouldn't, is my prized multi-stemmed 6 foot tall plumeria 'Celandine'. She's had a bad summer this year, plagued by a broken pot and then swarms of spidermites, ack! She's shedding leaves like nobody's business and just looks sad. Hopefully she'll revive. Again, we'll see.

There, there are my early September confessions, hah.

As far as looking good, there's a ton, but let's start off with this fun aloe in bloom this week (A. glauca, perhaps??), plus a white-flowered Matucana madisoniourum (they bloom over and over and over all spring-autumn here), and the fun, delicate flowers on a sesame plant (yes, as in sesame seed, I'm finding them to be very productive and very pretty).

What's going on in your garden? We'd love to see/hear updates. Happy gardening! Grant

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Here's my Neptune planter with a golden rat tail cactus (Cleistocactus winteri, I *think*) in it outside on the patio. He faces east and gets water once a week when it's hot and once a month when it's not.

Here's two random pics of a bed on the east side of the house, with a Stapelia grandiflora making a couple of flowers:

And finally, just some of the many seedlings from my hand pollination of stapelias in the garden. Some have started to bloom and I'm looking forward to more. It's fun to see the variation among siblings.

How's things in your garden?? Happy gardening!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics so far (hey, it's early) September 2013

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 5:45PM
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xica_da_silva

Hi Grant!

Totally envious of your garden! In fact, I feel a bit ashamed to share photos (See link at bottom) of my current 'Garden of Death and Destruction', but perhaps someone can benefit and learn from my mistakes!

Disclaimer: boring gardening minutiae to follow. Please read at your own risk!

Anyhow, here are the stats:

1) Two Peach trees on the west side of my house: both have survived their second summer completely un-shaded, one quite happily, the other a bit miserably, but still, overall I am happy to have managed to keep anything alive on the hot side. Sadly, I lost two Pineapple Guavas in the same area. Not enough morning sun? Not enough water? Poor drainage? Maybe I should have shade-clothed them? Maybe I'll just replace them both with Peach trees then!

2) Pilosocereus Azureus: I love this little cactus; it's been a real champ for a few years now- frost, heat, whatever. And his flower/fruit display last spring was incredibly prolific! BUT...I do wish I could get it to grow a little taller. Perhaps due to frost damage on the main branch, it's focused more energy on its lesser branches. One thing I notice whenever we get rain is that he does seem to really appreciate fresh rainwater, as his turquoise quality seems to intensify whenever it rains.

3) Ilex vomitoria: These are strange little shrubs. The first couple of years they pretty much stayed the same size and now suddenly this summer and spring they've really taken off in size. The only thing is, one of them does suffer from this weird fungus every summer, that causes many of its outer leaves to get brown spots. When it cools down, the ugliness goes away and it's gorgeous again. In fact, it's still actively growing this summer, with lots of baby leaves springing out.

4) African boxwoods: here's another weird one. Two of my mature boxwood that are bookends are great and have survived several summers. BUT, everything I've ever tried to plant in between them has croaked a slow and humiliating death (having tried other African boxwoods, and various other losers)! Most recently, I tried planting a trio of Japanese boxwoods between the two big fellas, and they were doing great all through fall/winter/spring prior to summer- but even though I covered them, they still died. Oh well. Maybe it's some sort of soil fungus- but if that's the case, then why don't the mature ones also get the fungus? Hmmm....

5) Vincas: earlier this summer, I had some major issues with vincas croaking on me. I suspected fungus initially, and that may still be the case, but I was finally able to get about 16 or so to survive, after using a different brand of soil. So, was there something wrong in the soil? Did I get a bad batch of vincas? These guys are even getting sprinkler-ed overhead, which typically is a big no-no, but they're still thriving and happy.

6) Pachypodium lamerei: my baby pachy has limped through its first summer, but he's still got enough green that I'm sure he'll make it. But that's to be expected. It's winter that he needs protection from(oh did I ever learn that the hard way last year)!

7) Blue plumbago: I don't know what it is with me and this plant, because I've tried planting them in almost every location in my garden. I thought I had finally found the sweet spot when I planted a few on the east side of my house. But even with the shade...they both croaked! I see other people in Phoenix growing them, so I know it's not impossible, but it seems so for me. Oh well.

8) Crepe Myrtle: It looks a bit rough with a few crispy leaves, but it's flowered throughout the summer and has survived for a couple of years now. It actually grew quite a lot this summer, too...but I suspect it may be a dwarf since it hasn't gotten that tall. I see there are some for sale @ nurseries that have pale purple flowers- I might buy a few more of these since they seem to do well here.

9) Strawberries: I have a couple of strawberry plants that I've been able to keep alive via shading. One is even producing some strawberries, but they're rather wimpy-looking. I wonder if I can expect some nicer Strawberries as temps cool down to the 90s? That would be nice!

Here is a link that might be useful: September Garden updates

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Laura81

Yes, I have a butterfly!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 1:29PM
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phxlynne

At the end of August I was the happy recipient of some vegetable plants from the generous owner of local Vilardi Gardens. I put in a second raised bed and prepped the first - pulled out the tomatoes, applied a layer of compost and trimmed back the sage and basil crowding out the lemon verbena and chives:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:38PM
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phxlynne

Planted the Vilardi Garden transplants: hibiscus/roselle, sesame, Fushimi peppers, Thai bird chiles, Genovese basil, I’itois onions, burgundy okra, Holy Thai Samui basil, and Egyptian walking onions. They all look healthy, and this week I noticed the sesame already are forming their first seed pods:

This post was edited by PhxLynne on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 20:57

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:42PM
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phxlynne

I've had a little too much success with the lemongrass and and am moving it to different part of the yard.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:43PM
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phxlynne

Plumeria are all doing great and I am still geting new inflos. Dwarf Singapore Pink from a couple of weeks ago.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:46PM
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phxlynne

Elsie (Jungle Jacks Plumerias)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:47PM
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phxlynne

A NOID

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:49PM
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phxlynne

And a new favorite. First year to bloom - San Diego Sunset. (I had previously posted a pic of the above light pink plumeria as a San Diego Sunset, but it was mislabeled). Pic from today:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:51PM
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phxlynne

Close up taken today. It has a beautiful sweet rose scent too.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:53PM
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phxlynne

The night blooming jessamine/jasmine I planted this spring didn't do well this summer, even with afternoon shade. It seems to be coming back, though.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:44PM
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phxlynne

Citrus-wise, although all my plants came back from the frost and bloomed, only my Meyer and Ponderosa lemons and Valencia orange have fruit. Though they look green and healthy, I'll have no Rio Red grapefruit, blood orange, or lemon this year. Potted Ponderosa lemon:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:54PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Lynne, those plumeria are impressive! What is the environment for the lemongrass? I have a small bunch that is not doing much so maybe I should move it. What does it like? Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 7:29AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

It's POURING rain here today and has been for several hours. I love it. It's only 77 F right now and I've opened every single window and door in the house to air it out. My 75 gallon rain barrel is full to the very very top. So nice! What about you? Are you getting rain today (9/8/2013)?? I sure am.

I love all of the new updates and pics! Great garden report, Xica! I clicked the link and it said the server was busy so I'll try again later for sure!

Love all of the herb, butterfly, citrus and plumeria updates too. Isn't sesame SO ornamental? This forum helped me identify mine last year and I've planted a TON of it this year and am so happy with it. Great stuff!

Thanks for the nice words on my little garden and pics, I appreciate them. I definitely don't want folks to be jealous, after all there are many parts of my garden that are disgraceful, and some plants that aren't super happy (see the Sad Sapote thread, LOL), and some that just need to be re-designed, but I DO hope folks at least enjoy the pics of the plants that look good and happy in my little corner of the world.

Here's some stuff looking really nice in the garden this week: variegated "amaryllis" Hippeastrum reticulatum hybrid 'Mrs. Garfield' tossing up a bloom stalk. I love this plant as it's evergreen and it blooms off an on many times a year. Great outside in morning sun and afternoon shade:

Here's a fun Abelmoschus, an annual/short-lived perennial relative of the hibiscus, blooming away in several spots in the garden:

And finally, some Stapelia gigantea hybrids (not the pure species as the blooms are a little small) flowering away on the east side of the house. For me autumn is the best season for Stapelia flowers and this autumn looks to be no different. I can't wait! I've got tons of my hand-pollinated hybrid seedlings that should start making their first blooms ever. I can't wait!

Happy gardening all,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, September 2013

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:40PM
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redneck-bigfoot

Sorry Grant, I couldn't help myself. I moved to AZ a couple months ago and just now starting my veggie garden. Any tips for a newbie in the desert?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Laura81

You are definitely going to need better soil than what you have in garden box now! Just kidding around. Welcome to Az gardening. Soon you will be cursing like the rest of us.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:08PM
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dlg421

It finally rained at my house! I will never be able to compete with Grant's yard, but it is fun to try.

Everyone's pictures are great!

Bishop's Cap blooming

View of back yard

Rain today

View of back yard today

Another view of back yard today

My rain barrels are full!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:24PM
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dlg421

deleted

This post was edited by dlg421 on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 21:18

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:25PM
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phxlynne

Wow, that's a lot of rain! Cool pics.

marymcp: I planted the lemongrass in my raised vegetable garden that has a mix of native soil and compost. I actually just dug it up and moved it to another part of the yard (all native soil) because it's so big. Will have to see how it does there. I may top dress with compost.

Grant: Would love tips on how to grow amaryllis - when did you plant, drip irrigation, how often to water, etc.

More plumeria pics. Jerry's Sachet

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:00AM
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phxlynne

Close-up.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:01AM
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phxlynne

JJ's "Premium Pink"

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:03AM
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phxlynne

Dwarf Singapore Pink planted November 2012.

This post was edited by PhxLynne on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 2:23

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:19AM
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phxlynne

Same plant last month:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:20AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Glad other folks got some rain too. It rained three times over the last week here, amazing stuff!

Nice raised bed there, Bigfoot-redneck. Just get some good top soil in there (I usually mix topsoil with 50% potting soil) and get ready for the nice long easy gardening season ahead of us. There are some great local gardening guides. I'm partial to Extreme Gardening (link below). I like the individual plant entries, especially for fruits and veggies.

Great rain pics dlg and beautiful garden! Love your plumerias too, Lynne. That one has made amazing progress in just a year! How did you protect it this past winter? Love plumerias for sure!

Like clockwork, the various rain lilies (Zephyranthes) are blooming all over the garden, as they always do about 7-14 days after a deep heavy rain (yes, that's a self sown Echium candicans in the background, a fun plant that has thrived for me for years and self sown all over the garden, love those towers of blue flowers in late winter):

Good ol' hybrid Aloe 'Hercules' has made two heads now and is almost 9 feet tall (purchased as a 24 inch plant six years ago):

My variegated "sea hibiscus" (Hibiscus tiliaceus) continues to love this weather. I bought it as a small rooted cutting three years ago and it's done great on the east side of the house. It's semi-deciduous for me, so it won't win any beauty contests in winter, hah, but it leafs out early in spring and looks great all spring, summer, autumn and early winter.

Keep the pics and updates coming all,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Extreme Gardening: how to grow organic in the hostile deserts

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:01PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

How amazing is the weather, suddenly, this week? VERY if you ask me!

My little veggie garden is really taking off with lettuce seedlings, tomatoes, eggplants, and hot peppers, plus a few types of zucchini starting to bloom (male flowers only so far). Love this time of year!

Happy gardening!
Grant

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 1:07PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

This Stapelia gigantea in a hanging basket in my 'Washington navel' orange tree is just going crazy lately, with tons of big balloon like flowers and huge hand-sized flowers. Here's a pic from this morning. I hope you'll enjoy. Keep us posted on what's looking good, or awful, in your garden!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 1:09PM
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greyongray

Grant, what has become of your white sapote? I just recently taste one and have caught the obsession for them. Just brought one home from the big box store and Google sent me to a AZ GardenWeb post where you had planted one.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:39PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Greyongray, I do love sapotes too. My little Sad Tree is making a fair bit of new growth. I'll update the separate thread ("not in love with my sapote" or something similar) with a new pic. My jury is still out, hah!

Keep us posted on yours!
Happy gardening,
Grant

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:36AM
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dlg421

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This post was edited by dlg421 on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 21:14

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:07PM
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browneyedsusan_gw(8a)

I'm from Alabama and am visiting the Arizona forum for the first time. I had always thought of Arizona as arid and barren and am amazed at the beautiful plants you grow. Thanks for all the pictures!

Susan

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:33PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hope you are having a good visit, BrowneyedSusan, and I hope you get to the Desert Botanical Garden for sure! Tons of great things to do here. Thanks for looking/commenting. Have a great visit!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:22PM
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