Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tagetes and Tomatoes.

I want to tell you about Tagetes, commonly called African marigold, Aztec marigold, American marigold or big marigold.


Tagetes are easy to grow from seed. Almost all seeds germinate and after a week I already saw small plants. This year I planted them in a greenhouse. And I did the right thing - because the cold was around 0 C in May. Young seedlings of Tagetes could easily freeze out.


Perhaps some of you prefer to buy grown seedlings in the garden center or in the supermarket. This is a good option too, just do not rush to plant seedlings in the garden because of the cold weather.

I like that growing Tagetes from seeds you can never be sure what color the buds will be. They can be yellow, red, orange, or a mixture of all shades. See what a variety of colors the Tagetes have in my flower beds.


Here is what the garden encyclopedia writes: All parts of this unique annual have a taste and smell reminiscent of tarragon, but much nicer and stronger. Moreover, the aroma is felt at a considerable distance. Blooms profusely all summer. It can be used in flower beds of any type. Grows well in limited soil. It stays cut for a long time. Heat-loving, unpretentious, drought-resistant.


What is the Tagetes called in your country? Here they are called Velvet flowers. 

Last week I picked ripe tomatoes, very juicy and sweet. And the smell!


Tomatoes ripen quickly. There is a little secret - they do not need to be watered at all during mating. Now even for breakfast I have red juicy tomatoes. But I need to figure out how to keep them fresh longer. 

What experience do you have with keeping tomatoes fresh?


Friday, August 18, 2023

Lilies In August

 Today I show you my lilies in August.


Lilies are valued for their flowers. I plant lily bulbs in containers and raised flower beds and they add color and fun to the garden. I learned that there are two main types of lilies: the Oriental lily and the Asiatic lily. Now I do not have Oriental lilies, they did not survive the winter. 

The Asiatic lilies have a greater variety of colors, including yellows, oranges, reds, and almost blacks, but they are not fragrant and smaller than the Oriental varieties. However, they do well in my garden soil and are extremely hardy so they are easier to grow.

Asiatic lily plants can survive winter temperatures as low as -35 degrees in regions as cold as Zone 4 and still regrow in the spring. They don't require pruning. As long as plants and stems are green, it's best to leave them on the plant and allow foliage to die back naturally in winter. 

I try to divide Asiatic lilies every two or three years to keep plants from crowding each other out. But sometimes I spoil the bulbs when I dig them up, and they grow slowly and do not bloom the next year. Asiatic lilies can bloom for up to one month, depending on the variety and conditions in your garden.

I have planted Martagon lilies.

They grow in dappled shade and they often self-seed and form a lovely colony under deciduous and coniferous trees. You see that they grow well and bloom near thujas.


I want to show you my beautiful water lily. Although it is not related to Asiatic and Martagon lilies, it is also called Water lily or Nymphaea. Its flowering in the garden pond is always a joy.


Sunday, August 6, 2023

Zucchini and Squash

I love growing zucchini or other types of summer and winter squash, it's easy. They don't require much upfront work. 

I usually sow seeds directly into garden soil that gets full sun. I want to say that zucchini (or courgette) rare either summer or winter, depending on when they are ready to eat. Soft-skinned summer zucchini, ripen quickly. They are often ready within two months of sowing.

I grow white and striped zucchini. Now they're getting bigger and longer.  Fresh summer squash will keep in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

The squashes have separate male and female flowers that are easy to tell apart. Males have long thin stems. The females have thick stems usually with petals. Insects pollinate squash plants.

I usually pick young zucchini and squashes when the flowers wither and fall off. Because they are the most delicious and tender to eat.

Winter squashes mature for at least three months or longer and develop thick skins. But tough skin means they will last longer. I leave 3-4 squashes for winter storing in the garden until September, when their skin hardens. Then they lie well in a dark, cool place for several winter months.



Here are the recipes (is not advertising) that I liked: