August 2007

A Nice Picture
There is not much to say about August, other then it was one hot, brutal month.  No moisture at all, temps in the high 90's and a very tough month for the plants all in all.

Might as well start out with a nice picture.
Russian Olive East
This is the oldest of the  Russian Olives out back.  It is barely hanging in there.

Why am I showing a photo of a crappy looking tree?  I am trying to make a point here.  

This tree was was planted as a five gallon plant.  It gets plenty of water and is about five years old.      
Russian Olive - South East
This Russian Olive is about three years old and was dug out of the garden.  It had a long tap root and I could only save about two feet of it.  It is larger than the container bought tree and not showing as much distress.  I think I pruned this too early.
Russian Olive from Seed - 2006
This tree is only two years old.  It started from seed and had a trunk diameter last fall of about 1/2".  The diameter this month is almost 2".  It is taller than the oldest  Russian Olive and closing in on  the one I dug up from the garden.  

I've experienced this time and again - the smaller the tree, the faster they grow.
The cacti are doing well.  They have been getting 10 minutes of water a day.  
No kidding - it has been that hot.
My mom came out for a visit and had to see the cactus patch.  
She was particularly fascinated with the Red Yucca and its flowers and pods. 
Opuntia Fragilis
One of these guys hitched a ride on her pant leg.  Look at these pads wrong and they fall off.  I am dubbing this one Opuntia Fragilis.  If it is not Fragilis, it ought to be.
Haiwee Reservoir
This cacti I picked up from Haiwee reservoir and put out several pads.  It appears to not like the heat either.  Some of these species will put out another set of pads if they get enough water and heat.  
A little too hot for this one, I think.
This cholla has been going gang busters.  Likes the heat, water, Minden, Nevada.
My volunteer cacti in the rugosa bet is doing quite well.  I decided to leave it where it is since it looks healthier than the rugosas this summer.
Prairie Fire Prairie Fire
These two trees are Malus Prairie Fire, and they apparently don't like being on fire for months on end.  Very little growth so far this year.  They are just hanging in there.
Cascade Snowdrift
Malus Cascade and Snowdrift  have no problem with the heat.  There is 2-3 feet of growth on these trees.  I am enforcing a strict No-Prune rule on these trees for several years.
Watch Dog.
TC Lily
The dogs have had a rough time this summer too.  The early morning hours are good for play.  The rest of the time is good for roasting.  We ran a demister for the dogs a few times.  They sort of liked it.
Tomato Patch
Tomatoes are a mixed bag.  The winners this year are  Early Girl, Sweet 100, Sun Gold and Better Boy.  Sun Gold labeling is a bit deceptive.  These are actually  grape sized.

Heat Wave and Big Boy - problems with blossom end rot.  
They all had consistent watering and fertilizer application.
Sweet 100 Early Girl

Osage Orange Small Crab
The horse apple tree is doing quite well! The other one didn't make it.  It looks like the trunk will harden off enough to make it through the winter this time. My baby Crab is actually still surviving.  It has not grown in height at all, but it is alive and well in the Indian burial ground.
Mystery Tree Hardy Pampas
The Mystery tree has been more or less identified as Morus Alba, White Mulberry.  Turns out this tree can have up to three different leaf types. The hardy Pampas is doing quite well - after ten years or so.  It appears to be quite hardy - if given normal amounts of water and a little shade.
Another Crab Whirling Butterflies
The other crab I culled from the wildflower bed is doing very well.  I am slowly trimming the tamarisks back and replacing some of them with trees. Winter trashed the Whirling Butterflies and the hot summer didn't help either.  The plant in front is a Walmart special and is actually doing Ok.
Sweet Banana Rainbow Chard
Even the peppers were wilting in the summer heat. These Sweet Banana peppers are still good producers. Rainbow Chard has been a dinner staple every week.  It just keeps coming on strong. The flavor is quite mild and cooks up well with garlic and onions.
Gourd? Gourd?
I think someone switched the labels.  These two squash (or gourds) were supposed to be Acorn squash.  They are from the same plant on the only to fruit on it.  I am thinking gourd.
Petunias Petunias
Potted plants on the deck did well if  the pots were double walled.  This pot has a single wall. We picked up three double walled pots from CostCo and they performed very well through the heat.
Deck Pots on the Deck
These pots also benefited from some extra UV protection from the sail over the porch and some other additional shade.  They looked very nice this year.
??? Whirling Butterfly
This grows in partial shade under the Russian Olive. Don't know what it is.  It was one of those, 'buy a bunch of cheap items and see what grows.' It is apparently a ground cover and it looks pretty nice with the vincas. The Black Knight Butterfly Bush was severely damaged during the winter and I ended up hacking it back to the ground.  It is doing well.  About three feet tall now, and blooming vigorously.
Grass Walmart Grass
I decided to try a couple new grasses after doing major Dwarf Pampas surgery.  This one I got from Greenhouse Garden Nursery and it is still alive. This one I got from Walmart and it promptly croaked.  Is there a message here?
The Arbor
The arbor has turned in to the preferred night nesting place for about forty quail and who knows how many sparrows.  I think a very interesting picture would be to get some of that infrared film and take some night shots of the arbor. It is hard to fathom how so many birds can fit in there together.
A rather fitting picture for the end of August.  Lets hope we get a bit of a break in September.