Wednesday, July 17, 2013

how does your garden grow?

I look out my windows every morning, hoping to see red. It means my hibiscus plants are blooming. I always see at least one bloom on one of the fifteen hibiscus plants dispersed throughout our backyard. But today there were five new blooms.
I know. Anyone can grow hibiscus in Arizona. They love the sun and heat. I also know that the blooms only last one day. But after losing many plants to the frost last winter, I am happy about new life. And these plants blooming today are young and thriving.
My sweet potato vines are also thriving. They are like weeds. This particular plant was one I dug up and moved to a new location at the beginning of of the summer. It looked like it wouldn't make it for awhile. But it's hard to kill sweet potatoes. I take no credit.
I cannot say the same for my one pathetic little jalepeno plant. It has produced 2 peppers all summer. And with both, I left them on the vine too long, waiting for them to get bigger. The bugs got to the first one. And the 2nd (still on the vine) has turned red and shriveled to half its original size.
The last of my three tomatillo plants still stands. It is nothing more than a wasteful water consumer, as it has NEVER produced a darn thing. I had grand plans for home-grown green salsa this summer, but as I suspected, it is much easier to pick up the needed ingredients at my local grocery store, which is exactly what I did yesterday.
I have consulted the "experts," including several Lowe's garden associates, about my problem. The varied answers conclude one thing: no one really knows what they are talking about. Too much water. Not enough water. Not enough butterflies. Not enough B vitamins in the soil. Too much direct sun. Not enough direct sun. 
How do you, my gardening friends* with abundant, overflowing produce, do it?
*Californians, Canadians, Pacific Northwesterners, or really anyone from anywhere but the hot hot desert, need not respond. I cannot relate to you. Nor do I think you have any idea about gardening trouble. Mostly I'm just jealous.


Ezra, Kian & Eden said...

Our garden was kind of silly this season too. There were certainly plants that did the tomatoes and zucchini, but our peppers were pretty skimpy too. And we have a cucumber plant that has grown to the size of a small car, bloomed like crazy, but never produced an actual cucumber. All the pomp for nothin'! :)
And I am jealous of your hibiscus! We had 4 in our yard that either succumbed to heat or freeze over the years and now we have none. I gave up. They were beautiful and I miss them. Maybe I'll just come and stare at your yard. :)

Sarah said...

I had the same issue with my cucumber plants last year. They were huge, but not one cucumber. The hibiscus plants are definitely sensitive to the freeze. We just can't win either way.

Heather said...

try calling the county extension Master Gardner. We've had lots of success calling them to get answers about specific problems out here- sometimes they will even come out and check out your problem (free of charge).

4341 East Broadway Road
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(602) 827-8200 ext. 301
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Sarah said...

I had no idea....
Thanks for the tip! I am going to call today about our bermuda grass, which I didn't even mention, but is not doing well, even after re-seeding.

Lindsay Kay said...

Envying your hibiscus. Love those plants. Good luck with your garden woes.:)

abby said...

Last year I had two tomatillos that produced a bunch a tomatillos and some rotted on the vine. Fast forward to this year where I discover a new tomatillo plant in my garden every day! They're like weeds! No fruit yet though. I say bravo to you for trying to grow things in AZ.

Angela said...

If you get blooms try blossom spray for tomatoes. My father in law calls it sex spray... I have used it on regular tomatoes. Good luck! -