Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week Following Fall Equinox - 2014

I took the following pictures during the past week.  This is my garden journal post for the week following the Fall Equinox here in North Texas. 

We've had serious issues with grasshoppers this year in the vegetable garden - they insist on munching the leaves off the new foliage.  The marigolds planted on the edge of the beds are purported to keep pests away.   Maybe it helps with some pests, but grasshoppers could care less. 

Watering the beans, peas, broccoli, squash, and cauliflower.  The back raised garden bed contains tomatoes from the spring - they continue to flower and produce tomatoes, although not in great quantities now.   We are watering by hand this fall.  We plan on replacing the soaker hoses in the spring - they were at least 8-9 years old and had begun leaking. 

The bell peppers that were planted in the spring continue to do well.

A  giant swallowtail butterfly is sipping nectar from the pink/yellow lantana.  The long leafed plant next to the lantana is Mexican marigold - it has not started blooming yet.

Orange/yellow lantana

 Female Ruby-throat Hummingbird with pollen on its beak - sipping nectar from red salvia greggii.

Close up shot of salvia greggii with a paper wasp in the background.

A ruby throated hummingbird sipping nectar from blue salvia variety. 

A gulf fritillary landed on a dried purple coneflower head.

Gulf fritillary with its wings open.

Garden Spider

Garden Spider with zig-zag pattern on web.

A small butterfly sipping nectar from the blooming Lantana

We planted a couple of flowerbeds this weekend.  The fall is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs because the days are getting cooler and shorter and the plants don't have to endure the searing heat.  The first bed I worked on needed some color.  Because I have so many green dwarf yaupons in my yard, I decided a deep red or purple was needed in a small shrub.  I found these dwarf loropetalums with beautiful purple leaves - they only get 1-2 feet in height which is perfect for the spot I put them in.

 Five dwarf loropetalums - we staggered them in the garden bed in front of the dwarf yaupons.  I think they will be either the same size as the yaupons or slightly smaller.

We also took out an old rose bush that was looking very ratty and replaced it with a large loropetalum shrub that has been pruned in the shape of a tree - it will get 10 feet tall.  Around it we placed 4 dwarf silverado sage plants - they are significantly shorter than the usual cultivar.

The tag of the dwarf sage - it will only reach 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide - I'll keep it pruned a bit shorter than that.

Fresh hardwood mulch was placed around the new plantings to help retain moisture and give the garden bed a clean and fresh look.

And finally - I caught a picture of a beautiful sunset in my neighborhood on September 27, 2014

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