What a rollercoaster last week was for Southern Gardening!
My column highlighted the steps gardeners should take ahead of a tropical storm. We cancelled Southern Gardening TV production, as coastal Mississippi was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Sally on Monday and the weather folks were assuring us of a Mississippi landfall.
I write this while contemplating what a wild year 2020 has been. There’s no need to remind anyone about the pandemic that has literally changed our landscape.
The next big thing is Hurricane Sally making landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this week. Every tropical storm or hurricane creates landscape and garden chores that need to be finished before the storm arrives.
My biggest concern is always for the wind blowing loose objects around and causing damage.
We’re already into our September garden, and lots of great things are going to happen.
As temperatures finally start to moderate -- my fingers are crossed -- most of our summer flowering annuals that look ragged after surviving the heat and humidity will start to perk up. I think of this as our flowering annuals getting their second wind.
I’ve been thinking about the whole COVID-19 pandemic experience we’ve endured for the last several months -- like social distancing and face masks -- and the activities we look forward to enjoying once again.
Late summer means it’s time for another round of garden activities.
This past weekend, I finally transplanted my fall tomato crop. Several varieties of heirloom determinant tomatoes will start producing about the third week of September and continue all the way to the first hard frost.
Each year as we approach Independence Day, my landscape and garden begin a transition to what I like to call “second summer.” This is due to the heat and humidity that set in anywhere from late April to mid-May.
Everyone has a certain color that is their absolute favorite, and I’m no different. And while I really like the entire palette of colors available for our gardens and landscape, the one color I must have is blue.
Over the last several months, I’ve been spending even more time in my home garden and landscape, and many of you may have done the same. But the pesky, hot summer temperatures have finally settled in, and now I’m looking for plants that look good in the heat without needing much supervision.
Last week was the traditional start of the storm season, and as if on cue, Tropical Storm Cristobal paid us a visit.
This storm surprised us with a greater amount of coastal flooding than expected; and the rain, oh the rain. The Gulf Coast collected 6 inches in a 24-hour period, which was less than forecasted, but it still creates havoc in the landscape and garden.
I’m becoming increasingly optimistic about our 2020 Mississippi summer gardens and landscapes. COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, but an upside to the virus is that more homeowners are gardening than ever before. If you’re looking for summer color that will grow through the summer and beyond, then Profusion zinnia is the plant for you.