Lots has changed during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic. For one thing, there has been a dramatic increase in interest in the home landscape and garden. People are spending more time in the garden and actually taking a look at what’s going on. In fact, gardeners are taking very close looks, which can result in them finding things that some think can only occur in the crazy COVID year. And believe me, I gets calls and emails about them all.
One thing that causes the most landscape consternation is lichen.
Last week, I sang the praises of my favorite cool-season vegetable and explained how it is both edible and ornamental. Kale is a multitasking super food that is really easy to grow from seed. But there are other great cool-season vegetables like lettuce and collards. I consider these must-haves for my garden, and they also are easy to grow from seed, especially in containers.
This weekend, I was excited to see that one of my favorite fall/winter vegetables is beginning to play a prominent role -- if not center stage -- in my ornamental landscape and culinary garden. Of course, I’m referring to kale.
One of the attributes I look for when choosing annual color plants is how hardworking they will be in my home landscape.
While I know garden chores are an integral part of the landscape game, I like my garden and landscape to be relaxing. I don’t like to change out color every month. If you do, that’s fine, and you might not be interested in what I have to say next. But I personally like easy.
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.
A couple of weeks ago, I gave you my thoughts on the second summer season in our Mississippi landscapes and gardens. In my vegetable garden, the harvest output of my heirloom tomatoes and pickling cucumbers is declining, and I am taking these plants out. But my peppers are stepping up and providing my family with a bounty of brightly colored fruit.
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.