It’s been a great year for our daylilies. They started a month early (April) this year. Why the early bloom? Speculation from myself and other gardeners is due to the very mild winter followed by summer like temps in March and April. I thought they would end their show early, but my rebloomers are still going strong. I am seeing less new scapes (bud stems) appearing, which leads me the think the show will soon end.
Here are several that were showing off yesterday.
This year I planted the vegetable garden two weeks before Easter. Three weeks ago I side dressed the plants with ammonium nitrate and it is starting to get happy. Yep, that is the same stuff Timothy McVeigh used to blowup a building. It is pure nitrogen with a number rating of 34-0-0. It really gives the plants a boost, as they go into fruit production. It also put the weeds into a growth spurt. Last week I left town without having time to weed the garden. I fully expected to come home to a jungle. To my great fortune, my wife spent one of her off days weeding the garden. It looked fantastic when I got home.
I am growing cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, bush beans, bell peppers, watermelon, and cantaloupe this year. For the second year in a row, the zucchini has performed dismal. This is unfortunate since my wife and I love to eat it. I doubt I will plant them next year. This was my first year to plant bush beans, watermelons and cantaloupe. The beans have produced several meals already. Right now the watermelons and cantaloupe have lots of blooms and are starting to spread everywhere. Thankfully, I gave them plenty of room.
The last two years have produced rather small bell peppers. This year I consulted with a local vegetable garden expert about getting more size to my bell peppers. After some discussion of possible reasons, he suggested I try adding more fertilizer when I first plant the peppers. That did the trick. I am now picking grocery store quality bell peppers.
My wife loves to eat cucumber and tomato salad. Last year the garden produced a lot of cucumbers and tomatoes. The problem was by the time the tomatoes were ripe enough to pick, the cukes had played out and withered away. This year I adjusted my planting time by planting the cukes a few weeks later than the tomatoes. I am happy to report both are producing at the same time this year.
Below is a picture taken this week of our happy vegetable garden.
First let me say the title is referring to my excessive attention to daylilies and not any kind of deviant behavior. So get your mind out of the gutter. As far back as I can remember, daylilies have caught my attention each summer. Four years ago my wife and I attended a spring garden show where a local daylily society was selling plants they had grown. In a spur of the moment decision I decided a grassy area in our backyard would become a daylily display garden. We picked out few cultivars, rushed home, drug out the tiller and my fetish was exposed. This tradition has repeated each year.
The daylily pictures I have been posting on Twitter and Facebook are patented varieties. We buy a few each year and add them to our backyard garden. They are sold in a bareroot “fan” which is about the size of hand fan people use to fan themselves in church. They sell for anywhere from $5 to $80 per fan. We probably have about 20 different varieties in our backyard garden at this time. These are offspring from old garden varieties that have been hybridized for size and beauty. These daylilies typically have a shorter bloom cycle (about a month) than the old garden varieties. For me that drawback is overcome by their beauty.
Overall, daylilies are easy to grow. All you need is an area that gets some sun, but the more sunlight the better. Watering and weeding is about the only nurturing they require. Someone once told me a person with black thumb can successfully grow daylilies. Do you prefer old garden varieties or the more showy hybrids?