We dropped Alex off Sunday for her week and Camp Wesley Woods, so Bev and I are all alone. Not knowing what else to do we just spent Monday making love all day – and I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale if you buy that.
We finally had some nice weather the last week with highs in the 80’s, low’s in the low 60’s (back in the 90's now), and the humidity was so low it felt like fall – the downside is we need rain. Fortunately we have a watering system for the lawn and the garden.
Speaking of the garden, we’re staring to get some tomatoes – mostly paste type but still delicious. I grow mostly the paste type tomatoes for canning and a few slicing varieties to eat on. Notice the absence of low foliage, which had to be removed due to the fungal blight – the cooler dry weather helped out though.
Our blueberries are now ripe enough and Bev picked a few while I mowed the lawn. They start out green, then get pinkish, and then blue, after which they get pump and that’s when to pick them. Here they are on the bush and the bowl – they are so sweet and delicious - I've been just getting a hand full and eating them like peanuts.
Our neighbor across the road can’t get his blueberries to grow due to not acidifying his soil, but he has a crop of tame blackberries that are doing great and they are delicious. The plants are just loaded with red berries that will mostly go to waste if we don’t help them by eating a few :-) – it's their vacation home and they are only there occasionally.
I had a volunteer come up in my compost pile and was in hopes it was a melon of some sort, but it turned out to be a pumpkin and this one is the entire crop - I believe it is a carver and not an eater.
I used to try, with reasonable success, to have a Southern Living quality lawn, but after untold hours, chemicals, and money, I’ve decided to quit fighting Mother Nature and work with her. My place is bordered on two sides by woods with all of the plants and seeds native to them and on the other two sides by a cow pasture and a yard, both of which are full of clover and Bermuda grass.
One of the difficulties of growing non-native plants in this area is the high amount of fungal problems brought on by the hot humid weather. It creates issues for vegetable growers, fruit farmers (especially peaches), and cool season grass lawns, such as fescue. I took some shots of my lawn to show you the problem. Too often when a lawn starts browning, the natural tendency is to water it, but this could well make the problem worse. Grass suffering from drought stress will usually take on a bluish hue before browning, whereas fungal problems result in a green healthy lawn beginning to brown – either in patches or in general. So if your grass begins to brown even though it’s rained recently or you’ve watered it, think fungus. It can be treated with an effective systemic product called Bayleton, which protects it from the inside or by spraying with a fungicide such as chlorothalonil.
The way I’ve decided to work with, rather than against nature, is to allow the Bermuda to take over, even though I consider it a weed. It has two primary issues – it turns brown in winter (but brown is a nice color) and it is very invasive, which can be controlled with a little Roundup. I use much less of a safer chemical this way than trying to have the fescue lawn, so it will be easier on me, my wallet and the environment. The nice green areas are the heat and humidity loving Bermuda, which will pretty well deal with the other weeds and can be mowed long or short, as is done on golf courses.
Now if you ever call me to your home to troubleshoot this lawn problem, I’ll first ask if you’ve had a visit from your grandchildren. And if you say yes, I’ll tell you your lawn is likely suffering from pitch-a-tent-alitis and you may just have to over seed this fall.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.