Monday, August 10, 2009

"Tall" tales

As some of you may know, this year's tomato plants have become quite big. Biggest I've ever grown - not only tall but wide and lush and I have posted about them (probably ad nauseum) on the vegetable page.

But something else has been going on while I've been focusing on the tomatoes.

I posted earlier about the 8' hollyhocks that sort of just sprang up out of the arbor bed.

Well now here's a couple more things that have taken on the urge to UP. Check out these Castor Beans. Several of these are short and in bloom, but at least 5 of them are still climbing with no sign of buds yet. The trunks are at least 2" in diameter already. It's going to take a chainsaw to cut them down when frost hits these guys. LOL

And then, back in the ring garden, are my sunflowers. I planted out 8 groups of 3 seedlings all around the bed. 4 groups were labeled as 'pink' sunflowers and have grown 6-6.5 feet tall with lots and lots of mahogany-ringed blooms.

The other 4 groups were labeled 'mammoth'. 3 of the groups topped out around 7 feet.

And then there is this guy. It measures just over 10' and still growing if you count the new buds coming on top.

So my question is: What's UP this year? I sure don't know. It must be the weather. We've had almost perfect temps this summer - never getting much past 85, cooling down to low 50s at night. And while areas all around us have had trouble with too much rain, we have gotten very little here in Stark county. I wish we'd have gotten some of it. I'm getting too old to haul heavy water cans and equally heavy hoses out to the way back and beyond.

Anywho, it's been one heck of a growing season so far.

But I can't let my guard down yet. Nosiree.

The hardy hibiscus are due to bloom in a couple weeks and they're getting UP-itty too!


  1. I remember castor beans when I was a kid too many years ago. They were so fascinating as they almost look more tropical than anything. Tall is in for you this year. I assume you must be getting good rains.

  2. L.D. Nope. It's been very much like a drought this year. June was light and then we got only 2 inches or so all July. In fact, today was our first rain for August. So with so much dry, all the 'tall' is so surprising! :-D

    P.S. Believe it or not my word verification for this comment is (wait for it...) WATER! Bizarro...

  3. Kris... I'm having hard time turning my head and look up, LOL!
    Those are really TALL guys you have there. Love your garden always.

  4. Kris, just had to thank you for the advice on collecting leaves with the leaf blower/vac. I took an old sheet I used last year as a shade cloth on the hoop house, sewed it together on two sides, and vacuumed enough leaves to mulch a new bed I made several weeks ago. It worked great. Gonna pick up some small bungee cords at the store today for holding it onto the outlet. Great idea. Thanks!

  5. Glad it worked out for ya, Tom. Sure does the trick for me. :-D

  6. Check out the size of those sunflower leaves!

    And after you made this post, you got hit with that 1.5" of rain! ;-)

  7. Jeph - even with that fierce wind (which eventually came from all 4 directions!) I didn't lose more than 2 tall zinnia plants. The sunflowers and castor beans came through OK. Totally amazed me.


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