A few dozen peonies flowers in full bloom
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Veggie Bites – Peonies

I added compost to my peonies last year and overwintered them with maple leaves. They are much better this year. Often, we add soil to peonies either because the existing soil has eroded, or we want to add nutrients. Peonies, however, are very particular about their depth of planting. If you cover up the base of the peonies with soil, you will not get blooms.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

We finally got some rain, but it would be nice to get some more. I enjoyed having a day off from watering. Now I am back to watering, and this week the feeding regime began. I added a teaspoon or two of fish emulsion to my watering can and fed the tomatoes, roses, and peppers. The peppers have started to flower, and soon I shall be enjoying their very warm fruit. As the comfrey has started growing, I will pick some and chop it up for green compost on my plants. Every little bit helps.

My tomatoes are growing very well, tall, and healthy with flowers forming. There seems to be a new trend floating about on the internet to remove the first flowers on your tomato to strengthen the plant. I really do not agree with this idea, especially if you are growing determinate tomatoes. If your tomato is determinate, you will have a finite number of flowers and removing them would reduce your harvest. I am going to look into this further but for now I would suggest that you leave your tomato flowers to grow.

  Martin tomato with yellow flower

The cherries and currants are starting to ripen, and I would like to have some to eat, can and freeze. I put bird-netting around the currants and some floating row covers over the Nanking cherry bush. Those little sour cherries make lovely jelly and a friend of mine uses them to make a syrup used in a variety of gin drinks. I would like to try a few. The currants can also be used to make a refreshing drink or sparkling jelly. I have a new black currant bush that I hope will give me some fruit.

Peonies

In addition to the happy roses that I am seeing this year, my peonies are also doing well. I added compost to my peonies last year and overwintered them with maple leaves. They are much better this year. Often, we add soil to peonies either because the existing soil has eroded, or we want to add nutrients. Peonies, however, are very particular about their depth of planting. If you cover up the base of the peonies with soil, you will not get blooms. If you are not getting blooms, that is the first thing you need to check.

  Assorted peonies

I try to remove the spent blooms to encourage a few more buds. If I have time, I pick the blossoms and make a jelly that has a lovely fragrance. Peony foliage is very attractive as a background for the rest of the season.

Oriole on Orange Slices

I love all the birds that are in my garden; they eat a lot of bugs, pollinate several kinds of plants, and entertain my too-many cats who watch them through the window. In the last couple of years, I have had the joy of watching a male and female oriole come to my window. Using a suet-holder, I put orange slices in where the brick of suet would have gone. I think I have two families, and they are beautiful and orange.

  Oranges and oriole

Keep watering. The sun dries out your garden and so does the wind. Enjoy your week.  Judith. Contact Judith through her Website https://www.lapisdragonarts.com/

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