Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ho Hum Nasties

Not much to say about the nasturtiums this month. They don't seem to like the heat. Yellow foliage is pinched off. Flower buds form and fall off. The extra sun at the west-side veggie bed hasn't brought blooms.

I push the envelope in the shade garden, experimenting with perennials whose performance is best in full sun, but bloom respectably in part sun, adding more color with annuals. The cosmos we tried this year courtesy of Renee's Garden are little more than seedlings two months later. I appreciate the opportunity to try them for the no-risk observation that cosmos aren't a good choice for this garden.

I'm enjoying the Seed Grow project, experimenting with the nasties, and the bonus cosmos Renee's Garden provided to participants. It's fun checking out other participants' tips and progress. I wish I had more exciting nasty news to share. Maybe they'll be more fun when fall brings relief from the relentless heat and humidity. Will I grow these in future years? The cosmos - definitely not. The nasties - the jury's out until fall.

I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.


  1. Hi Linda! Yours are looking a big taller than mine, though I do have a couple of blooms. It turns out annuals that need to be watered regularly are not my cup of tea. My pansies look even worse, lol.

  2. Hi Linda,

    Mine are the Jewel line of nasties, not from Renees. Mine are not doing well either, some in the hayracks dried up, alive in the veggie garden with a few blooms now and then. They are kind of with the dahlias this year!


  3. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Hey Ms. Linda,

    I'm with you on whether or not I'll be a fan of this particular variety. I'm not at all impressed with their performance, as a climber or trailing plant. But if they do better as clumps in "bad" dirt I might consider using them along the edge of the road as color for motorists.

    I'm wondering if there will be some type of rating scale, such as "On a scale of 5 stars, how many would you give 'Spitfire?'" Right now, one star is all they've earned in my yardens.

  4. Cosmos are always slow to bloom for me. Right as they are blooming we get a frost so not much incentive for me to really get into this. Maybe your Nasties will make really take off this month.

  5. Hi Monica, it's nice visiting you, and other participants to see blooms. The ones here are nice and healthy, and the foliage is nice as long as I pinch off the constantly yellowing leaves. I was hoping for a few blooms though!

    Hi Eileen, it must be the heat. Hopefully they'll bloom more and be happier if/when it ever cools off around Chicago.

    Hey TC! I think some of our nasties are getting a bad rap because of the record heat. It's really interesting seeing them blooming, (albeit mostly lightly, it seems,) in some gardens and languishing in others. They do seem to be pretty temperamental. They haven't earned many stars in my book either, at least not yet. The only reason they haven't been ripped out here yet is that I'm holding out for cooler fall weather, and hope they'll peak and bloom their little heads off all autumn.

    It might be wishful thinking, but I'll go with it, lucky for the nasties.

    Hi Rosey, I think the cosmos just don't get enough sun here. After two months in the ground, they are still only 3-4 inches tall. I'll be amazed if they ever reach 6 inches tall, and even more amazed if they bloom.

  6. Your nasties may not be blooming, but at least they're tall! I didn't grow the same variety, but mine didn't do well at all this year. I think, too, the weather this year hasn't been to their liking. Too bad about the cosmos, but I do think they like lots of sun.

  7. I have the same type of cosmos, and they are finally getting robust now. I would definitely grow them again. Sorry about the nasties...I had similar issues when I tried growing some from seed but not the same variety.

  8. I remember hearing that nasturtiums don't like heat, that's probably why yours are taking a break. I know some people start a second crop of seed for fall blooms

  9. They are tall Rose - tall, and green. I didn't really think the cosmos would be happy here, and almost didn't bother with them at all. But they were free, and I thought it was at least worth a try.

    I know it's just the lack of sun Rose. Too bad, I would have enjoyed them!

    Hi Marnie, I think the heat is the problem. I've read different opinions on watering - some say they like lots of water, some say they like it dry. I've experimented with both, and the plants seem to do the same thing either way - yellow leaves, and bud drop. If these hang in there through the dog days, maybe they'll decide to bloom when it cools off in September and October (at least, I hope it cools off then!)

  10. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Sorry yours aren't blooming now, mine are just starting after the heat we had the past couple of weeks.

    I got those cosmos too and they've been blooming like mad on the back porch. I'm going to have to blog about them because they were an experience by themselves.

    In terms of blooms they outperformed every other cosmos I planted in the garden. My chocolate cosmos don't seem to be doing much of anything. I did manage to see one bloom.

  11. After getting well-toasted in the heat and sun, I returned from vacation to find them looking pretty green and happy. Still hardly any flowers, but I'm learning to appreciate the leaves instead! We'll see how they do as the weather cools down a bit (knock on wood). My cosmos on the other hand is doing great in full sun, lots of flowers, so there's one success at least.

  12. Linda girl ! How are you ! I just saw you at my blog girl !
    You will laugh at this .. I had Double Click Cosmos to plant and I totally forgot about them .. also seeds from some friends ? TOTALLY forgot them as well .. you can say I had a seedless year due to the DUH ? factor happening here ? haha
    I have only tried nasturiums(spelling?) once or twice and the bugs loved them to death .. so I gave that up quickly ? haha
    Funny .. we always want to experiment with something, some times ? the latent scientist in us all ?

  13. PS
    Linda how do I get that "Search This Blog" tool ? I could really use that .. I'm still in "Duh?" mode .. big sigh !

  14. MBT, hopefully they'll do better with cooler weather later in the season! Now I'm curious about your cosmos...

    I agree Diane - the leaves are pretty cool, and hopefully they'll bloom better as the weather cools. I'm glad the cosmos are doing so well for you. I'm not surprised they don't like it here - just not enough sun here for cosmos.

    Hey Joy! No bug problems here with the nasturtiums, just no blooms. Sorry you missed your opportunity to plant those seeds - maybe next year! Experimenting is half the fun of gardening!

    It's easy to add the search box - just go into your blog design page and click on the 'add a gadget' script in the first box in your sidebar design section. The first three options are pages, followers, and search box. Click on the blue plus sign to the right to add the search box, then save and you're good to go. You can also move it the same as any other page element, and place it where you like. Hope this helps!

  15. You are not alone. My nasturtiums don't seem to be as prolific this year either, Linda. Let's hope cooler August gardening.

  16. Amen to that Joey! I'm hoping. The heat and humidity have sure been oppressive this summer.

    On the positive side, the gardens have sure seemed to enjoy the heat, (everything except the nasturtiums, that is!) and all the rain too.

  17. It's a busy little beaver isn't it? Silly bird!


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