Plants Change to Adapt to the Weather

“Unlike your favorite painting or sentimental vase, a landscape is alive and constantly changing.” –Author Unknown

As it has become autumn on the calendar and in the weather, the garden has changed in production and appearance. The cool days and even cooler nights has made it difficult for the plants to absorb enough nutrients to stay healthy. Add wet weather or excessive dew that doesn’t dry up quickly cause of lack of sunshine, mold and other disease can settle into the plants.

Tomato plants are heat loving plants. Mine has stopped putting out new fruit and the leaves have turned brown and dropped off. The same has happened with the purple hull peas. My pole beans and peppers are confused though. A lot of the pole bean vine has turned brown and dropped leaves. But then we had a week of hot weather again. Guess what – new flowers appeared and even new sprouts came up from the ground. Did you know that pole beans can produce right up to the frost date? The pepper plants reacted similarly, new flowers and veggies growing.

To extend your vegetable garden, one could plant crops suited for cooler climates. Some of those would include broccoli, greens, cabbage, radishes, beets, pumpkins, and numerous others. I personally do not plant for a fall garden. I can’t have the roughage (that most of those vegetables have) due to my Crohn’s Disease. So as the fall season begins so does the ending of my vegetable garden for the year.

The Bible verse says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.’ Now that the garden isn’t needing a lot of attention, look around and see where you are needed next. Just because the visible growing season may be coming to an end, doesn’t mean life isn’t still growing. Rely on God through all your seasons.

Garden Supports to Love, Natural or Man-Made?

“Encourage, lift, and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spreads to one will be felt by us all.” –Deborah Day

Supports in the garden benefit both the plants and the gardener. They can be man-made or ones that occur in nature. Most man-made supports are made from various metals and shaped into cones, circles, squares, and lines. Examples of natural supports are corn stalks and bamboo poles.

Benefits that supports give to the garden include stability to the plant, more air circulation, and more sunlight for the leaves. Tomato plants need a lot of support. The stems tend to grow tall and the weight of the fruit can be heavy. If they didn’t have some kind of support, the stem is more likely to break – damaging or killing the plant. If not enough leaves are getting sunlight, production of vegetables and fruits are diminished. Enough air circulation around the plants is crucial to limit the possibility of viruses or other non-beneficial conditions for plant production.

Using garden supports helps the gardener in several ways. Not only do they keep the garden healthy, the supports make it easier to maintain and harvest the garden. Pole beans, by their nature, are to planted at the base of poles or trellises. This allows the bean vine to climb vertically and the beans to hang down. This makes them easier to pick and takes up less square footage in the garden. Tomato cages come in varying sizes and shapes (cone, square, and circle). The function is the same – to support the plant from breaking with the fruit and making it easier to harvest.

I use a combination of supports in my garden. I start out using metal tomato cages and wooden posts with string trellis for my beans. Once the plants have outgrown the boundaries of those, I add bamboo poles to aid in supporting the plants. This year a series of strong storms broke most of my bean poles. So I weaved in bamboo poles into the trellis and the beans are very happy.

Did you know God wants you to have a support system in your life too? He wants you to have folks to turn to when storms beak your footings. Let it be God, family, friends, and even coworkers. As long as they hold you up, keep your soul well, and allow you to produce the fruit you are meant to produce. Just remember support is needed by all.