It won't be long and summer will be over. I already notice a difference with the days getting shorter. It has started to cool off some from the hot weather we've been having. All is doing well in the pond and it won't be long and the garden will be finished. I canned the first of the tomatoes last week ending up with about 27 quarts so far. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be able to add to that.
Finding more time now to do other things since the pond season is starting to slow down. There is little time during March, April, May and June, but then July things start to slow some. I notice the waterlilies seem to have to slowed down but when they do bloom are still wonderful.
Enjoy why we can......the tropicals are the first to go.
We've been so busy taking orders and shipping orders, we just haven't had time to write on the blog as we should. It has been a whirlwind of a spring so far. Those in planting zones 8 on the west coast have had an usually cold spring and should have had their plants in a month ago. But thanks to good old mother nature, they are still waiting for their normal warm temperatures. Hopefully things have finally warmed up. We held up shipping their plants and it became a daily routine of checking their 10 day forecast to see if they could climb out of the 50 degree weather they were experiencing. That was their high! For those of us in the lower planting zones, we should be able to begin putting our plants in the pond, mother nature cooperates for a couple days and then slips in a few fridgid night time lows in the 30s and 40s. What do we do?
Just remember, we need to play it safe and make sure the weather is going to cooperate and keep our new plants protected from the cold. If we put water lettuce in too early, the leaves will turn from their nice green to white.....water temperatures too cold. Water hyacinths turn brown......again too cold. Play it safe with your newly purchased plants and if you think the weather is still too cold, put them in a container and keep them indoors for a few days. If it is warm during the day, go ahead and place them outside to get the sun. I would rather play it safe and protect the plants, then to take a chance of them dying and having to replace them. We do our best to ship the plants when it is safe for you to put them in your pond. We watch the weather highs and lows across the nation and try to ship the plants accordingly. Unfortunately, those cold fronts coming down from Canada, make it somewhat difficult to second guess Mother Nature!
Next month hopefully we will all be sitting by our ponds thinking how nice everything looks and forget about the crazy spring we just had.
Tropical lilies are usually treated as an annual. They will continue to grow and produce blooms until the temperatures fall below 60 degrees. If you choose to try over-wintering your tropical water lily, moving the potted plant into a greenhouse is the most successful. Another method is to re-pot the lily in a 6” pot and place the lily in at least a 20 gallon or larger aquarium. Keep the water temperature at 70-75 degrees. You will need a fluorescent grow light to provide 10 to 12 hours of artificial sunlight per day. Do not fertilize the lily at this time, as you will not want to encourage any new growth, simply keep the plant alive until temperatures are warm enough in the Spring to move the lily back outside to the pond.
There is one other option for you to try if you are determined to save your tropical lily for next season. Starving the plant in late summer (do not fertilize) will cause the lily to form tubers in the fall. Once the leaves have died off, remove the tuber that has formed under the crown. Wash it thoroughly and air-dry a few days. Remove any roots still attached, wash thoroughly again and place in a jar filled with distilled water or slightly moist sand. Store the container in a cool, dark place at approximately 50 to 60 degrees. Check regularly to make sure the sand is moist, or if storing in water, that the water has not turned foul or discolored. If it has, replace it with fresh distilled water.
See tropical waterlilies,waterlilies here.
The weather has been pretty hot lately. The tropical lilies are blooming like crazy. If you've been having hot weather lately you may want to keep adding some fresh cold water to your ponds. This replenishes the water loss through evaporation and also gives your fish some fresh water.
We all look forward to the summer when we can start enjoying the fruits of our labor. If your like me, when the flowers start blooming and our ponds get the coverage they need to help prevent the algae growth, we sit back and think about what we can add next or change next. I often sit next to my pond and think should I just sit here and enjoy the peace or go and start picking the greens and tomatoes from the garden....tough decision. I decided to work in the garden. Since I'm always trying to find recipes to use the abundant crop of zucchini I get, I thought I'd share this delicious recipe I just received from a friend. I know its not pond related but who doesn't enjoy eating.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Combine and set aside the following: 2 cup unsifted flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. salt.
In mixing bowl at high speed beat together, 3 large eggs, 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat this until light and fluffy then at low speed gradually add the following: 1/2 cup cooking oil until well blended and then the above flour mixture. Blend in 1/2 cup sour cream and then add 1 1/2 cup zucchini into mixture. (You can pat this in paper towels to remove any extra moisture before adding into mixture.)
To add alittle extra try cream cheese and peanut butter for the icing or use your own recipe for icing.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes in a 9x13 greased and floured pan.
YUMMY! Now you can cut yourself a piece and sit by your pond and enjoy both the cake and your pond!
Star of Zanzibar was introduced to water gardening public in 2002. One of my all time favorite tropical day blooming water lilies. Star of Zanzibar has large (5"-6") dark blue flowers with as many as 40 petals per bloom. Heavily variegated leaves with splashes of maroon can reach up to 14" across. This tropical lily is extremely vigorous and blooms heavily throughout the season. The leaves are held close to the center of the plant, making it neat and compact, but it can spread up to six feet across if put in a large plant container. If you would like to grow it in a small to medium pond, plant in a 8" to 12" wide container to limit it's spread to about 4'.
Limited time reduced price Star of Zanzibar here.
This is one of our favorites! The 'Green Smoke' tropical water lily is an outstanding color of chartreuse with smoky blue tips. Its leaves are lightly speckled, bronze-green and the blooms of the 'Green Smoke' are 6-8 inches held high above the water that are platter shaped.It will spread 5-6 feet on the water surface. This is a good choice for small to medium size ponds.
You can safely place a tropical waterlily in your outdoor pond when the water reaches a consistent temperature of about 70 degrees. You can stunt the growth or even kill a tropical lily if placed into a cold pond. It sends the lily into shock, returning them to dormancy. You should fertilize the lily every two or three weeks to keep it blooming throughout the warm season.
Purchase Green Smoke, tropical water lily here.