Friday, May 30, 2014

Gardening in extreme heat = mediocre results

It hasn't been steady at this temperature below, but it has been so very hot. Last Sunday gave us a burst of extreme heat and let me tell you, it took all my energy. Funny how very hot temps can sap you.....so I am wondering if that is what happened in the garden too.



First, let me share one of the plants who seems to thrive in this heat. A bush cherry tomato plant. It's loaded with tiny round tomatoes! Our Better Boy and Early Girl tomatoes aren't as productive. Some are actually puny.



My brother-in-law gave us some good advice for planting and caring for our garden next year. He is an expert gardener with an enviable green thumb. After calling for some advice we now know we water too much. Over watering was never a consideration. Wouldn’t you think plants need an abundance of water? Especially with our harsh temperatures. Next time we plant tomatoes we will plant them deeper and water deeply about once a week.

BIL says tomatoes like what he calls wet foot-dry foot. So, water deeply and stick a finger into the soil near the plant. Make sure the soil is damp up to your index finger. Then let them rest. Let the roots dry.
Another option, I suppose, would be using the hydroponic boxes where you water into the extending tube. The plants will suck up the water as they need it.

That must have been working well for the strawberries because we had a rush of those at first. Not too much production right now but there are tiny green strawberries we hope will grow and ripen. Sure was nice picking fresh berries for our morning cereal for the time it lasted.




I was so pleased to see this lovely lavender eggplant blossom. It was short lived - the blossom fell off just a few days after I took this.



Here is another snap of the plant so you can see the entire thing. Notice the lettuce in the background which flourished this year.



The lettuce was a surprise. See the smaller heads of lettuce? Those are the ones growing back after we cut the original growth for salad. I didn't know lettuce would do that.



Here is one of four pepper plants. See how it looks like a branch or shoot was deliberately cut? Yeah....we didn't do that. I asked someone at the local nursery and they told me it was squirrels. That was puzzling because you'd think if a squirrel was that interested in the plant, it would rip the vegetable off and chew it.

I picture a squirrel from Redwall with clothes and a tiny pen knife. Yeah...it wasn't squirrels.



For our first year trying our hand at gardening in over a decade, it’s not too bad. We will get some peppers. We will harvest lots of cherry tomatoes and hopefully the cucumber and cantaloupe will come through. Updates will be posted next month.

If anyone has some gardening tips they would like to share...or gardening stories, I would be pleased to hear them.

See you again in June. Hope your are all happy, healthy and enjoying the Spring!

2 comments:

Joanne said...

I'm so jealous of your garden! Looking good so far!

Tina said...

Thanks Joanne. It's been a difficult year with some of the plants but, it's a learning process!

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