Thursday, July 19, 2012

Water, Hot weather, and helping things grow

It has been an amazing week!  The weather has been very hot and very humid, which turns out to be just what the garden has been wanting.  Squash, tomatoes, and beans are all producing a bounty of fruit.  In the coming weeks we will need to watch the amount of rain coming through and provide supplemental watering when necessary.

Yellow Beans
 The beans were in full flower last Monday.  The yellow beans had these lovely white flowers.  The green beans had a profusion of purplish blue flowers.  We staggered planting our beans so we should be harvesting fresh beans for quite some time.  As a side note: if you have a little open space, don't hesitate to plant a few bean seeds.  They're low maintenance and add nitrogen to the soil.
Green Beans
 We have several different types of Summer and winter squash.  Our summer squash include pattipans and Papaya squash.  Both of these varieties have a delicate flavor and are favorites with the kids.  The pattipans look like yellow flying saucers.  Papaya squash has a slightly sweet flavor and is a tasty addition to stir fries. 

Papaya squash
So much of the country is suffering from drought.  Although where we are located we have not had the usual rains, we count our blessings that it is not as bad as it is in other places.  One of the first things we noticed comparing last year to this, was our cucumbers. 

Given normal circumstances, the cucumber vines should be around four feet long by now. 
Supplimental watering has helped however the extreme heat (day and night) had dried the soil and stressed the plants.  They are currently stunted at about a foot tall.  The plants are still producing however our crop may not be as abundant as in previous years.

The tomatoes are thriving in the heat.  The extra water we provide will keep the plants from taking water from the fruits, hopefully leading to good harvests in another few weeks.  We'll see.

Big Boy tomatoes

The good news is that the weatherman is predicting rain for the next week.  Temperatures have already come down to far more comfortable readings.  Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.  Pray for soft, slow, and steady rains to replenish the parched earth and restore the water table.

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