Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hot. Humid. Blech.

You would think we'd be glad of any hot weather we could get this summer . . . and normally that would be the case, but along with plenty of warm weather recently we've had high, high humidity which takes the stuffings right out of both Papa Pea and me.

The grass stays wet nearly all day.  Every leaf and vegetable in the garden stays wet nearly all day.  Makes it hard to harvest (feels like you're sweating even harder when everything you touch is wet), hard to move and hard to feel much of any pep or energy.

We're fortunate that the inside our house stays on the cool side . . . even though all surfaces seem damp to the touch (yuck).  And truth to tell, we'd no doubt be happier campers if we both settled down in the living room with reading material and a cool beverage.  Unfortunately, we know good and well that our days for getting projects done outside are quickly dwindling down, so for better or worse (maybe smarter or dumber), we keep trying to make our sluggish, drippy bodies (what an attractive image) do what needs to be done.

Earlier this afternoon we went out with tape measure and stakes to try to figure out the best areas to map out for new berry-type plants and new dwarf fruit trees.  Just moving around in the blazing sun and high humidity, we both got so uncomfortable and cranky that we decided to try again after dinner tonight when it's (possibly) not so hot.

Yesterday hubby attempted (and succeeded) to mow our small hay field with the Gravely garden tractor.  But the grass was so thick and wet and heavy that he didn't have an easy time of it.  Trying to mow within a decent distance of the pond mired the wheels down in saturated gloppiness, and he strained more muscles than he knew he had wrestling with the heavy machine in an effort to keep it from becoming totally stuck.

This morning I backed into same Gravely garden tractor with the Suburban.  Bent one of the heavy bar handles of the tractor and put a medium-sized scratch/dent in the back of the vehicle and cracked a tail light.  Sigh.

See what this oppressive, humid weather does to a person?

But to end on the upside (and there truly are plenty of upsides), Papa Pea harvested enough pickling cukes for another batch of fermented pickles (which he's getting really good at producing), I got the final coat of paint on a tall chair (one that we've used constantly for forty-some years and was in baaad need of repainting) that was our daughter's when she graduated from a standard highchair, got the primer coat on both sides of a door and window that goes in the door, harvested ten beautiful slicing cucumbers from plants I thought were done producing, plus the usual multitudinous little tasks that are required on any given day.

I'll end this (mostly whiney) post with a bit of garden gratefulness . . . 


Our Swiss chard is as lush and beautiful as I've ever seen it.  This is after cutting and enjoying it for most of the summer.


I planted beets around the perimeter of this raised bed with California Poppies in the center.  It was quite the impressive display until the poppies gave up the ghost, got terribly scraggly looking, and I pulled them out.


The beets are as big as I think I've ever seen.  (I only plant the Forono variety anymore because they are so perfect for slicing and/or making into pickled beets.  Plus, I've never had them get woody.)


The asparagus ferns have formed a veritable jungle of ferny-ness which seems to get thicker every day.  So delicate and pretty and, we're hoping, indicative of great asparagus growth next year.


My bed of zinnias has finally come into its own.  I now (better late than never) have plenty to cut and bring inside.

Hope you're enjoying this holiday whether you're celebrating the end of summer or choosing to labor on the Labor Day Weekend. 

22 comments:

DFW said...

Humid oppresive heat is what we deal with at least 9 months of the year.Glad you only have a couple months to deal with it.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - How. Do. You. Do. It?

We don't usually experience even this much humidity way up here in the north. We've just been lucky (!) this year, I guess!

Sue said...

And I can see there is a lack of tomatoes for you as well???? I know this cuz they are so rare for us northern gardeners that we take pictures of them --HUGE PICTURES --if we got em. Sigh. Still waiting for a slice of heaven.
Stay cool, dear lady---we are on our hopefully last day of heat today and then relief,
And only TWO MORE DAYS BEFORE THESE bleep bleep bleeping tourists go home. HOORAY!!!!!!!

Leigh said...

Your garden is certainly happy! Funny how dry makes plants wilt but humidity makes humans wilt. We've been having that same heat and humidity so I can empathize!

Sorry to hear about the Gravely. Can you get parts?

Marie said...

only.one.more.day ... not sure about your slice of Minnesota, but here in mine it's raining and stormy ... for the 2nd morning in a row .... this too shall pass ....

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Tomatoes? Ha! My cherry tomatoes are finally starting to ripen so we can harvest more than 2 at a time, but that's it.

Last week they said our heat and humidity would vacate the premises today, but now they're saying we'll have this until Tuesday. I'm ready already for cooooooler weather!

We'll lose a lot of the tourists tomorrow, have a brief lull, but then the leaf-lookers come and will be here until sometime in October. So it goes . . .

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Here's a good(?) happenstance. When hubby finished mowing with the Gravely, he noticed that a bolt and fastener halfway down the handle had come loose and disappeared. (That was one of the reasons he left it where it was.) I happened to hit it on that handle. If it had been secured the way it was supposed to be, it would have done a lot more damage. As it was he was able to fix it more easily than he thought he could. But the Suburban . . . ugh.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Marie - We had no rain yesterday (sure coulda used it!) but sometime during the night it started raining and there's an 80% chance of it continuing all day and into tonight. The veggies still in my garden (plus berries and asparagus, fruit trees, etc.) are dancing for joy. Me, too! Now if this dang humidity would just scram . . .

Your watermelons are GORGEOUS!

Sparkless said...

Your gardens look glorious! Sorry to hear you are suffering from the heat and humidity. We are having wonderfully cool and sunny temps. I love this time of year.

Laurie said...

We have lots of humidity most of the summer which carries over until about October. You never get used to it. It's opressive as you have experienced. But, you just get up early to get chores done outside and then you spend the rest of the day inside. Your garden looks luscious and your zinnias are so pretty. This Labor Day is all about chores for me. Hope you enjoy yours!

Mark said...

We've had essentially the same weather for the past two weeks. The actual temperatures been in the mid-80s but with 90% humidities and the heat index has been in the mid- to high-90s. Blech!! Doing anything is just oppressive.

On the plus side, the previous several weeks were just a little cool for the season. The hot and humid is turning a gazillion little green tomatoes into big red ones!

1st Man said...

Sigh, we feel your pain. It's humid here for months and months. Even Winter is humid, which does magnifies things just like the summer, wet and bone chilling cold. The summer months pretty much July/August just become unbearable. Your garden is still looking great though, don't despair, you've got some good stuff growing.

I have never grown beets but I love them, might have to try some next Spring...

Keep the faith, cooler weather will be here before we know it!

Kristina said...

Mama Pea, it was so hot this holiday weekend (and so humid) that Hubby downright refused to do anything but remove the fallen limbs from the driveway. That chard looks great. We of course got zero this year.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

It was very hot and humid in Texas too. Returned home last night to cooler temperatures in OK.

That gravely garden section your husband had to fight to cut, just jumped in the way of the suburban. Bad gravely piece of property!!!!!!

Good to see your Zinna's have are producing really beautiful flowers in abundance. My flowers were dead headed last night, and pulled from my front garden beds for compost.

Hugs,
Sandy

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Enjoy your beautiful fall (pre-fall?) weather. You certainly earned some good weather after all the hot, hot, heat you had this summer!

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Yes, I know your beautiful part of the country comes with lots of heat and humidity. As you say, you just structure you day so that it works out best. Maybe that's why we suffer so much (whine, whine) with the relatively little bit of it we get each summer . . . we've never learned to live with it!

Mama Pea said...

Mark - When life gives you heat and humidity, make canned tomatoes! :o}

Mama Pea said...

1st Man - Years ago we left Illinois because of the humid (and as you say gone chilling) winters. (And muggy, sweaty, hot, humid summers!) Happily, although we get a good amount of snow in the winter, we also have glorious, crisp, clear, invigorating winter days, too. Good thing my better half and I both would take that over the summer heat any day!

Beets (all root crops, actually) are easy to grow up here, but don't know about your area. Might be too warm. At any rate, they are a vegetable that is very good for all of us. They are said to do a good job of lowering elevated blood pressure, too.

Thanks for your nice words about my garden. I really do have some really nice stuff left out there . . . and we're enjoying it!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - The chard is so abundant right now I wish I could send you a huge bag of it. (But we all know how that would survive the trip!) Here's hoping the weather for all of us gets a little more tolerable soon!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - You're right! The accident with the Suburban and Gravely wasn't my fault at all! I'm glad to say my husband is very forgiving of my little oopsies and took the whole situation very well. (Makes good sense since there wasn't much else he could do about it!)

I brought in two new bouquets of zinnias again today. So much color added to the house!

born2late said...

Mama Pea here in NC we have to get out early to get anything done. We do things like they do in Spain, we rest in the afternoon. From 10 to after 5 it is unbearably hot during the summer months. The humidity right now does make us droopy and sticky. We only do what we have to in the afternoons.Grass cutting has to wait until the dew is mostly off the ground so it does not stick so bad to the mower.
Your gardens are beautiful. I love the rows of asparagus and the beets are lovely. The Swiss chard is a nice shot of color. I would like to learn how to prepare those. We usually eat collards down here. Those are usually thicker and probably stronger tasting than chard.Maybe next year I can grow some flowers as well as have a big garden. We moved here too late to really do one this year.

Mama Pea said...

born2late - I'm sure the way you have learned to handle the heat and humidity is the smart way to go.

I use the baby leaves of Swiss chard in salads all summer long. Steamed chard with a little butter, salt and pepper (sometimes a dash of vinegar) is a wonderful hot veggies. Goats and chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese enjoy it, too. I dehydrate some every year to give to the poultry during the winter months. The dried chard is great thrown in soups and stews. I chop it fresh to add to scrambled eggs for breakfast. I'm not familiar with collards (way up north here) but you can use chard nearly any way you would spinach.

I'm betting your garden next year will be beautiful with the addition of some flowers. They really add so much.