Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rain, Blessed Rain!

Papa Pea and I were out in the garden very early yesterday morning trying to avoid the heat of the day.  Yes, we've finally entered into real summertime weather.  Weather that has suddenly become uncomfortable for northerners like us.  The hot weather has been a double whammy considering how dry it has been.

That is until last night when a thunderstorm rolled through and our rain gauge this morning showed us a full 1-1/2" of rain.  Yippee!  This will help the garden immensely.

The following pictures are ones I took yesterday morning before the much-needed rain soaked everything so nicely.

Although the spinach is starting to bolt (too warm, not enough moisture), we've been getting as much of it as we can eat fresh and I've also had enough to freeze a bit for winter consumption.

My beautiful cauliflower plants are being attacked by a tiny moth-like insect that is intent on making lace out of the leaves.  I'm sure all the insect damage in the garden is related to lack of moisture.  We dusted with diatomaceous earth yesterday morning (which got washed off in the rain last night, but it was worth the effort) to try to help the situation and will reapply it again today.

These are the green beans which have so far escaped insect damage, but they got a powdering with the repellent yesterday, too.

A few of my (so far) smaller lettuce plants which are looking healthy.  (I stuck a couple of snapdragon flowers in where the cutworms destroyed the lettuce plants.)  It's strange, but something ate most of my other salad greens (avoiding the lettuce and Swiss chard) destroying the leaves.  Go figure.

The last of my first planting of radishes ready for the table.  I've planted more but with this hot weather, they probably won't do much.

I set my zucchini plants out way too early considering our long stretch of cold weather and although they were covered with hot caps, they looked very sad when I finally could safely uncover them.  But lo and behold, they've recovered and are forming little zucchinis which will soon be baseball bat size if I don't watch them carefully.

The slicing cukes are just about ready to flop down and start crawling around in their raised bed.  I can hardly wait for them to add to our daily tossed salads.

Here's one row of potatoes (strawberry patch on the right) that have thus far been untouched by insects.  I hilled them up once, but before I thought about doing it again they grew about a foot and are too big for more hilling now.  They're beautiful.

Our strawberries have started to give us luscious fruit a full two weeks earlier than usual this year.  Now figure that one out.  A colder than usual spring and early summer and a severe lack of moisture, and yet an earlier crop of berries.  I picked 3-1/2 lbs. yesterday.

Speaking of berries, the haskaps are looking great.  Supposedly, they are ready to harvest when there are no green berries left on the bushes and the ripe ones haven't yet begun to drop onto the ground.  Seems like I need to check three times a day to hit that exact right time, but I'll stay on it as I want to make jam, syrup and fruit leather with them this year.  (Sure wish someone around here had the time and knowledge to make wine with them!)

This is my (sad) experimental bed of bush sunflower plants.  I planted two seeds in each hole, one foot apart, under each of the four marked  rows.  I got about 50% germination from the seeds, but something has been taking the plants that sprouted.  The only idea I have is that it might be crows as we seem to have more than a usual number of them around this year.

These are two of the three rows of shell peas that haven't grown as much in our earlier cool weather as I would have expected.  But now this dose of rainfall may give them a big boost.

Last but not least (anybody still with me?), our newest apple trees are looking great  (Note how sad and brown the grass looked yesterday morning because of lack of moisture.)  While I was mulching more areas in the garden yesterday morning, Papa Pea was mulching around the base of the baby trees hoping to give them an extra boost.

After this wonderful rain of last night, I'm eager to see the garden take off and possibly catch up to where it should be now that we're halfway through this summer.


tpals said...

Wonderful rain! Glad you got your turn. You seem to be having a bad year for pests. At least, I don't recall you mentioning them in previous seasons.

Rosalea said...

Rain, marvelous rain! Isn't it wonderful what a boost it gives our gardens? We have been pretty dry until this Saturday past, when a very slow moving thunderstorm inundated us for several hours. My gauges totaled over 2 inches. Wow. My vine crops have dirty faces from being pummeled into the soil! Your peas and strawberries look amazing. And that zuc. !!! Thanks for the info about Haskaps. I wondered when they should be picked. I have green and purple berries on the same bush.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - You can say that again! They say when you have your soil built up to a healthy, well-balanced level, you won't have trouble with insects. Well, pffft! I haven't seen a cutworm in my garden for years . . . until this season when I find a destroyed plant nearly every day. And these other pests -- whatever they are -- that are chewing up the leaves and sometimes whole plants . . . I've become kinda depressed about the whole situation this year. With the threat of food prices going up drastically this fall and possibly even shortages, I was counting on growing as much as I possibly this season. I'm thinking it has to have something to do with the extreme dryness we've been having, plus maybe the cool (cold!) start we had to our spring/summer. What can you do about that? Not much. I shouldn't complain so much as there are things in the garden that are doing as well as can be expected so I'm trying to focus on them.

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - Same here for some of the haskaps being still green while others on the same bush are the deep purple. If we go by holding off harvest until there are no green ones left, we should be okay. IF the already ripe ones don't start dropping off first! Oh, isn't it difficult trying to get it all right?? But gardening is great in so many ways so we just have to keep doing the best we can. And if Mother Nature helps out with beneficial (rain!!) weather, all the better!

JustGail said...

Good news on the rain. I don't know what it is - mineral content, too cold, too much too fast, or ???, but water from the faucet doesn't seem to make the plants as happy as rain. Maybe your strawberries think they better make berries before they get hit by something else?

Vera said...

I do really admire your fortitude in coping with your local climate. You must be very a very patient person. Vx

Anonymous said...

Is haskaps a type of grape? Your strawberries are early, my blueberries are usually ready to start picking around father's day. Not this year, they are just slowly starting to ripen.

Mama Pea said...

JustGail - That is the honest truth about watering with the hose. The rain from above is the very best! Had to laugh at your comment about the strawberries. Maybe plants and animals do know better than we humans!

Vera - I am definitely not a patient person. (Just ask my husband.) I think stubborn is more a world to describe me. ;o) (So good to see your latest post!)

Anonymous - No, the haskaps are more closely related to blueberries than the grape. They ripen quite a bit before blueberries and have many times the beneficial antioxidants as blueberries. They are not as sweet (at least the two varieties that we have aren't) as blueberries but I make jam from them using the same ratio of sugar in the recipe as I do with blueberries. Maybe the processing sweetens them up a bit?

SmartAlex said...

We finally had to turn on the air conditioning. We are used to the high 80s, but the humidity is killing us! My potatoes in grow-bags are growing faster than I can fill the bag with soil. I should have made a measurement chart because I swear they grew 8 inches one day while I was at work! Congrats on your rain. I'm sure things will take a big leap in growth now. Funny about something avoiding your chard. I had a deer take a big bite out of one of my chard plants one day but then she backed off and never came back. LOL! didn't like chard after all.

Michelle said...

Yay for a good rain! I'll bet everything looks very different in just days!

Tigger's Mum said...

What a fabulous garden - we are very jealous over here.

Goatldi said...

Congratulations on the generous precipitation!
Looking good 😊

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I stayed with you the whole way! Maybe the same thing that is eating your sunflowers is eating my cucumbers! Everything looks fantastic in your photos. I agree with the person who said rain is better than water from the hose. Don't know why, but it's true. Enjoy those beautiful strawberries! -Jenn

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Please send some of your rain our way. We need it badly and we are headed into a very hot week. My shell peas are not as tall as they should be either, but I am getting peas on them. Tomato plants are taking off though. All looks good.

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - Talk about making a growth chart! We had heat yesterday (after the night's rain) and I do believe I could have measured growth of many things in the garden in just the one day time! Oh, that natural rain is soooo important. Your deer were repulsed by the Swiss chard, eh? Now you've got me thinking about that!! :o}

Michelle - After that lovely rain, I know for sure the strawberries grew in size and turned deep red almost instantly! (Couldn't be, or could it?)

Tigger - Oh, no need to be jealous! Actually, my garden looks the most unproductive than it has in I-don't-know-how-long. So many bare spots and chewed upon plants. :o(

Goatldi - It may be too late, but I'm replanting some things today. Fingers crossed I'll get good germination this (third? fourth?) time around and maybe even some harvest.

Jenn - I'm thinking I may have enough of a strawberry harvest today to make a batch of jam. This will make Papa Pea very happy since he's on his very last pint from last year!

Kristina - Remember how you started out the season being afraid of your garden flooding out again? I tell ya, we are definitely in a weather phase when it's giving us gardener fits! Actually, weather all over the world is throwing a hissy-fit. Hard to count on anything.

Nancy In Boise said...

Congrats on the rain! We had a good dose last day and a half and I covered up our Young chickens so they didn't get soaked. We won't have to water the garden for a while!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - You're taking such good care of your new little chickens. If you'd provide them with rain slickers and boots I'm sure they'd love being out in the rain. ;o)

BethB from Indiana said...

My mouth waters at the luscious strawberries and blueberries.

Mama Pea said...

BethB from Indiana - I picked 6-1/2 lbs. of strawberries today. Depending on the weather, when they start coming in I usually pick every other day. This was my third picking and it's increased greatly each time. Strawberry jam is on the horizon!

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