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.
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