Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 17-07-2011

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JULY 17, 2011

It has been very hot here with temperatures in the upper 90s and “feels like wind chill” at 107 and 115 degrees.  Needless to say, the garden has been suffering from inattentiveness on our part and the heat on the other.  We fortunately have had rain.  Last week it was over 7 inches which is probably why we still have living plants growing out there.  Many of the hybrid tomatoes literally cooked on the vine and the heirlooms turned brown and shriveled up.  So the tomatoes are gone until I can find others to plant.  The commercial growers here will grow a fall crop some years so I think we can also.  I have removed the hybrids from the garden and taken the tops (which were still green and trying to grow) and now have them in  hormone water where I hope they root.  I also took the roots (which were very hardy) and cut the plants off at the 6 inch level and will try to get them to grow in pots for transplanting.  I don’t know if either process will work but it’s worth a try since I have not been able to locate additional plants.  The raccoons found the sweet corn night before last and had a banquet.  It was my fault because when I was showing Terry (our new co-op member) the garden, I forgot to plug the fence charger back in.  I had also let the keets out into the larger chicken coop and decided not to put them in the chicken house – thinking they were much wilder than the chickens and would do OK avoiding any predators.  WRONG!  the raccoons saw them inside the fence and found a way inside and killed three of them.  We are now down to 7 and I am putting them in the chicken house at night.  I am also trying to trap the raccoons but have not yet been successful.  We had a hole in the chicken run fence (might have been made by the raccoons) and the chickens have been getting outside and  into the compost pile. Every evening when I went out to feed and bed them down it has been quite an experience to round up chickens.  Today, I located the hole and patched it.  The chickens showed it to me as 7 escaped within 5 minutes after letting them out of the chicken house this morning.  I fertilized (10-10-10 and nitrogen) today and watered it in.  The garden needs a lot of work but will look good if we get cooling air in which we can work.  I have not planted the Italian squash or other seeds I have for the summer garden but will next week.  I picked several of our melons.  The yellow ones as well as the small personal greens.  Both are ripe and I can taste the watermelon pickles as I write this.   When Davis gets back, we will have to tie the blackberries up again.  They continue to grow even in the heat.

Chris left yesterday for St. Louis for 3 weeks and I am leaving tomorrow after meeting our newest subscriber (David Ceiriog-Hughes from England) and enjoying lunch with him and his family in town.  I will be gone until Wednesday.  Davis and Kathy will not be back until the 28 of July so it will just be Terry and Peggy for a few days.  We have to water so it is up to you two.

I have had a couple co-op members tell me that the garden is finished until the fall but I disagree.  Okra, Beans, Tomatoes, Squash and others will grow if tended to in the evenings.  The fall garden can go in  this September and will be very productive but there is a lot still to do in  the summer garden.  The figs were wonderful.  Chris got most that were reachable from ground level and ate them fresh and cooked some.  I picked a couple quarts and Glenda ate them fresh.  I think there are a few left up high.  The birds, raccoons and squirrels did not get them all this year.

Talked with a friend of mine yesterday who got two new bee hives started this year and they are doing very well.  I asked him about the hive beetle and he said he had not had a problem.  Encouraging because he is located at Pleasant Farms.


Comments (1)

Ouch, too bad about the corn! I hope the coons enjoyed it. Is there any left?

From what I can see, we should try to keep the melons, berries, stuff like that going and hold off on planting anything new. We can certainly try for a fall tomato crop, but I would like it to be in some of that sterilized soil. I think it was the combination of heat and fungus/bacterial wilt that did in the tomatoes. The wilts cause the conductive tissue to become plugged, and when the water demand is high, the plants just crash.

I will stay on top of watering in the absence of rain. I am going to be watering Chris’ plants too. Right now the ground is still pretty damp but I will check tomorrow.

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