Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Dog Moon and Lammas

This past week was Lammas on Wednesday, which is traditionally the first harvest in Europe, but here it's the height of summer heat. My local full moon names calls August's moon the Dog Moon, for the dog days of summer, and after a nicely rainy July, we've fallen into more typical summer weather of 100 degrees every day. Time to lay low and wait for cooler weather to return.

The squash vines are all dead, mostly from the squash vine borers who finally showed up. The Rattlesnake pole beans here are starting to dry out as well, though I did get a nice crop from them while they lasted.

The Pinkeye Purple Hull cowpeas are finishing up as well, still throwing out a few pods, but probably not for long. The okra I planted next to them late in the season are struggling to hold on.

The tomatoes are still hanging on, though for the most part they've stopped setting fruit, so I pulled out the varieties I didn't like, and I cut back the ones I did like. I cut them back leaving only a stump and maybe a branch or two, to see if that will help them make it through the summer and re-grow once it cools off.

The Luffa gourds don't seem to mind the heat at all! They've started growing up the Ashe juniper tree that hangs over the fence from the neighbor's yard behind us. Don't know how I'm going to get the gourds down once they start setting fruit.

The peppers have slowed down growth but are still doing pretty good, and will probably make it through the summer.
Surprisingly, the leeks are still around too. I would have thought they'd have bolted by now. I'm curious what might happen if I left them longer. I've gone ahead and dug up all the garlic. The ones that hadn't made bulbs yet probably never would.

The San Juan honeydew melons are still doing fine. They haven't put out any more fruit, but the one that is growing is getting to be a good size, and doesn't appear to be ripe yet, though it's kind of hard to tell. It doesn't smell sweet yet and hasn't slipped from the vine, so I'm giving it more time.

Where the garlic was growing I planted various sorts of basil: Lemon, Thai, Cinnamon, and Napoletano.

And in place of the tomatoes that I pulled up I planted the fall tomatoes. They've been growing in pots on the porch this whole time, so I hope that toughened them up so being planted out in the hot sun in the garden isn't too much of a shock for them. I planted two varieties for fall: Arkansas Traveler and Cherokee Purple.

I also just planted flats of fall vegetables: broccoli raabe, collards, kale, mustard greens, fennel, dill, parsley, and chard. They'll be planted in the garden as soon as it cools down, because it will cool down eventually!

Finally, I'll leave you with a few pictures of the Black-and-White Warbler that showed up to play in the sprinkler when I was watering the newly planted tomatoes and basil. I've never seen one in my own yard before! He was enjoying the sprinkler so much he gave me plenty of time to go get my camera and come back and take several pictures of him splashing around.

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