Friday, August 30, 2013

The Dog Moon

Last week was the full moon of August. It seems like we've had an unusually wet August. We've had about three rainstorms where we got about two inches of rain. It has been over 100 or at least in the high 90's most days, but I don't remember getting rain much in August before.

It looks like most of my tomatoes are still alive, and might grow back in fall. Usually most of them die during the summer. This is a mixed blessing, since I was planning on planting fall crops where the tomatoes used to be, but they're still there.

The watermelon still isn't looking that great, and hasn't put out any more fruits since that one that shriveled up. Meanwhile, one of the okra plants grew a couple of pods that were really tough, so I threw them away. Okra gets tough really fast in hot, dry weather, so I hope that once things cool off they will start to make nice ones.

I'm getting mixed results with the sweet potatoes. White Triumph is the worst one, going from how it looks above ground. Other the other varieties are getting pretty big. I didn't expect that, because when I grew White Yam before, it was one of the most vigorous varieties I grew that year. Maybe they aren't the same variety after all.

After I put wire around the Waltham Butternut squash to protect it from the deer, it's been trying to grow back. Right now it's got one male and one female blossom on it. I wonder if I might actually be able to get a fruit before it freezes.

Same thing with the peppers. The deer have been eating them so much, they didn't have a chance to grow enough to get any fruit on them, but now some of them have a lot.

The eggplants have been loving the rain too. I've got another batch of small ones growing. The problem is the chickens forgot that they don't like eggplant and started pecking holes in them again. I should put wire around them too.

Before my tomatillos completely died, I took some cuttings from them and rooted them. Now they are in the garden, and doing pretty well. It would be nice to get a second crop of tomatillos this fall before it freezes.

I managed to get two ripe Tatume squashes before the vines mostly died (a combination of neglect when we were out of town for a while and squash vine borers), and I went ahead and opened them up to save the seeds. I bought some more Tatume seeds from Baker Creek (the only company I could find that carries them), so I'll probably mix the two together next time I grow them. Tatume did much better than any other C. pepo I've grown so far. I just need to plant them earlier next time.

Looking forward to fall, I've got the trays of fall crops started. This year I planted broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, arugula, chard, lettuce, cilantro, dill, fennel, celery, and parsley. Phew!

Some time between Labor Day and the Autumn Equinox is usually when we start getting our first cold fronts and the temperature drops to... the low 90's! That's when I'll start doing the heavy work outside like tilling the beds to get them ready for fall vegetables. I also ordered some more garlic which should be coming soon.

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