Today’s cool temperature and fine mist is a welcome change from drought conditions and day after day in the 90s. Last night we had a thunderstorm with heavy rains. I can almost feel the plants breathing a deep sigh of relief at the much needed water.
Despite the adverse conditions, the vegetable garden is doing well. The indian corn was knee high on the Fourth of July, so we’re right on schedule there. A few days ago I beat the weeds back with the mantis. Still need to rake the loosened weeds and throw them out. Also need to weed right around the plants again. I did that about two weeks ago. Weeds don’t seem fazed by drought.
The red sweet peppers are doing much better than last year. I planted them closer together and am trying to make sure to give them plenty of water. They are all beginning to bloom. The beets are ready to be thinned for the greens. Can hardly wait for a steaming bowl full flavored with salt and butter, yum!
Carrots are ready to be thinned as well. I already thinned the pumpkins and squash. They have out-grown the threat of squash bugs and cucumber beetles sucking the juices dry. I think it was a hard year for those bug pests, I didn’t see hardly any. Could be they don’t like very dry conditions.
The tomatoes are blooming and some have several small fruit forming already. Can’t wait to harvest my first tomatoes! These Early Girls usually have fruit ready by the end of July. We’ll see how they do. The lack of rain may have slowed them down. I watered three times, but I suspect tomatoes like even more moisture.
The wax bush beans are beginning to flower. Once flowers show up, watch out! There will be beans to harvest in no time. I still have about a dozen cans of beans left from last summer. That’s ok, never too many beans.
I planted head lettuce that is ready to be thinned and also beds of marigolds, zinnias and bachelor buttons. One bachelor button plant volunteered from last year and has lots of pretty mauve flowers already. Always enjoy a little color in the vegetable garden.
The sunflowers struggled a bit, but are now growing well. Most are about a foot tall. Once they get this big, they begin to shoot toward the sky, nearly doubling in size every week until they reach six to seven feet. They will be covered with bunches of small blooms that later form black oil seeds for the birds.
So, everything is growing right along here in the garden. Am hoping the rain returns more frequently so I don’t have to water too much. We’ll check back in a couple weeks to see how things are going.