Wow, having a garden of any kind has been challenging in this unusually warm year. For some plants it’s been touch and go as a result of the heat. In my veggie garden I have learned a lot this year. My tomatoes would not set fruit if the evening temperature was too high (in June and July) so what looked like a potential bumper crop of tomatoes quickly changed to dead flowers and no fruit set when the temps soared. Now that it is cooler (as of two days ago) I see some new flowers on my tomato plants and am hoping for more fruit to set before the next heat wave comes.
I also learned to plant lettuce and dwarf petunia under my tomatoes that were in containers. They blocked the sun by covering my soil, which cooled the soil and now the leaves of my tomato plants look so much better. They were tip burned and turning yellow. I also have tomato plants on the south side of my floating home and they get a lot of sun and heat.
We have a mole family in our community garden and we can’t set one of those nasty traps with the teeth since kids or sometimes pets could go in there. Today I put chili powder down the holes but probably all that will happen is that they will move to a neighbors raised bed and then come back to mine when the chili smell is gone. I’m adding soil to fill their holes and I imagine an entire freeway of holes and passageways from one raised bed to another. It’s only comical until one of my Kale wilts, faints and dies because of no soil under the roots, then I tend to growl.
Dogs are no longer allowed in the garden, which is probably a good thing since Daizzie is afraid of our new scarecrow anyway. Sharing the garden with my neighbors is so much fun and we all water for each other so vacations are not a problem.
I’ve tried some greens called Deer Tongue; ok bad name but tasty and found them to be very heat tolerant and my New Zealand Spinach is loving this heat and producing all the greens I can eat. By the way, don’t cook them, they turn to slush; which is strange because this spinach has an oddly thick leaf. They are meant to be eaten fresh.
My neighbor Betty and I (mostly Betty) will be starting seeds for our fall gardens – I’ll get my chard, collard greens and lettuces going to enjoy until frost.