Dear Carol, Mary Ann, and all gardening friends wherever you are,
It’s hot. The last few days have been a trial in forbearance with temperatures of 100F, 102F, 106F (by my gauge yesterday) and today’s expected high of 104F. I like the way the weather has decided to be a slightly different version of hell everyday.
Keeps it interesting.
Needless to write, I’m not out in the garden much. I just go outside, water the containers, gather the vegetables, pull a few weeds and then run back indoors before 9:30 a.m. The best summer gardening in the south is done between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., or in the evenings if you don’t mind the mosquitoes.
Otherwise, you might get heat stroke. Bill did some digging in the middle of the day yesterday and ’bout near killed himself. Fortunately, he came indoors before it was really serious and drank lots of water, placed a wet rag on his head and cooled down. Still, he had a headache part of the day and took two naps to recover.
Dana and Nancy, two local friends, one longtime and one new, came to visit on Saturday. I told them we had to do it before 9:30 a.m., and being good Oklahoma girls, they listened. They were here at 9:15, and we had a good time walking around the place. Now, I’d like to see Nancy’s garden. Dana says she doesn’t grow anything. I wonder. Their visit and questions became the impetus for a post about my first garden memory.
I see from Carol’s blog she’s celebrating her 1,500th post. That’s quite a milestone and one I may never achieve. Of course, she’s been blogging much longer than I, and quite honestly, she’s much more prolific. Congratulations Carol friend.
As for vegetables, I picked twelve tomatoes this morning, one cucumber and a whole bunch of onions and peppers. I see very hot salsa in my future. Anybody got tortilla chips? I wish I’d grown poblanos again. I have this amazing casserole I make with onions, poblano peppers, sausage, cheese (for the other family members) and eggs. It is splendid. I need to locate that and make it. I can buy the poblanos.
This has been hands down the best tomato year I’ve had in ten. All of the tomatoes have performed beautifully, but Cherokee Purple is the hands down winner for big juicy fruit. Later, I’ll tabulate exactly which ones did best and let you know. Don’t worry if your tomatoes suddenly stop performing. They drop their blossoms unpollinated in this kind of weather. If it gets cooler, we’ll have more tomato set, so don’t pull up those plants yet.
As for peppers, Garden Salsa, a variety I bought from Steve and Ruth Owens at Bustani Plant Farm, has produced the most peppers. They are somewhat hot, but not bad. A good all around pepper.
The basil is finally blooming so fast I can’t keep the blossoms piccked so it’s starting to taste too strong. Oh well, it had a good run and now the butterflies can enjoy it.
No melons yet, but I have hopes from the blossoms. Oh, and I planted Musquee de Provence pumpkins the other day along with some amaranth Autumn Palette seeds and Art Deco zinnias. Botanical Interests sent me the seeds, nice people, and I want to see if my season is long enough to get blooms on the amaranth. I’ll let you know. Don’t forget to enter the soap giveaway. Final day to enter is Wednesday before noon.
Oh, and one more thing, I and seven other gardeners, posted on the Lowe’s blog this week. We share about colorful containers we’ve seen. Next time, we’ll discuss what we learned on our summer vacations about gardening. I learned three very important things.
Also, it’s time to start thinking about a fall vegetable garden now. You can get more information on what to grow from this Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service pamphlet. For those of us who lost our summer squash to vine borers or squash bugs, we can still plant summer squash seeds until September 1 according to the pamphlet.
Well, gotta go plant some squash seeds myself. As Mary Ann, says, later taters.
Debbie @ A Casual Affair
I am so very jealous of your lovely gardens.
Cherokee Purple is my very favorite tomato. Best tasting and wonderful color. It’s been a great year for tomatoes here too. We deserve it after last year’s disaster.
Hot in northern IL too but not in the 100’s. As many are so fond of saying “It isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity.” I’m here to tell you, it’s both!!! This has just been a miserably hot summer.
Your peppers look great Dee and perhaps as hot as your days. I would melt in that heat and not be able to work outdoors except in the hours you mention . Your garden looks great though… it must like it hot. Great fountain.
Thanks for your visit to my little world. Your garden looks amazing! I am not able to grow veggies here @ 10,000 feet above sea level, but have been talking w/ Hubby about building a little greenhouse someday. Fingers crossed. 🙂
Hope your hot weather cools down soon!
It has been hellishly hot here, too – heat index between 100 – 110 many days and not much rain either. I’ve been up very early to walk the dog and water the containers before going to work. I’ve done a little weeding in the evening. But we had a respite this past weekend and it was glorious. The weatherman says the heat will be back in full force by the end of the week.
I love that red fountain. We have had an amazingly hot and dry July. Those who try growing peppers are actually getting some this year, but we have had to be careful because we are not used to this heat. Keep drinking. Water that is.
Dear Dee and all, although your temps are high, like a tough and strong Oklahoma gal, you simply go out early to work. Nothing stops us from getting the work done, we just adjust. I love your potager! Will have to look for the pepper for next year, between you and Annie, it sounds like a must have. And a congrats to Carol for 1500, that is quite an accomplishment. Hi to MA as well. Everyone stay cool! (as best you can)
Gloria Bonde, Dakota Garden
Dee, wow that is hot! We high and mid 90’s and I thought I would melt. Our biggest plague right now are the grasshopper. I am almost afraid to pick weeds for fear they will really go after the garden. They sure seem to like the sweet peppers. Your casserole dish sounds super yummy and your garden looks like it is in cool weather. You do a good job
Wow, it is hot where you are. I’ll stop complaining about the low 90’s in my garden!
And thanks for the kind words about my blog.
I have to keep reminding myself that this summer is not anywhere near as bad as last. Nonetheless I’m ready for fall weather to get here!
At least the heat means you have peppers already. My tomatoes and peppers are not near ready in this northwest climate. Your garden looks like an oasis in the heat. We are only in the mid 70’s here.
Hey, it is hot here too!!! I just love weeding in late evenings with a little bug parfume to make me less sweet and they leave me alone. I have a nice number of pepper plants growing in vertical containers and am having bumper crops right now. David stuffed jalapenos with peanut butter and cream cheese and then fried them with some kind of breading. Yummy, but hot!
Lisa at Greenbow
I have the chips and I wouldn’t mind to have some of the poblano recipe too. Your garden looks splendid in the heat. Mine looks a little crispy around the edges.
Annie in Austin
The garden looks good in the photos, Dee – glad you ran out in 100 degree heat through clouds of mosquitoes to take them ;-]
DH has been using our hot little ‘Garden Salsa’ peppers for salsa, too – they just keep coming, unlike tomatoes or the frying peppers we’d been hoping for.
Hope all our our tomato plants get a second chance in fall!
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Dee, That’s really hot! The potager looks splendid with the red fountain, the shade gives the pavers a nice purple hue. I loved your garden memories post and I will pop over to see the containers at the Lowe’s blog~gail