Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm gonna miss my tomatoes

The recent heat wave took its toll on vegetable production.  Most of the harvest was the last batch of onions.  That’s over 14 pounds of onions for the year. 

I noticed two Red Pontiac potatoes were exposed on the soil surface so I went ahead and pulled them out.  Nice sized potatoes and I’m hoping that they are all that size when the rest of them are dug up.  

These okra got a little too big and were a little tough.  I always seem to forget to check the okra when I go out into the beds.  The red okra plants started off slow but are really growing now. 

The tomatoes stopped setting during the stretch of 100 degree weather.  To make matters worse the earliest tomatoes on the Supersonic plant had blossom end rot and were discarded.  There was one more ripe Black Krim tomato to pick but a critter got it before me.  Sunday morning it was on the ground, busted open but not eaten.  Bird?  Squirrel?  There won’t be any more tomatoes until August, and my plans for making fresh salsa will have to wait .  At least the Supersonic plant has worked through the blossom end rot episode and has set a lot of fruit now. 
I like the Supersonic tomato.  It has medium sized heart-shaped tomatoes with great flavor.  They almost never split.  It’s full of green tomatoes now (plant on right in picture) while the Black Krim plant looks like it is trying to get a second wind.  The peppers have also put on a growth spurt after the hottest weather was over while the lone eggplant remains puny. 

It’s still hot with most days reaching 90-95 degrees.  Many plants are a little stressed, but not as bad as when temps were over 100.  Since I’ve been pumping water from the pond I’ve brought the moisture levels in the beds back to where they need to be.   I’ve settled into a routine of watering every second evening now.  The pump really moves the water, probably 10 to 15 gallons a minute, so I can water the vegetable beds, flower beds and the driest patches in the lawn, then return and give the vegetable beds a second soaking in about 90 minutes.
The squash suffered the worst setbacks. The last 100 degree day many of the squash leaves turned yellow as if going into shock. The Cocozelle summer squash went into a wilt and did not make it. I pulled it and checked for the borer - nothing. It’s replacement was seeded a few weeks ago and is growing well. The acorn squash still looks rough but has new growth. The butternut lost most of the vines on the trellis and some butternuts. It’s growing new vines and it looks (knock on wood) like it will make it. The butternut has been a bulletproof plant for several years. It never gets the borer and was the only cucurbit to make it through bacterial wilt last year.
Yes there are still some cabbage family plants left.  The Gonzales cabbage have had baseball sized heads for several weeks.  I should pick them but don’t know if they will be edible.  There’s also two cauliflower plants that are actually heading up and two brussells sprouts that are doing well.  The Diva cucumber in the back of the picture thrives in the heat and should start producing soon.  The Picolino cucumber in the forefront does not like the heat and has grown little as of late.  

In the former greens bed there’s a Gyspy broccoli, which is supposed to be heat tolerant, that is making an attempt to produce a head.  There’s also a patch of Provider beans, some Danvers carrots and Parade scallions.

The parsnip and okra have thrived in the heat.  In this bed there’s a row of scallions and two rows of Roma II beans.  The Romas also stalled during the hottest weather but have set a lot of small beans now.  The potatoes in the back bed are nearly finished.

For the week:   Tomatoes 15 oz, cucumber 4 oz, eggplant 5 oz, okra 4 oz, onions 6 lb 5 oz, and potatoes 15 oz.   Also catfish filets 9 oz.  For the year 65.8 pounds.  The updated results are in the 2012 tab. 


kitsapFG said...

Well darn it! I would be right mad about that tomato getting trashed. It sure is weird that the squash plants are fading out with the heat but the brassicas seem to be holding their own in it. You are lucky to be able to pump water from your pond to keep up with the watering needs with your continueing heat and dry spell. Hopefully you will catch a break in the not too distant future and get some really good soaking rains.

Stoney Acres said...

A very nice harvest for the week. Those potatoes look great! You garden is looking very nice, glad you were able to get the pump up and running to keep things green.

Mary Hysong said...

mmmmm my squash plants seem to be loving the heat; they are taking over the world here. and I haven't had any crucifers in months. but it seems like you will still get a lot from your garden this summer!

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