Every garden is one big experiment: what will the heat be, will there be enough rain, what pests will I have to deal with, including sometimes, squash bugs and oh yea, one year, groundhogs!
It has just been too hot. All of July and August, hotter than it’s ever been, with some new records set. Plants know they can’t spend their energy getting as big as they would have when it’s too hot. They have to keep their size smaller to be able to deliver their fluids to all parts of their shoots/branches to be able to produce their fruit, etc.
My tomatoes always go up about 7′. This year they are no taller than me. Yet they are producing well, with lots of water from the garden hose, since there hasn’t been much from the sky. Hopi lima beans normally ramble the whole way across my bamboo pergola, and this year they are staying closer to the upright poles, yet are also producing well. Here’s a pot of them that I shelled out fresh to freeze. I have a few nice bags frozen and I’ll let a lot go to dry then, for soup etc in the winter, and seeds for next year. I just love these beans. Frozen, they taste like you just picked them from the garden.
We had a really good run with cucumbers. With consistent watering, they didn’t seem to care that it was so hot. My son and DIL and I ate plenty, I got to share some, and I made a big batch of freezer pickles, a favorite of mine. We had some of them last year for Christmas dinner, and they’re such a good winter treat.
I also froze a huge batch of tomato sauce, and included basil I’ve been picking and freezing just for that. That is such a useful thing for different recipes and much better than any I can get from the store.
Tomatoes and Hopi limas will go on for a while yet. Cukes and squash are over now. Some hot peppers in pots don’t care how hot it gets, as long as they get water almost every day. My DIL is enjoying some knock-your-sox-off red Hungarians that I’m growing just for her, cos they are way too hot for me. And I always grow purple jalapenos for her.
Geyri, my little uromastyx, gets in some on the gardening harvest, since I grow a few plants that have flowers that are safe for him to eat and that he likes. He also gets dandelions from the yard. He’s not so little anymore, and has just had his first hatch day birthday recently.
The whole world seems turned upside down in various ways, and all of those are other topics for another day. Tho it’s disturbing not to see my 7′ tomato plants, it shows the ways plants can adapt to some extreme conditions, and still do pretty well. I’m thankful for things to have done as well as they have, given the weather.
We sure have had to adapt to a lot of extreme conditions too, and we know that some of those conditions will only get worse. Climate change is a fact of our lives, and we don’t even know what is yet to come. Right now cities in the Gulf are being evacuated, fleeing from a dangerous hurricane.
So always the optimist, or at least I try to still be, I’m so glad I’ve had lots of good harvest from my little garden, in a very strange season. I’m thankful that it’s small enough to be able to water it with the hose, when lots of crops, etc don’t have that advantage, and lack of water is a big problem some places.
Things will be winding down as the wheel of the year turns. And on we go. I hope you are well, staying safe, and enjoying your summer.