Originally published late Summer 2011
Looking at my bright, green and bushy garden pics of mid July, and comparing to these pics is heart breaking. For most of the 3 weeks since my last garden pics, we have been DRY and HOT. The porch temperature is always at least 105 in the afternoons. The Greenhouse temp is 120. The sun is beating down on my winter squash and tomatoes day after day. After 3 weeks of this, the garden is dead. Water was not a fatal issue – they got enough gray water, although there was some wilting in the afternoon. The unrelenting 100+ temps killed the garden. The peppers are all that are still producing, although a couple of red beans seem to be re-sprouting near their bast and there are a handful of baby red beans. Most of the longer red beans dried out before they matured enough to pick.
Those castor plants are tough. (In tropicalareas they grow into trees). They always survive the droughts. Below, these winter squash are dying. The leaves are being cooked day after day, although this part of the garden is in partial shade for part of the day.
I have a few Seminole Pumpkin winter squash (c. moschata). This one is still green, some in the background have already turned brown – the customary color for butternuts. I am thinking that next Spring, Seminole Pumpkin and Waltham Butternut are going to be my choice for winter squash. Look at those leaves – 2 weeks ago they were supple and vibrand, now they are cooked, crusty and dying.
Here is a broader shot of the garden – squash, watermelons (both in the foreground) and tomatoes (rear center) are all dried up. I circled a watermelon – they aren’t mature enough to pick, but the vines are dead. (Actually, the spider mites killed the watermelons). In the foreground I circled a maturing okra pod – I let them mature for seeds.
Chinese long red beans are resilient. They have been almost killed by the heat, but some plants are trying to put out new leaves near the bottoms. Also, ants and their aphids are hard on these beans. It is a constant battle
Not a good summer for self sufficiency and vegetable gardening. Oh, if I only still lived a few hundred miles north!!!!
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