The electrical grid has been pushed to its limits during the month of July. We have also been doing the best we can to beat the heat by avoiding excessive exposure to the extreme weather. We have been careful to ensure that our chickens and cats have had plenty of water and are able to get out of the sun as well. In this month of July so far, there have been thirteen days so far of temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit where we live here in the Ozarks, and tomorrow there may be one more day of temperatures that hot.
Heat Destruction in the Garden
Our garden as well as everyone else’s gardens are struggling as well. We’ve been watering with an over-head sprinkler every other night. But no matter how much we water, that’s not enough for some plants. We pulled our bush beans early to salvage as much as possible. The onions and potatoes have dried up as well. Our summer squash has been a bust because the insects are sucking all the moisture out of the leaves and stems and the plants are dying on the vine.
Some Plants Holding Their Own
The cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers seem to be holding their own. Though the blossoms of the tomato plants and the pepper plants are not developing into fruit, the fruit that has already been set has been growing well. The fact that the tomato plants are shading the pepper plants has been preventing them from succumbing to the heat. The cucumbers seem to be doing fine even through the heat. I think the trenches filled with sawdust and used as walking paths have been helpful for holding water in the garden as it did at wicking water out of the beds when rain fell in torrents.
For the most part, our winter squash is managing to grow and is producing some. I sold spaghetti squash and butternut squash at the farmers’ market, but deer have discovered that these plants not only provide them with excellent nutrition, but they taste good as well. Saturday, I noticed that deer have eaten the leaves and a couple of my butternut squash. I am allowing my pole beans to go to seed. As long as we can keep these plants alive through this hot weather, we should be able to get more of these vegetables later when the heat decreases.
I am sure the garden could do better if I had the plants covered with shade cloth to protect them from excess heat and insect infestations. A fence around the garden would be great for keeping the deer out of the garden as well, but that will have to wait for another year.
Planted Some Plants Indoors for Fall Garden
This past week I planted cabbages and broccoli indoors so that I can plant them outdoors once the weather has moderated. Planting them indoors offers them the cooler temperatures of our air-conditioned house. Within the next couple of weeks, I will be planting lettuce and spinach indoors as well. In late August I will be planting them outdoors to take advantage of the cooler fall temperatures. At that time I will also be planting root crops outdoors too.
How about you? Will you be growing a fall garden this year? If so, what will be in your garden this autumn?