The heat is immense, intolerable! I mowed the yard the other night and the thought occurred to me that inmates wouldn't even be subjected to working in such conditions! Today was no exception, so we waited until after dinner to venture out. I have been waiting until evening to go out and water, which I know is bad, but I just can't deal with the morning sun and humidity so thick it is foggy and swarms of mosquitoes everywhere! At 7 pm tonight I told the kids, okay - you've got 30 minutes to go out with me and play, then it's back inside to hit the showers! Heat index of 100 in the evening even has all of us on edge, I am noticing short tempers with all of us, lots of fighting between the kids, I know it's because we are trapped inside all day. Even the news has been reporting an unusually high amount of violent crime, domestics, murder-suicides, it's got to be the weather!
So here's what we accomplished/noticed in our 30-45 minutes of braving the sticky evening:
My garden seems to be growing tentacles... some random squash has sprouted from somewhere in my fence hedge bushes!
The UFO Polish Heirlooms are looking unbelievably healthy right now, the fruit on them is well over a pound and not even ripening yet! Crazy a$$ tomatoes, who wants to live in that sun and heat all day?
Close up of the monster tomatoes on the Polish
Cosmos self seeded from last year, they look so good I am thinking of planting only this next year... just open the back door and fling seed out there and call it a garden...no fuss, no watering, just heat lovin' pretty!
Other things living out in the jungle - "Hale's Best" cantelope (above) and "Bush Baby" watermelon (below)
I am really impressed with my 7 year old tonight! I had asked him to pull all the remaining Edamame plants out of the beds and we would later harvest the pods over in the shade. After about 4 minutes of this, he calls me over and thrusts a plant at me and tells me that it is covered with "root knot nematodes"! I explained to him that it was actually infected with a beneficial bacteria called "Rhizobia" and that it actually helps the plant take up more nitrogen. (This is essentially a visual cue that the soybean innoculant worked.) I think he understood and now wants to know more, but I am so impressed by his original diagnosis, and the fact that he read about nematodes on his own - he always stashes my books in his room and reads at night. Now that it's summer I let him stay in there and read until he falls asleep instead of enforcing the lights out rule! Loch, you are an amazing child! Below is the pic of the nodules he was concerned about:
(In simple terms, inoculants are useful bacteria that infect roots, form nodules, and convert atmospheric Nitrogen into a useable form for the plant)
On to the carnage...
I ripped out all the Golden Wax and Dragon's Tongue beans tonight. They were just cooked, and starting to become a haven for bugs underneath. Ripped out all the Edamame, too. I did a second sowing about 2 weeks ago but the birds got all the sprout tops, so I will be bean-less for a bit while we sow new seeds and wait.
Unbelievable, but I had the energy to harvest and even photograph it tonight! Not much, but any more would have me freaking out, not in the mood to battle any more mosquitoes!
Fourth of July Tomatoes, Golden Wax Beans, Edamame, Cucumber, Blackberries & Raspberries
I am getting about this many berries a day now, the kids eat the raspberries right away, but every two days I have enough blackberry juice to freeze in Ball jars... when I get around to it some Blackberry Lemonade with a splash of Vodka sounds so nice! Alla y'all invited!
After sweating wearing pants and long sleeves and still getting eaten alive while watering, wouldn't you know it - just as I was getting all my crap together to head back in....THUNDER.... it's all a conspiracy ...