Sunday, August 7, 2011

Diminishing Returns

The heat has taken its toll on my gardens.  The raised beds in front of the house are basically fried.  I had peas (luckily harvested before the heat), onions, turnips, green peppers and tomatoes planted there.  Those plants that survived the downpours and drenching of earlier this spring were only taken into the Summer with the record-breaking heat and drought.
I’ve been trying to keep the plants alive by watering every day, sometimes twice a day, but I feel that the raised beds are just beyond saving.  Even if I keep watering them, I don’t see getting more than a few dozen cherry tomatoes and a handful of woefully-small green peppers.  Not worth the time and water.
I’ll continue watering the butternut, yellow squash and zucchini, but I think I’m also going to let the cucumbers go without and die.  The last two cucumbers we ate were the most bitter I’ve ever tasted.   Paul cut some up yesterday and salted it.  Gave me one and I almost gagged.  I thought that maybe he had used a cutting board or knife with vinegar or something on it.  But it was just the cucumbers.  Not sure if it’s the heat or what, but I’m going out there in a while, picking one and taking a bite out of it.  If it’s bitter, I’m just letting them dry up or give them to the chickens for snacks.
I still have to water the fruit trees every day along with my three lonely blueberry bushes.  I also have about a dozen green bean plants in the “berry garden” that I started from seed the first week of July along with four eggplant and six tomato plants.  They will continue to be blessed with the garden hose, but only if I see continuing growth.
I haven’t quite made up my mind yet if I’m going to bother planting a “fall” garden.  I’ve never planted a garden other than in the spring, but since everything has been pretty much crap I figured I have to make up for it somehow.
There will be room in the raised beds once I rip out the half-dead tomatoes & peppers and there’s still some room in the berry garden.  But it’s still frekking hot (108.9 yesterday) with little hope of any meaningful moisture from the sky.  Not sure if it will just be another lesson in futility.
Any suggestions on what types of veggies to plant now?  We're in Zone 6B, although if you judged by the recent temperatures, I'd say Zone Hades.


  1. I'm having the same problem... it seems that while the plants are growing none of my squash plants are producing, while last year we had plenty of them. Also my peppers didn't make it at all.

  2. The weather seems so extreme this year. Sorry about your garden--too bad we homesteaders can't control the weather! I'm jealous of your zucchini. I have a few plants producing, but my zucchini are still small. I'm hoping for a harvest! :o)

  3. We're both fishing out of the same boat. I'd be heading to the farmers market if I were you. At least you can get something put up. I'm having the same thoughts about a fall garden but I'm going to give it another try after last years bust. Must arrange for "protection" this year though. (grin)

  4. The heat is frying my garden too and I just can't seem to keep up with the watering. I'm supposed to plant my fall garden in July and August, but it's too hot to even think about it!

  5. I am like you about the garden. I haven't had a single pole bean yet and the plants don't look good.

    I am keeping the melons and tomatoes going.

    I only plant turnips in the fall. I have never done lettuce, broccoli or spinach. By this time of year, I am just wanting the season to end!

  6. Zone Hades? I had to giggle at that one, although I'm sure its true and not funny at all. The weather is so messed up this year and everyone's gardens are suffering. If I had any suggestions for your gardening zone, I'd be happy to post them, but I think all I'm down to is suggesting this: We all move in together and wait out the cruddy weather, economy, and gardening situation. I can't bring any vegetables (everything fried or rotted) but I can bring some chickens.... ;) What do ya say?

  7. Frankly, I'm not sure what grows in all this heat we're getting. Every time we are supposed to get rain, it's so light I swear it evaporates before it hits my tomato plants. I do everything in raised beds, so it's easier to keep it watered, but I have limited water (well) and need to keep all the critters in water as well. Something has to give. Afraid it's the tomatoes.

  8. Oh, wouldn't that be nice if all us online buddies could get together in one community?

    Can you imagine all the FOOD?!?!

    Well, at least for a while!

  9. Hmm, I think you should just roast marshmallows.

    On the hood of your truck of course!