Because my seedlings were basically a total flop, I went to the local nursery and bought some tomato, pepper, eggplant and melon plants later in the spring. Everything was picked over and most of the plants were pretty bad looking, but it was more than I had (nothing) and they were priced half-off or more because it was the end of the spring planting season.
The tomatoes are doing well as are the pepper plants. Apparently they love the heat. The eggplant are doing poorly because of the stupid flea beetles. I squash as many as I can whenever I'm out there, but there are just too many of them and I think they've taken too great a toll on the plants to ever expect flowers let alone any eggplants.
There were three cantaloupe and three watermelon plants in the was-supposed-to-be-a-herb garden in the front yard, but the stupid chickens scratched three of them to oblivion. But now that they are larger the chickens don't seem to be as interested in them and there are quite a few flower blossoms on them. Too bad we don't seem to have any bees around.
I also planted zucchini, patty pan and yellow squash directly into the garden about a month ago and then again few weeks ago. They are doing pretty well, although I have been having to pick squash bug eggs off them almost every day. Better take the time now and hand crunch the eggs than to deal with the SBI (Squash Bug Invasion) like we had last year.
With the exception of three or four semi-mild (lower 90's) days last week and the minuscule amount of rain that accompanied the lower temperatures, I've been having to water the garden every day. And even though I've been watering every day, this is what some of my plants still look like before receiving that supplemental moisture:
|This Patty Pan squash was watered less than 24 hours ago.|
|Dehydrated strawberries, anyone?|
With all this heat, drought and the sheer quantity of water I'm having to use on the gardens, I'm really starting to worry about our well. And since I have no idea if we have 20 gallons or 200,000 gallons down there, it causes me to be more than a little concerned. I'd like to use rain barrels, but we don't have them set up let alone gutters on the house to direct the precious water into those barrels. Not that they would have been of any use this year anyhow as we've only received minimal amounts which would have barely watered my porch plants.
The fruit trees are beyond putting out any fruit this year, so I think I'll scale back their watering to every other day or even every third day unless they start looking stressed. I'd give up on the vegetable garden before I did the fruit trees; we've got too much time and money invested in the trees to let them die from lack of water.