Whew....did you New Englander's survive last week's heat wave? My hat is off to our Southern friends who live in this weather more often than not. I can deal with the heat, but the humidity makes me feel like the Wicked Witch of the West....cranky and melting!
Since I have shown that I am not good with a regular Friday post, the garden reports will happen sometime on the weekend. :-)
I LOVE garden greens but unfortunately they do not always like the heat, so I try to help them along. Because I had already spent a lot of money on tomato cages and soil prep this year, I didn't have extra money for hoops and covers. Being the good innovative Yankees that we are, Ken and I rigged up the tarp that you see above.
Putting the tarp up like this is giving the lettuce enough shade during the heat of the day and enough indirect sun for growing. If I know rain is coming or I am watering, I just peel it back and let it rest on the fence.
So far the lettuce crop has been wonderful and with the hot weather the aphids and slugs have stayed away for the most part...Yay! This batch of cut and come again lettuce unfortunately has seen it's last hurrah though. After I snapped this picture I cut them back hard. I will get one more small harvest and then I will pull out the plants.
Last week all of the butter crunch heads were harvested and I planted the new heat hardy Red Sails lettuce seedlings that I started in the house in their place. With tarp shading the hot midday sun they should do ok and start giving us more lettuce in a few weeks. I think that I will put some broccoli seeds in place of the lettuce that I will pull the middle of next week for a fall harvest. :-)
Tomato plants thrive in this hot humid weather, but they also become very thirsty, so one of the things that I am trying this year is using soda bottles to water them a bit more evenly....kind of like drip irrigation.
It's so easy peasy! To do this just collect a few empty 2 liter bottles of water or soda, cut off the bottom third and then drill a few small holes in the cap. (Few and Small......ask me how I know...LOL)
I fill them up in the morning and then again later in the day if they are dry. In between I do use the overhead sprinkler late in the afternoon if the entire garden is looking a bit thirsty.
Another thing I have started doing is covering some of the plants with straw to help retain some of the moisture in the soil. I don't put a lot down because I don't want to encourage any fungus growth, but just enough to protect the roots of tomato and pepper plants from drying out too much.....
So far it seems to be paying off. I will admit though after loosing my entire crop of tomatoes last summer, I still worry daily about these babies, but at least for today they are looking healthy and happy.
One of the rewards of this week's heat and humidity in the garden was the blooming and aromas of this beautiful Stargazer. Such amazing beauty in this incredible Lily......
Until next weekend.............stay cool and stay green!