summer update

It has just been HOT, HOTTER, and HOTTEST.  While we might not have broken any single temp records, we have NEVER had to have our air conditioning on 24/7 for more than 3 days in a row before. It has been on constantly since early June.  Last month’s electric bill was nearly $400!!  We’ve had some relief in the humidity which means we’re cooling off a bit more at night, finally getting down into the upper 60’s / low 70’s F

This has perked up the garden some.  The organic heirloom seeds I’d saved from tomato purchases last year seem to be doing okay and even bearing fruit – which seems to be unusual this season.  Of course, the originals of those tomatoes came from southern AZ, so guess heat was in their genes.  My yellow plum tomatoes, usually a stalwart of the garden haven’t even produced flowers.  My heirloom romas in the greenhouse have given me some nice fruit, but the regular romas in the garden are giving me miserable teensy fruit. Today was the first, and possibly the last, full try of tomatoes I had for roasting.  Last year had quarts!  This year will be lucky if I get A quart.  Although the heirloom romas in the garden are starting to do okay

Only one of my spaghetti squash plants was successful.  See one single VERY large fruit there, and a few others have tried, but one plant can only do so much. 

Green beans are coming in well, and the second batch of cocozelle zucchini is also. Have already pulled the first plants.  Peppers doing very well, so is the rhubarb.  Eggplants seem to have set some fruit. The miniature watermelon I bought hasn’t put out flowers yet either, and the other melon plant I bought hasn’t gotten very far as something keeps eating it.

Potatoes have been up and down.  They grow, the greens die and disappear, then they come up again.  One of the bags was empty for so long, put in a sweet potato.  Then that disappeared.  Then both came up, now the regular potato has disappeared again.  a mix of critters eating the greens and just too much heat.

None of the carrot seed I planted have come up, but the dill is going crazy!!

and had a volunteer hollyhock in the main garden this year, which was great!

got some strawberries going in containers on the west side of the house, but birds or critters are getting them before I do!

Mulch has made a big difference, water less often, although probably just as much.  A good soaking every two or three days instead of every day.

Bees seem to be getting along. Its way too hot to open the hive. They will see it as a threat and the new comb will be extremely soft!  We had a local forest fire which filled the area with heavy smoke one day, but they seem to have shrugged that off.  Still, am concerned for their winter store level as with the heat and season, the pollen sources are shutting down.  my honeysuckle has stopped blooming and so has the yarrow.  Only the blanket flower and some Echinacea remain.  Not much else up and down the neighborhood.  So today have started putting out some pollen substitute.

There are actually a number of different recipes out there, am doing a very basic, by volume, 3:3:1 mix of Soy flour: Sugar: nutritional yeast. Putting it out dry in a dish in the garden and using a  little lemon grass essential oil to sent the bowl to attract them.  Am not trying to give them too much to raise brood, just a supplement to what ever they are bringing in to make sure they will make it through the cold season when it comes.  There is still water in their bowl by the hive as well as keeping both water sources going here at the house.

Emptied the 1000 gallon tank once and am well on the way to emptying it again.  The 650 tank is doing okay, but that’s all because the gutter guys didn’t listen to what we wanted and canted 2/3 of the gutter to the smaller tank instead of vice versa!  The big new tank has been filled and nearly emptied twice this season.  Its amazing to watch how much water flows into that thing!

the 350 gallon is holding on doing what needs to be done in that area.  but in a dry year, it wouldn’t be nearly enough to water those trees and everything.

and that’s pretty much the story of the garden.  not as much to harvest, not as much to do.

This entry was posted in bees, carrots, container gardening, gardening, greens, grow bags, homesteading, legumes, organic, peppers, potatoes, prepping, preserving, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, top bar hive, Uncategorized, water. Bookmark the permalink.

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