It’s been a banner summer weather wise–warm and dry. We’ve been enjoying many a lovely evening eating dinner and watching the sun set from the deck.
All that sunshine has been great for the garden, too. We’ve been eating a handful of cherry tomatoes everyday along with a cup of blueberries, and the green beans are just starting to produce.
But as with anything, there are pluses and minuses to all that warm weather. Remember my plan to grow “hurking big tomatoes”? (You can check it out here.) Well, when it came time to stake them out, I was running low on materials and just left some of them be. The tomatoes never get that big anyways–until this year. I feel like I’m back in the ’80s with Welcome to the Jungle.
A few months ago, that was three little tomato plants hibernating in their Walls O Water.
I stopped at the hardware store and figured 10 bamboo stakes would be able to help me out. That was just the beginning. I’ve decided it’s much easier to stake out tomatoes when they’re small, before they have large fruit hanging off every branch tangled in leaves and vines. With a few supports I found around the house, I was able to contain a little of the chaos.
Now I just have to hope for all those tomatoes to ripen. September first, I’ll be out pinching off any blossoms, so the plants will divert their energy to ripening the fruit that is already set. And next year, remind me to stay on top of things. Sometimes I don’t learn the first time around.
Speaking of learning things the hard way, we’ve had an apple catastrophe. I was showing my brother our orchard a few weeks back, and he commented that the apples looked like they could use some support. I said they were fine, and they might have been if some critters (probably dogs) hadn’t tried to pick apples way too soon. One of the large branches was on the ground when I went to pick my daily dose of blueberries.
Have you heard that a roll of duct tape can fix anything? It came to the rescue of our little apple tree with the MR’s help.
I went to a fruit tree seminar last year where they suggested thinning back the apples to just two or three per cluster. Now, I understand why. We’ve just never had apples much bigger than a golf ball, so we were reveling in our success. You may be wondering why I don’t just pick them all now. Well, these are supposed to be red apples, not yellow ones with just a blush of red. I’m hoping the ones we’ve picked from the broken branch will ripen in the pantry.
With all the heat we’ve been enjoying, I figured slugs would be on the wane–not so much. They’ve been eating away at my attempts to direct seed broccoli, so I bought transplants of broccoli, beets, and lettuce. We still have a month and a half before we expect a frost, so I’m hoping for a nice fall crop.
Success comes with its own set of challenges. I’ve been dreaming of beans climbing the chain link fence around the tennis court for two years. Now that I finally have them doing just that, I realize I need a ladder or step stool just to pick them. Somehow, I didn’t see that coming. Don’t those beans know I’m not that tall?
The MR, as always, has been busy with many projects. He recently added a sprinkler line to the flowerbed next to the master suite. Now all those new trees and flowers can get a good start, and he doesn’t have to spend so much time watering them each evening.
Growing up, the MR worked for his dad’s landscaping company, so this is far from the first system he’s designed and installed. I remember when we were dating, and he showed up with purple glue all over his hands from sprinkler work. Our inspectors gave it the thumbs/paws up.
Time to go water the plants on the deck, feed the dogs, do the laundry, but it’s always more fun to just talk to you guys.
How’s your garden growing?