Monday, July 18, 2011

Wow! Is it HOT!

This is the flower for this summer.
The parsley that has gone to flower attracts all kinds of insects.
And for some reason Wasps like these flowers too - maybe for the pollen protein.
Telegraph Improved is not my choice for greenhouse cucumber - not enough fruit set.
This is the seeded water cress that is growing in an aquarium - nice peppery taste.
This is my white milkweed plants grown from seed - insects like this one too.

Summer heat has arrived with a vengeance - in the high 90's and dripping humidity. Something that cucumbers and tomatoes love. I have snapped thumb sized suckers and I did that job last week too. I am also trying to limit the growth of secondary cucumber vines on the trellis system. I have been cutting out the side shoots in the cucumbers just like snapping tomato suckers. This is a test to see just how productive I can make the main vine growing on the trellis.
The "Telegraph Improved" cucumber in the greenhouse has been a disappointment. We have harvest the first fruit but the plant has set mostly male flowers that the literature says must be removed to avoid bitter cucumbers. But the plant has only set 2 main fruits and 2 secondary and that's not enough in comparison to the abundance of fruit from last years plant. I planted seed today in hopes of raising another plant that will produce much better. As the seedlings get along I will get rid of this plant. I have already cut the terminal buds on both vines to force the energy into the small fruit set.
Purslane is the dreaded weed of hot weather and it has tried to take the open space in the garden. I pulled plants today and they are destined for the compost bin as they are full of the nutrients of my garden soil and I want it back. I should be able to fill the compost bin to a foot or more in depth with all these weeds.
The hot weather has brought the return of some sun scald to some of the bagged apples. This seems to happen to one tree in particularly and to one variety on that tree - sorry but long ago I lost the names of the original grafts on this tree. The tree was a 5 in 1 dwarf tree that I got a local nursery. The fruits might be Gala because that was one of the varieties on the tree that I remember form long ago. But whatever it is some of these bagged fruits, when just right in the sun, will scald. I just remove them so as not to waste the energy to an apple that will drop off later.
I left a few parsley plants go to flower because native bees and wasps seem to be attracted to the pollen that these plants produce. I have left a few of the arugula and some mustard plants go to flower to. Native bees need food sources and several accounts have indicated that these are good sources for these critters. Try leaving a few for them in your gardens.
This is the summer of the Zinnia and mine has just started to bloom. They are just such a great flower and perfect for a quick bouquet in a Mason jar.
Happy Gardening.

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