|This hibiscus is early and should bloom for a long time|
|I have covered the crown of the squash plant,|
|....and have covered the vines also.|
|The cover this year lasted only 10 months instead of 2 yrs.|
|The garden is mulched and tomatoes MUST have mulch!|
|These are the red stemmed dandelions - boy do bunnies love these.|
|I doubt if this pole bean variety will get a second trial.|
|Luckily, I had enough of my old variety to plant a nice amount.|
We have had 90 plus degree days with a couple of 100's on my thermometer. Tomatoes and cotton love this weather but fruit set on some plants is hampered by these temperatures. I have snapped suckers on the tomatoes three times now and it seems like every three to four days I have to wrap the vines around the twine or they fall over! I have fruit set and so I hope to taste tomatoes before August.
The pole beans have finally begun to climb, but one of the new varieties seems to need more help than pole beans ought to. The plants are hard wired to wrap around their supports but one just seems to be very bushy and I am helping plants every day - not a normal pole bean job. I have been taking suckers off the cucumbers. I think they vine better and start fruit production earlier as a result. I do that especially to the plants in the greenhouse as I want only one vine producing as many cukes as possible. The hot temps have slowed those plants too. The cucumbers in the garden have provided a harvest today and so we will soon have plenty.
I have had squash vine borers flying for over two weeks and just Sunday I took the Remay cloth off and covered the vines with compost. It was time to sift the last of the old compost so I did that and then covered the crowns and part of the vines of the squash plants. This is to encourage more roots to grow from the nodes on the stems and help two ways - if I do have some squash vine borers this will help reduce their effect and encouraging the vines to grow more roots and allow them to take in more moisture and help pump up my fruits. I will keep covering the stems with dirt or with mulch to encourage good stem root production. Don't cover all the vine, but cover at intervals of like - 4 -5 ft while the vines are growing vigorously. Once they begin to set fruit I will decide how many fruits each vine will have and then cut the vine ends and stop their growth.
Speaking of mulch, the entire garden is mulched - this will help conserve moisture and help with the Purslane growth - boy does that plant love heat.
Sadly I must report that the hoop house cover is no more. All this hot spring and early summer weather and intense heat and UV's have totally rotted the cover and it had to be removed before it deteriorated more and broke into little pieces. The expense of covering the structure every year will cause us to re-think the hoop house and it might be a thing of the past replaced by 4 or 5 cold frames - smaller and more easily managed and planted.
The season is already advanced in that the annual hibiscus is blooming already as you can see in the photo - this has got to be at least 2 if not 3 weeks early - so maybe I will get a nice watermelon from the vine next to the house.