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Monday, June 29, 2015

The Struggle for a Green Thumb

We have been having late July weather this June: temperatures above 100º F. for two weeks. Normally those temperatures don’t come to us until the third week of July, and some summers we haven’t had a single day above 100º F. But yesterday it was 108º F. in the shade at our house, and I don’t know how much hotter it was in the direct sun on the garden. It has been that hot and hotter for a week. As you can imagine, the poor garden vegetables, planted a month late, are still young and weak enough that the heat is doing its best to kill them, if our infamous manure pile hadn’t caused its own trouble.
But look! A single new leaf!

Here are our plants today. The peppers, though my husband had declared them dead a week ago, are getting a jug of cool water apiece every day, and two of the four are bravely trying to grow new leaves.

The tomatoes are struggling. Two have given up completely and one more may be going that way, but it may possibly be saved if it can just hang on another week or so. If we could get a break in the weather, that would certainly help! I’m getting confident that the two plants on the near end will give us tomatoes come the cooler weather of August and September, unless this summer turns out to be a record-breaking scorcher with temperatures above 100º F. until autumn begins!

Here are the squashes. The pumpkin plant burnt up despite its daily dose of water. The acorn and crook-neck squashes are struggling. The zucchini plants, not in one of our garden boxes, are just as happy as can be and growing rapidly, even in this terrible heat.
Acorn squash

Finally, the watermelon plant apparently didn’t notice the strength of the manure and doesn’t mind the heat at all. It’s growing noticeably bigger every day and has a number of tiny blossoms. You can’t see it, but there is a bump there that I think is a growing watermelon already. Amazing!

Despite our fears that as gardeners we were failures this year, we are apparently going to be redeemed at least by a watermelon and the zucchini plants. If we get a tomato and a pepper, we’ll be giving ourselves Green Thumb awards.

For solace, I turn to look at some of the flowers blooming this morning in our gardens.
Lilies and miniature roses
Butterfly bush


  1. Numerous are the trials and trubulations of a gardener.

  2. Hi Allen! Yes, and how is YOUR garden doing?


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