If you live in the Inland Northwest and you’ve seen a recent forecast then you know we are in for some really hot temperatures. That means we have to be extra vigilant in our watering practices.
For container gardens, I water once a day, usually in the early morning. For small pots, sometimes I need to water twice a day. That is why I encourage everyone to use the biggest pots you can find, smaller pots mean less soil volume and more drying out. Add some hot wind, it is even worse.
In the garden, we have a drip system setup (soaker hoses) and right now, we are leaving it on 24/7 when possible. No danger of overwatering since it “drips”. That being said, I see my plants like squash, with large thin leaves, wilting. sad looking but it happens every year now. They are well watered but the sun is very intense. I used to think I was doing something wrong. hey perk back up when the sun heads towards the horizon. I don’t remember this happening when I was kid but you get older and your mind goes!
Another thing you should be prepared for is the flowers drying up and falling off. They aren”t being pollinated. Optimum temps for fruit set is 65-80° F. As you get hotter, less fruit can be expected. Some tomatoes are more prone to this, that is one of the reasons it is harder to grow tomatoes in the summer in places like Florida and Arizona.
Another tidbit: temps under 55 degrees when the fruit is forming can cause misshapen fruit or catfacing, especially on heirloom varieties.
There are some heat-tolerant varieties such as Heatmaster, Solar Fire, Summer Set, and Phoenix which can form fruit even as temperatures climb. Click on the link for a good article by Bonnie Plants on growing tomatoes in heat.
I hope everyone is having a great and prolific summer despite our crazy weather! we have been picking squash, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Our larger tomatoes are starting to color up and we’ve picked 3 mid-size Yukon Quests already. My husband also made his first BLT!
Where has the time gone? It’s seems that only yesterday I made a video showing folks how to plant tomatoes!
As I wandered through my garden checking the progress of our plants, I started wondering how yours were doing. I’ve heard from a few of you that they are best plants you’ve ever had and others describe what can only be the results of herbicide damage. With all the wind we’ve had, it’s not surprising.
Here is what is going on with my garden.
Corn This year we decided to try corn again and it has come up in spades. They are about a foot high already. We planted them short rows for better pollination.
Tomatoes Our plants are looking amazing and about three times as large as when I planted them. Most have tomatoes on them already. Two that have really amazed me are the dwarf “Yukon Quest” and the “Lucid Gem” The Yulon Quest was only about a foot high when it started producing tomatoes. so far they are are about 2″ across. The Lucid Gem has several tomaotes, some almost 2.5″ across with beautiful purple shoulders. The plant isn’t anything to write home about but it is healthy.All three of our cherry tomatoes, “Sungold”, “Celano”. and “Fruit Punch” have clusters of fruit. The Sungold is starting to color up.
Our peppers are amazing. half of them we planted in the greenhouse and the other half are in large pots. Almost all of them have peppers on them. The one I am impressed with it called “Glow” It has fruit that is about 4″ long already!
Our melons are growing as is the winter squash which are reaching out to touch it’s neighbors. We even have little babies on the summer squash plants. Can’t wait to eat them!
This year we have enough room to try beans again. Being naturally lazy, I like pole beans, easier to pick and gives a season long harbest. I planted purple and green, the purple being eaiser to see!
The cucumbers are amazing! They are climbing up the support we provided and I saw tiny little cucumber on one of them.