July gone? Really? Cripes.
Boring Boring Boring post ahead---for my reference. Go read someone else's blog!
This month we had:
29 Sunny Days--I am so sick of sunshine I could scream
2 Cloudy days
1.75" rain for the month....not nearly enough for even a week with our sand!--It is sooooooooooo dry out there. The only time it rained was AT NIGHT. Every day---day after day---SUNNY. ACK!
The grass is completely dead. It is a sea of brown. We seriously need some rain.
Temps have been average. We had one really awful night that only got down to 83. It's summer.
Strawberries ended July 12. Best year ever--75 quarts. Tore up Honey-O and Jewels. Will replace with new varieties next year. Hated the Honey-O's--sour and the Jewels were a tangled mess. I am keeping my Cabots. I'm undecided about the Northeaster. They are the BEST TASTING--but don't produce much.
The new berries I planted are all doing well and I've been staying on top of the weeding and keeping them from putting out runners.
Green bean harvest began July 22. I pick every other day. Harvest started with Blue Lake (love them, but so many are CURLED), Contender started by July 24 (hate them--tough, fiber-y) and the Top Crop started July 26 (undecided--good taste, straight, but they are "sticky" and the blossums stick to them and they're hard to clean up for processing). Pulled Blue Lake already (3 pickings). I have 36 pint bags (2 cups each) in the freezer. One more picking (tomorrow) and I'll have the full years worth. I'll rip up the other two beds and prep them for winter.
Sunflowers started blooming in earnest just yesterday. This is from the Autumn Beauty mix-Botanical Interests.
From the "Flash" blend-Botanical Interests. Not my favorite--very dark, but it IS the bee's favorite! At times, there are as many as 10-15 bees PER FLOWER. So, I'll grow these again next year.
The Aztec Gold sunflower from Burpee----short season SEED PRODUCER. Nice sized heads, the stalks are reasonably sized (6') and they produce quickly (70 days) so this is a keeper for my garden!
First cucumber EVER-July 29. Though I love salads, for some odd reason I've never grown them before. Will grow again next year.
Also, the first blueberry we managed to harvest from TWELVE BUSHES. Note for next year--stop procrastinating and COVER THE DAMN BUSHES.
July 31 Harvested 7 heads Cauliflower. Looking a bit ratty. Rotten weather. But again--the row covers worked beautifully to keep them completely pest free. And they're good enough for soup.
Looks terrible, but this represents a major win---first year they aren't riddled with bugs. Again--the ROW COVERS were the trick. The only thing is I MUST USE HOOPS to keep fabric OFF the cabbage. The leaves kind of "rotted" where the fabric touched. Perfect underneath though. AND NO BUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!
The garden over-all is doing okay, especially considering the HOT DAYS we're experiencing and the LACK OF WATER
Garlic harvest this year-July 21 .
The pumpkins and butternut squash--though huge and healthy, have not put out any fruit.
The Fastbreak Melon is LOADED....and I have a couple that should be ready in a week or so.
The Hearts of Gold Melon--lots of blossums but no melons.
Onions--starting to fall over. Last year I harvested on Aug 13, so about 2 weeks to go.
Potatoes look to be progressing well. The Yukons look close to harvest. Last years harvest was Aug 16.
Tomatoes: Overall-extremely healthy plants this year. No rain. Coincidence?
Did have to De-Hornworm them starting July 30. They were loaded!
Matts Wild Cherry-just starting. The fruits are TINY this year. ?
Brandywine -Loaded with fruit. Last years first one ripened Aug 19.
Jetstar-Loaded, but none turning
Yellow Pear-Lots of fruit, but none ripening
SuperSweet 100-Lots of fruit, but none ripe yet
Zuchinni-I get a couple every few days. I've just been shredding them for the freezer. Too hot to bake now.
Broccoli ---bad year. I did get SOME for the freezer, but not nearly enough....only 5 bags. Worse yet, my starts for the fall crop are not doing well. I'm going to plant them anyway--even though I won't have enough time.
Cauliflower-seven out of 9 plants produced. I did get fall starts in for them. Hope that crop looks better.
Raspberries--where the heck are they this year?????????????????
Carrots--I've gotten several really good harvests, but I did not keep up with sowing and am now running out of them. So much for my plan!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we EVER get rain again, I will try sowing more and use a cold frame on them if needed.
Lettuce/Spinach/Radishes--If we EVER get rain again, I'll start sowing them again.
Misc---first year I wasn't fanatical about keeping stuff weeded in the aisles. I have LOTS of volunteers--escpecially Portulaca. And I love them. Relax, Sue, relax. And let things go..........