A Strange Summer

It is about time

It is about time

We have been having the strangest summer. Last week we turned off the air conditioning for five days straight in August. It was in the 80s and rained almost every day. This of course created all sorts of problems and some advantages. For the first time we will have a crop of tomatoes through to September and possibly longer.

That is all the good news.

Due to the lower heat and higher moisture the hot peppers are a little too mild. The okra is just confused and the watermelon refused to set any fruit for a long time. Of course the watermelon vines have taken over almost half the garden. So much for an early fall crop of spinach this year. I mean look at this photo.

Maybe I could use watermelon for ground cover

Maybe I could use watermelon for ground cover

That is a total of three watermelon plants and I have to keep pulling vines out of the rosemary bush. They’ve encircled the eggplant and green peppers there in the center too. If it was not for the shade from the okra I bet they would have taken over the tomatoes as well.

The problem is that although the vines are healthy, there has not been any fruit to set anywhere except for the one pictured above. Up to two days ago I didn’t even know of that one. I don’t know if it is because of the lower heat, increased rainfall or just the spirits of the garden in a bad mood scaring away the bees, but I almost pulled it all. ( Which is what I was about to do when I found the one melon.) Any hints on increasing fruit production for a watermelon plant?

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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10 Responses to A Strange Summer

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Sorry to hear about the poor harvest. If my dad was still alive, I would have asked him for advice for you. He was a wonderful gardener. 🙂

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    Sit tight, Greg. I’m sure one of your readers will have some great advice for you. How unusual that you haven’t had to pull your tomato plants already. It truly has been a strange Summer.

  3. Ha! I’m growing watermelon for the first time this year, too – a short-season type bred for Northern gardens. Production isn’t my problem, there are a dozen of them. I just don’t know how to tell when they’re ripe. Hoping for the first one in the next few days…

  4. I, too, live in the South and it has indeed been one weird weather summer. Odder than any I can remember and in a nice way for the most part. My garden is just plain confused as well. I am now getting some nice tomatoes, the basil is fine and dandy, my zinnias not so much, I got “1” cucumber recently? I did not plant any melons, but I love your little offering. I really like it when you garden update.

  5. LOL! Had a laugh with your “confused okra”!

  6. nancyc says:

    We had some cooler weather too last week–it felt really good! Now it’s hot and humid again!

  7. nrhatch says:

    Whenever my garden didn’t “behave” . . . whenever Mother Nature didn’t cooperate . . . I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t a farmer dependent on either for my survival.

    Hope that your harvest manifests.

  8. I believe it is the cool weather and rain combination…certainly not your gardening skills. We have seen your wonderful harvests from past years. This is the worst year I have ever seen in all my years of gardening. I’m all but ready to pull my tomato plants as I don’t think half of the tomatoes will ever ripen before the frosts arrive in a few weeks.

  9. That sounds funny: “The okra is confused.”

  10. You’ve had a strange summer, we’ve had a weird winter. The weather is quite topsy turvy, isn’t it? I’ve never tried growing watermelon before, I’m always worried about the space it needs – the tromboncinos are already space eating enough! Hope that beautiful fruit ripens up for you eventually! x

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