No, this is not the tropics, that’s a passion fruit flower at Tower Hill. But it felt like it, another week from hell in un-air conditioned New England, with daytime temperatures sometimes over 100 °F/38 °C, stifling humidity and no rain. I have found with the raised beds and these temperatures, I have to water the tomatoes and peppers every day or they get stressed. We were busy Saturday so I got to the garden late afternoon. It was threatening to storm, with black clouds and ominous rumbles, but I figured it wouldn’t really rain unless I wasted the time watering. I met a fellow gardener there with the same thought. We are both rational people, not the least superstitious, but we went through our rain dance with watering cans. Good thing, because it did not rain! At least the front provided some relief on Sunday. It is still brutally humid but temps are a little lower.
The garden is still making its transition from spring to summer crops. Yields from the garden are smaller but more interesting. The Copra yellow onions are starting to fall over so I may be harvesting them this week.
The Rossa Lunga di Tropea onions were sagging so I decided to pull the main patch of them. Some were already rotting in the soil and I did not want to risk losing the whole bed. I still have singles planted here and there in spare corners of the garden which I can harvest later. So far the taste has been fairly strong and the outer layers tough. I will attribute this to our hot and lousy weather and probably give them another chance next year. The turnip below I thought was a Tokyo Cross but sure doesn’t look like it. So this must be a Golden Ball? Sure doesn’t look like that either.
The tomatoes are hanging in there. I have been spraying with copper and finally acquired some Serenade. I will be alternating those two sprays, trying to ward off the heebie jeebies. The humidity does not help but so far no late blight. The Juliet tomato is gonzo as expected. The clusters below are a cluster of 15 above a ripening cluster of 9. Above all this is another cluster of 9, totaling 33 tomatoes on just 3 clusters.
The peppers do not really like these 90-100 °F temperatures. They are really quite temperamental and won’t set fruit in temperatures 90+. In the raised beds they need to be watered almost every day or they wilt. I still am getting some fruit set and harvested. Below is one of the Jimmy Nardello peppers.
I did harvest a few peppers and tomatoes: some Jimmy Nardello and Padron peppers, Sungold and Juliet tomatoes, and my one and only Ping Tung eggplant. I am hoping I get more of those eggplants, but I am still waging a battle with the flea beetles.
Surprisingly, some of my Purple Peacock broccolis are coming on and look promising. After seeing them at Tower Hill I know they can be huge, but mine were petite. This one is a late bloomer but looks promising..
Finally, my rain dance partner at the garden is growing some amazing zinnias she may enter in the Bolton Fair. These are Zowie! Yellow Flame zinnias, a far cry from the zinnias my grandfather used to grow.
That is what happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.