Monday, July 22, 2013

Harvest Monday–22 July 2013



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.


  1. Lol, love that weather forecast! Sure felt like it last week. Your harvests are looking great, Dave. Nice looking tomatoes on the Juliet. They look like Sugary hybrid that I used to grow. How do they taste? Sugary was sweet and the flesh was chewy.

    1. Johnny's and Parks say Juliet is a bigger version of Santa with 1.5-2 oz. fruits. Sugary looks similar in growth habits but is more of a grape tomato with 0.5 oz. fruits and is probably a lot sweeter than Juliet.

  2. Yowsa on heatwave! Hope no permanent damage to your plants in the garden (it's killing most of the things here without any rain). Love the colorful veggies and way to go on tomato overload on one plant!

  3. Ha ha! Love the forecast! Beautiful flowers. I hope you get something good from your purple peacock. My one and only finally developed a head but it looked horrible and inedible. I left it planted, maybe I will get some side shoots or let it go to seed.

    1. Unfortunately Shawn Ann, it does send out side shoots but they are tiny and tough. In my "Field Trip" post I showed a PP at Tower Hill that had a 6" head on it. I don't know what the secret is.

  4. The forecast was definitely a hoot! LOL!

    My storage onions laid over last week, so I have them curing in a warm dry location. The sweet onions are still upright though so I am leaving them alone and hoping I get even more size on them before they declare they are done.

    Beautiful peppers and clusters of tomatoes!

  5. I'm loving that forecast, made me giggle. Garden is looking great. :)

  6. Looking good again this week Dave. I didn't know that peppers didn't set fruit if it was over 90. That's good to know. I feel your pain on the hot temperatures. We have been over 100 for 4 days now. But it is a dry heat here in Utah so I'm sure it is worse for you with all the humidity.

  7. I think gonzo is the appropriate word for the Juliet tomato. Here in the midwest we went through the excessive heat last summer and peppers and tomatoes just stopped producing after a few days over 100 degrees. That weather prediction looks a little scary.

  8. Yup, you described our New England weather to a tee. What a week it was! Unlike you I did get some nice rain yesterday morning for about two hours and believe me it was appreciated! Your harvest looks great, especially those tomatoes. I won't have a ripe one for another day or so.

  9. Hopefully the weather cools down for you. Crazy that it is hotter in New England than South Carolina! Looks like you are going to have an abundance of tomatoes and those zinnias are so pretty!

  10. Wow no air conditioning? Once upon a time I would say that wouldn't be all that bad, but the heat we have had over the last few years would change my mind. At least it is raining today and things have cooled down.

  11. Wow, I hope my Juliet plants produce as well as yours. They do have some impressive clusters, but seemed to pause its growth during the heat wave. The copra onions look nice and thick. I bet you will have a great harvest. Mine are just beginning to get some size on them.

    We have several window air conditioners to get us through what is normally the few hot periods of summer. Lately, they have been getting a workout. Thankfully the heat broke for us over the weekend and today we have rain. The garden needs it. I watered in between, but nothing compares to a good soak that only mother nature can provide.


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