Our 2022 garden, staying out of the heat, and a garden surprise

We’ve got some heat for the next few days – today reached 28C/82F, and we’re expected to keep getting hotter for a few more days before starting to drop a few degrees, with possible thunderstorms in the forecast. Temperatures are still pretty close to average, though, so nothing like the heat waves we got last year.

Still, it does mean that some garden beds need to get watered, which I try to do in the morning, though some need an extra watering by evening, too, depending on how exposed to the sun the beds are. Yesterday evening, while checking the beds, I found a nice little surprise but didn’t get pictures until this morning.

The bed where we planted 10 bare root white strawberries has been largely ignored, since none of the strawberries had come up. Last night, however, I decided to give it a bit of a weeding, anyway, and lo and behold, I found a single strawberry plant had emerged!

No sign of any others, unfortunately, and I certainly don’t expect we’ll get anything out of the one this year, but hopefully we’ll be able to keep it alive and protect it over the winter, and it’ll do better next year.

While weeding the rest of the bed, I found a volunteer!

The soil in this bed is from the bags we used to grow potatoes last year. It looks like we missed one! We grew 4 varieties, so we won’t know which it is until there’s something to harvest, but from the looks of it, and the colour of the stems, I’d say it’s one of the two purple varieties we grew. Awesome!

After carefully weeding as much around them as I dared, I gave them a watering. They were so wimpy from the heat, they just flattened. The potato was perked up by morning, but the strawberry was still having a hard time holding itself up. Hopefully, with some of the weeds pulled away, it’ll grow stronger. If I could be sure none of the other strawberries will come up, I’d cover the bed with a mulch to help them out. I might still at least give them a light mulch.

A lovely surprise this morning is that the Giant Rattle poppies are starting to bloom! There were three flowers this morning, and this is the largest of them. These are from seeds we collected last year. With the heat waves and drought, they didn’t do well last year, and produced pods much smaller than they normally would have. This year, they seem to be doing better, though I’m still expecting smaller pods. We did get seeds for another variety of bread seed poppies that we meant to plant somewhere else, but with the weather conditions we had this spring, that just didn’t happen. If all goes well, we’ll collect more seeds from these in the fall for planting (and maybe have enough for eating, too!), and next year, we’ll be able to plant both varieties.

As I wrote this, things are finally starting to cool down a bit. The heat lingers late into the day, and it gets hot surprisingly quickly in the morning – when I started my rounds, it was already 24C/75F. The last of the spinach in the high raised bed has been pulled, and I am planning to plant some chard in there this evening. The two varieties we have from last year are Fordhook Giant and Bright Lites. I’ll probably mix them up a bit. There were 2 rows of spinach in the high raised bed, so I’ll likely just plant one tonight, and do the other in a week or two.

Aside from the 2 varieties of spinach I picked up to plant at the end of the month, we do still have seeds of one variety from last year. The spinach in the low raised beds are a complete fail. I was weeding the beds this morning and there are some seedlings, but they’re barely there and look like they’re already bolting, even though they’re less than 2 inches tall! A couple of varieties of turnip are also complete fails, though I think they got eaten by insects. There is one variety that is growing, but they are struggling, and the leaves are riddled with tiny holes. I never see the insects causing the damage, though. We’ll see how they manage. Sadly, one of the losses was the Gold Ball turnips. They simply disappeared. Not one left, though they were among the first to sprout. There were very few seeds in the packet, so there is nothing left to reseed. These were among the free seeds we got, and I was looking forward to trying them. It reminds me of the first radishes we got last year; a daikon type, and watermelon radishes. They sprouted quickly, and were just as quickly gone. Something to keep in mind for when we plant them again in the future.

In other things, I have been very slowly working on scything the hay in the outer yard. I have to be careful not to over do it, even if I feel like I can do more. I know that if I over do it, I can end up out of commission for days. If I do a couple of swaths an evening, it’ll slowly get done. The fun part yesterday was that, when taking breaks, I was able to play with a couple of kittens. Two of them are okay with being picked up, now, though they don’t really like getting caught. The mama is not happy, though. I saw no signs of them this morning, so I’m afraid she might have moved them. I still put food and water out, as they may simply have been staying in the cool of the branch pile while mama was eating at the kibble house.

Oh, wow. As I was writing this, my weather app suddenly starting showing this.

For those in the US: 35C = 95F, 16C = 61F and 40C = 104F.

None of this matches the forecast for our area, though. The daytime highs aren’t expected to go above 30C/86F, and that just for one day. The overnight lows, however, are not expected to go below 20C/68F. Definitely some mixed messages, here!

Also, the current temperature has gone back up to 27C/81F instead of continuing to cool down!

At least there is some rain in the forecast, though with our weird climate bubble over our area, that will likely to right around us! 😄 Early morning watering will continue!

Hopefully, this will be good for the heat loving peppers, eggplant, squash and melons, and they will have a nice little growth spurt.

I find myself once again thinking of what my brother and his wife said about their years of gardening. If they had to live off what they grew in the garden, they’d starve to death! Between the weather, the insects and the critters, you just never know what’s going to make it.

Still hoping for a long, mild fall to make up for the long, cold spring!

The Re-Farmer

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