While many of you are in the glory time of gardening right now, we are about done for the summer. Oh, there are still peppers, luffa, okra, basil and moringa and an occasional small tomato or strawberry, but that’s it.
The plants have been in the ground since early March and are spent. It’s hot with heat indexes up to 110 on some days and all motivation to go out to to the garden is gone. In year’s past I’ve tried to hang hang onto the plants and water, water, water to keep things alive until fall.
This year I’m trying a different tactic. I’m going to fully enjoy my break, similar to how my northern friends enjoy their break in the winter.
Our okra plants are doing well, but fire ants have decided that they really like okra. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like they are building little mounds on the fruit. So, we’re trying various things to kill the ants but not the plants. Someone told me ants don’t like coffee grounds so I put a circle of coffee grounds around each plant. Feel free to leave more suggestions in the comments.
The moringa trees are doing great! They have gotten as tall as 10′. We are harvesting leaves regularly to use in meals, I’ve been putting them in sauted vegetables, stir fry and even in stuffed pasta shells. It’s nice to have greens that I can count on during the heat of the summer.
The luffa are growing wonderfully. I have one plant that has totally taken over and it has about 10 large luffas on it. Next year I need to remember to just grow the luffa on the fence instead of a bed. It has really put out some long runners and a fence line would be good for it, I think.
The strawberries are doing good. Some are putting out runners, so that is a really good thing. We’ve mulched with straw and we planted a whole bunch of repeater onion around the beds. The bed that the onions were growing in was starting to fall apart and I know people will often grow chives with strawberries, so it seemed like a good idea to me.
We are putting much of the rest of the garden to “bed” for the next couple of months. By early to mid October we should be able to start planting our fall/winter garden. I’m covering the beds we aren’t using right now with black plastic. I’m hoping it will kill any weed seeds. Jami from An Oregon Cottage does this in the winter and has great results.
Remember those mystery squash that were popping up all over the place. They were from seeds of a wild gourd. Carl brought some home last year for Esther to use fro her Christmas gifts and I decided to plant some seeds along the fence line. Apparently, seeds dropped in some of the beds too, and we had a mess of gourds growing. We’ve been picking them up as we find them and letting them dry out on one of the beds that has a tarp on it. When they are fully dry, I’ll be listing them in our Etsy shop.
Our young orchard has suffered this summer. The peaches, plums, apples and the new pear tree have all dropped their fruit and their leaves. We had so much rain this spring and then in June had over 7″ in two days, then it got hot, which steamed the trees. There seems to be some life still in them but they have suffered. I’m really bummed about this.
We’ve had to cover the citrus trees with bird netting because the birds like to peck at the rind. I’m not sure why they do that but it makes for some ugly citrus.
How is your garden growing?