Sunday, June 28, 2009

We're Having a Heat Wave!

Man is it hot! As I write this, it's about 9:30 at night and it is 91° outside, same as our average high temperature this month. The temperature broke 100° 3 times last week, each day breaking the previously recorded high temperature, and one day tied the highest recorded temperature here ever. Last month we had 0.57 inches of rain, we normally average 5.22 inches. This month we've received only 0.27 inches of rain, we normally average 6.97 inches. Needless to say, it's dry.

The hardest hit thing around here lately, other than the wife's windshield, is our garden. Mainly, high 90s every day and 70s-80s at night start to take a toll on things. The squash is completely done for, we haven't seen a bloom in weeks. The beans are pretty much on their last legs, I pulled up half of them today, and I'll be surprised if the rest last another week. The tomatoes have set all the blooms they will for this summer, once the daytime temperatures get as high as they have been they stop setting fruit. Not only that, but the fruit we still have on the plants hasn't gotten as big as the first crop. They are still ripening and taste wonderful, just not getting as big as they had been. The worst problem we have had is blossom end rot on the tomatoes, most likely caused by me not ramping up my watering of the garden as quickly as I should have. Wide moisture swings cause a calcium deficiency in the tomatoes, which causes the rot. They are still good to eat, we just have to cut off the rotten end. To make matters worse, it seems either the squirrels or birds found the highest fruit this week as well. And to top it all of, we have a rampant infestation of poison ivy on our hands. It is popping up everywhere, the lawn, the garden, the flower beds, it's crazy! I keep spraying every sprig that pops up, but I swear that three shoot up in its place.

Our garden is doing it's best to hang on.

Empty spot from pulling up the dying beans.

What happens to beans in 100° heat.

End rot and squirrel damage.

Poison ivy invading the yard.

On the bright side, the fruit trees and herbs are doing great. The lemon tree is in the middle of flushing out another round of new leaves and blooms, and the avocado continues to sprout new branches. The blackberry bushes are looking strong and continue to grow and branch out. The basil has also shot up after we transplanted it into a bigger container. I don't think we will find ourselves short of that herb any time soon.

Our thriving citrus trees.

The avocado is starting to fill in.

At least the blackberries are loving the heat.

The basil is really taking off.

That pretty well takes care of things here. Next week, the 4th of July!

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