Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/15/15

It may not be summer on the calendar yet, but summer sure has hit South Carolina with a vengeance. Daily lows have been in the low to mid-70s, and the highs have been in the mid to upper 90s. Yesterday, we had our first 100 degree day. I was in the garden mid-morning yesterday and it was already in the upper 80s with high humidity. Unfortunately, I got a bit of heat exhaustion after only ninety minutes outside. Air conditioning, lots of water with lime (and a banana or two), plus some rest, and I was feeling a bit better. Meanwhile, please enjoy the pictures I took of my garden this week, despite the heat. 

WHAT’S NEW:

I discovered buds on my okra this week. The flowers appear to untwist to open, and I believe they don’t last long because I keep trying to get a picture of a flower open, but seem to keep missing them. I’ll keep trying.

Okra buds

Okra buds

My butter peas and lima beans have pods now.

Lima bean pods

Lima bean pods

The other day, I noticed tassels on a few of my corn stalks.

Glass Gem corn tassels

Glass Gem corn tassels

IN THE GARDEN:

The heat has been drying the bird bath out pretty quickly. This mourning dove came looking for water. I filled the birdbath up as soon as I noticed her. She came back later and took a nice bath.

Mourning dove on my bird bath

Mourning dove on my bird bath

While walking across my yard, I caught a Carolina anole scurrying across my patio, then up my house. He was fast! So fast, he was still green (from being in the grass) and could be easily seen. (They turn brown when the background warrants it.)

Carolina anole on my house

Carolina anole on my house

The lime green coleus in my shade garden is blooming. It’s difficult to see, but the flower stalks have purple blooms on them.

Coleus in bloom

Coleus in bloom

While I don’t have any apples on my Granny Smith tree, I do have a half dozen growing on my Pink Lady tree. They’re starting to look like real apples now.

Pink Lady apple

Pink Lady apple

I have a very large tomato on the second Black Krim cutting/transplant. (This is the piece I chopped off from the original cutting because it was too big inside.) This tomato is huge! I can’t wait for it to turn red.

Black Krim tomato

Black Krim tomato

After all that rain we had over a week ago, there was a pickling cucumber growing secretly between the trellis boards and a large cucumber leaf. I found it earlier this past week. It was beyond edible (too bitter and seedy once they start turning yellow), so I didn’t count this toward my weekly harvest. But look at the size of it. Over a pound!

Forgotten pickling cucumber

Forgotten pickling cucumber

GARDEN BOUNTY:

Speaking of harvests, the chili peppers are starting to come in, and I’m seeing a few sweet peppers as well (though not ready to harvest quite yet). I also have quite a few eggplant growing, along with lots of tomatoes and a few winter squash. This past week, I harvested 3.4 pounds of raspberries, 3.7 pounds of snap beans, 3.6 pounds of cucumbers, 1.5 pounds of fingerling potatoes, 1/4 pound of cherry tomatoes, and 3/4 pound of chili peppers. Not bad for early summer in this heat.

I harvested raspberries on three days, but for some reason, my camera lost one of the pictures.

Caroline Raspberries

Caroline Raspberries

This was a cucumber and pepper harvest day.

Clockwise from top: Pepperoncini, Boston pickling cucumbers, hot cherry pepper, Beit Alpha cucumbers

From top, clockwise: Pepperoncini, Boston pickling cucumbers, hot cherry pepper, Beit Alpha cucumbers

More snap beans!

From top: Boston pickling cucumber, Beit Alpha cucumber, Beurre de Rocquencourt wax beans, Black Valentine green beans

From top, clockwise: Boston pickling cucumber, Beit Alpha cucumber, Beurre de Rocquencourt wax beans, Black Valentine green beans

The chili peppers are coming in.

From top, clockwise: Tiny Tim tomatoes, Boston pickling cucumbers, Filius Blue peppers, Beit Alpha cucumber, Black Hungarian peppers. Center: Cayenne pepper

From top, clockwise: Tiny Tim tomatoes, Boston pickling cucumbers, Filius Blue peppers, Beit Alpha cucumber, Black Hungarian peppers. Center: Cayenne pepper

I harvested the fingerling potatoes I had planted in two grow bags. I used organic potatoes from the grocery store, not seed potatoes, so they didn’t produce much of a harvest. However, what did grow, grew well in those bags. I’m going to use the bags again next year, but plant different potatoes in them.

Fingerling potatoes

Fingerling potatoes

More peppers and cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

From the top, clockwise: Boston pickling cucumbers, Beit Alpha cucumbers, cubanelle pepper, Tiny Tim tomatoes, pepperoncini, jalapenos. Center: Black Hungarian peppers

From top, clockwise: Boston pickling cucumbers, Beit Alpha cucumbers, cubanelle pepper, Tiny Tim tomatoes, pepperoncini, jalapenos. Center: Black Hungarian peppers

I have lots of gardening chores to do this week, but the forecast for the next ten days is for upper 90s to low 100s. If I can’t get it done between supper and sundown, the chores may have to wait…again. Alas, my poor garden. And in this heat, I should add, this poor gardener.

How are things going in your garden this week?

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