I know I’ve probably said this repeatedly, but it’s been an odd year. The heat was welcomed early on since we typically have cool summers that make ripening heat-loving veggies difficult, but this year was too much of a good thing. July temperatures were 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average pushing most days well into the 90s. My Early Reds from Bozeman and the Czech varieties of tomatoes didn’t like it. I was excited in June when a few of the Stupice tomatoes started ripening, but as soon as the heat cranked up, they shut down.
On the other hand, my grafted tomatoes, all of which have varieties better suited for these conditions are doing well. The Indigo Rose are absolutely loaded with clusters of gorgeous purple tomatoes. They turn orange when they’re ripe. The only bad part is, from what I’ve heard, they don’t taste very good. None of my friends, whether here or in different states, are impressed with the flavor. The Brandywines look stunning. There are tomatoes bigger than softballs on the plant, and it won’t be long until they’re ripe. I also have a couple of Amana Orange. The tomatoes look good, although the plants are struggling. In reality, the plants have looked sickly since the beginning. I’m not sure what’s up. They’re producing, but protesting the whole time.
The corn is hit and miss, too. I think it’s been more of a water issue than anything, although the earwigs have been horrible. I harvested at least a half dozen ears of corn a friend of mine gave me. It’s for grinding. My plan is to save the seed to grow it next year so I’ll have enough to use.
My big success this season is the watermelon. It wasn’t the Moon and Stars variety I purchased from Baker Seeds, but a plant I picked up at the Flower Farm as a last minute replacement. I wish I knew the variety because it produced a tasty little watermelon! Such a delight.
I also have to point out some very cool veggies in the community gardens. I love the pumpkin in the sling. It’s such a great way to keep it off of the soil! I also love, love, love this purple kale. I have to find out the variety because that’s a must have for me next season.