Monday, August 6, 2012

The Long Hot Summer

We've just enjoyed two days of temperatures in the 80s after most of the summer in the 90s and 100s! We are in drought here in Nebraska and I've finally gotten into a routine of watering to just keep plants alive. Our lawn is suffering as you can see by the brown spots...
The garden is stressed too. Earlier we had nice beets, spring peas and greens. This year the garlic and onions are fabulous so I should have my own to use until next year. I'll be planting garlic again in October because they are fabulous and so easy to grow. Both red and sweet white onions did great.

Our potatoes are doing great. I got them in late so they aren't quite ready to harvest yet. I can't wait. We have two tanks full of them.
Then there are the tomatoes. Oh my, what a challenge this year. I got them in late too, well more like the normal time but everyone had theirs in early due to the early warm weather this year. I have blossom end rot this year on some of the tomato plants that set blossoms early. The heat had set in and the watering wasn't consistent enough, bummer. It's a tough lesson. Now I have the soaker hoses in place and use the moisture meter to keep the beds evenly moist. The heat slowed ripening but now with the cooler evenings, I'm getting ripe tomatoes. Yeah!!! A summer isn't complete without home grown tomatoes.
Below is the good and the ugly! I hope you never get blossom end rot. It is really ugly. However, you can cut off the rotted end and use the rest in cooked form.
The Swiss chard is the only green still producing. I've left several of the leaves to grow large to shade the smaller leaves that I harvest daily and that keep on coming. We love chard, it is delicious stirred into olive oil and garlic until it wilts, it is wonderful in soup, omelets and stirfrys. I'm so grateful I have it so I can have fresh greens every day.
The daylilies aren't doing very well in many Nebraska gardens this summer, including mine...
My first preserving of this season is with Colorado peaches for jam, Mark's favorite. I made a small batch of peach-strawberry jam too. Delicious. I need to get the pantry jam shelf filled for Mark for this winter. So next will be blueberry, strawberry and hopefully, wild plum, my favorite.
Hope you are enjoying your summer and if you garden that it is producing richly for you.

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