Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009

Whew, what a day.  I can't quite wrap my head around the weather we're having.  I saw the heat advisory and the forecast for 90 and laughed it off.  We've never had temperatures that hot this time of year, ever!  Twice today I brought up the heat zone scale and how we were a 2, or about as low as you can get in the heat scale at 7 days or fewer over 86 degrees.  Well, today you can count 1 and the year's not half over.  We've got a real shot of hitting 7 days this year (folks in Alabama get that in April, hehe).

Now I know why Judy can't grow lettuce after March. I had watered yesterday when I got home from work, making a concerted effort this year to use my wand to water the dirt around the plants stem rather than on the leaves.  Well, after I found out it would be a scorcher today, I watered again this morning (as I was harvesting a gallon of greens for lunch).  I even drenched the lettuce with water this morning hoping to keep it hydrated.  Look what I found when I got home.

Major wilt after one day of 90 degrees.  Not good.  I drenched it again in the hopes of stemming the tide of wilt.  In addition, I took a page out of Judy's goal to keep her lettuce going through the mini-heat wave we're having.

Sure it looks silly, but I knew when we replaced our windows that the window screens would come in handy some day.  Let's hope they do enough to difuse the brutal sun.

I also have to share the jungle that is one of my SWCs.  I don't know why these two tomatoes are so unruly, but I'm tempted to do some heavy pruning so the grow up instead of out.  Maybe they're determinates, but I don't think I have two determinate varieties?  What would you do?

Oh, and the curling leaves, don't worry, it's just water shortage.  I should have known since there's more foliage than I had in 5 foot plants last year, so they were out of water.  I just topped that SWC off this weekend.  Whew! Definitely a sign of the weather. I'm going to have to watch the SWCs more closely. 

And how on earth am I going to get my trellis installed in between these two plants?!  Not sure I'm going to be able to pull that off.  Either way, I'm so late getting my trellis up it's unreal.  Unfortunately I just haven't had the time it takes to install it.  I guess I should just do one 2x4 at a time in the evenings. 

Well, that's it for tonight.  I haven't been posting because there's been nothing to talk about.  Hopefully I'll have more to say in the coming days so I can keep this blog fresh.  As a local gardening buddy mused, it's tough to keep from being redundant from season to season.  I'm trying.  I hope you like it.

Take care and enjoy your garden!


  1. That's a good idea on saving window screens. We're having some windows replaced soon and I'll keep that in mind.

  2. I have a piece of polycarbonate panel from the GH I was thinking of trying. It diffuses the light but I not sure if it would be enough.


  3. engineeredgardenJune 3, 2009 at 11:58 PM

    Sinfonian - Not sure if you try to keep your tomato branches trained inside the hoops, but that's how I keep mine from going wild.

  4. Like the idea of using screens. I hope to keep growing lettuce throughout the summer too... we'll see how it goes... I'm going to keep a lettuce box under the cottonwood tree in the shade.

  5. The screens definitely should help. Lettuce tends to wilt during the heat of the day anyway - so I would not be overly concerned about the heat induced wilting. They should bounce back in the cool of the evening if you keep them properly watered. The greater danger is that they will rush to maturity and start getting bitter as they prepare to go to seed. Which means they may look alright but taste nasty.

  6. I never thought of the screens! What a great idea. I say let the tomatoes live and let live and trim the branches that don't sport flowers. That's what I've done, and whereas it may be a bit of a mess, it's producing fine.

  7. I have heard about the warm weather on the west coast. It would be welcome here, we have been having pretty cold weather here for this time of year. We have had a few lows of 42f at night and it has been barely breaking 68f in the day. My warm season crops aren't happy. I hope your lettuce holds in there, with all that watering it should.

  8. The lettuce in my lettuce boxes got totally fried! I'll have to replant and remember to use a shade cover on super sunny days. D'oh!

  9. You apologized at the end of your post for not posting more frequently. . . no apologies, please. I've just discovered your blog today and really appreciate the DETAIL & PHOTOS. I'd rather wait for excellent how-to's like yours than read daily journal type stuff. There's plenty of that out there already. Thank you so much.

  10. Hi Sinfonian,
    I was so happy to come across your blog since you too live in the Seattle area! I follow a lot of blogs on the east coast but I found it harder to find ones for the west coast.

    I just started a vegetable garden this year so your site is very very helpful for me. I especially like ur entry on building potato bins since I would like to grow them next year :)


  11. It looks like your plants are doing well despite the heat wave. I'm glad it has cooled off. My lettuce did well through the 90 degree heat - but two squares of my radish bolted. I was not a happy camper over that one! I was eagerly awaiting a good radish harvest. Now I'm not sure if I should just compost them or let them go to seed and collect the seeds. Enjoy the 70 degree weather! I know the plants will.

  12. Hmmm, I think I know why our weather in SoCal is all weird, the PNW stole it! Can I please trade this cloudy cool crap for some sunshine & 80+ temps again please? LOL