Ugh…it was a hot week, and it looks like next week is gearing up for more of the same (if not hotter)! At least we had a little bit of relief with some spotty rain yesterday afternoon. It sure didn’t help the humidity, but at least things cooled off a tiny bit.
We finally are getting some cucumbers on the ‘Salt & Pepper’ cucumber plants. Obviously, from the looks of those big yellow ones we found, we may have missed a few earlier. These are really nice looking white cucumbers, although the spines don’t show up quite as black to get that pretty contrast. I guess aesthetics are not the most important part of a cucumber if you want to be picky though!
The ‘Sunshine’ kabocha squash is still growing, but not yet ripe. As with other winter or hard squashes, the rind should be completely hard before picking. That means you shouldn’t be able to poke it with your thumbnail. I bet at this stage you could scratch a message into the skin and have it scar over. I remember that my kindergarden teacher carved our names into pumpkins she grew and the scratches scarred into brown letters. Something fun to try!
The black sesame is still flowering, but you can also see the seed pods developing. Since this is a plant that I haven’t grown before, it is fun to watch them develop. I’m still curious as to how big the seed pods will get and how productive they will be. The plants do wilt a bit in the heat, but otherwise nothing seems to phase them.
Our poor tomatoes are still struggling with the effects of the herbicide injury. The damage didn’t seem too bad initially, but most of the plants seem to be getting worse rather than growing out of it. The plants are mostly a healthy size, but they have almost no tomatoes set on them, and I’ll be surprised if we get much. Herbicide injury can have major effects on yield, and we probably should have tried replanting, but we were already 2+ weeks late getting them in the garden.
The two biggest ‘Lambkin’ melons are just starting to develop some raised ridges on the rinds. Even though I’ve seen ripe melons of this variety, I think it’s going to be hard to tell when these are ripe. The stems don’t “slip” like regular cantaloupes do, nor do they exhibit the same color changes as honeydew melons. Oh well…it will be an experiment!
In other news, we’ve been seeing quite a few spider mites on the cucumbers, although one of the plants has aphids instead! I haven’t observed much for spider mites on the tomatoes or on the other vine crops. It is probably just a matter of time, especially when it is so hot. If possible, I’ll try to get a post up about that next week. As we are getting ready for Tomato Day on July 28th, I may not post much next week!