This Midwestern summer, with temps in the high 70s and low 80s, has been great for the gardener but not so great for the garden. In July, according to the NOAA, "record and near-record cool temperatures were observed in the Midwest" along with below-average rainfall. We've been able to counter the lack of rainfall with the irrigation system, but with the lack of heat, we've harvested few ripe tomatoes in the garden, which should be in full production by now.
Despite the weather, we are still experiencing "the plague of the summer squash". We can't eat it and put it up fast enough...and the bees are loving it. Look closely and you will see a honey bee pollinating the squash flower.
If not for the tomatoes, eggplant, and okra planted in the high tunnel, we'd still be waiting for our first ratatouille and our first batch of salsa! Aunt Ruby's German Green and German Pink tomatoes are the size of softballs. And okra! What is a garden without okra blossoms? As you can see, we are preparing the beds for our winter garden on the left in the picture below. We are using the same treatment of cardboard, leaf mold and bordered rows.