Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hot, hot, hot

As the Cure sings. It's been over 90 every day for weeks. Bloody tedious.

We've been to a book sale, though, so there is plenteous reading material.

We work to keep everything watered, but there are yellow leaves on many plants. And we've got blossom-end rot on some tomatoes down at the bottom of the garden. I've been researching a solution – a guy on YouTube recommends dissolving a Tums antacid in a spray bottle, and squirting the foliage. Other folks dissolve a couple of handfuls of garden lime in water, and pour it on the roots. I guess the problem is that the plant can't make use of calcium because of heat, uneven watering or an actual calcium deficiency. So you apply calcium in an easy-to-access form, and sometimes it clears up. We'll try that tomorrow.

The peas and beans are still producing, but they have slowed down. We've had a few ripe tomatoes. Stupeechka was the first, as usual, around July 29. Since then, we've had some big Prudence Purples, a few Opalkas and some cherry types.

The guineas, who have been allowed out after sunset, have unfortunately discovered the orange and red tomatoes, and are pecking chunks out of them. I'm working on getting the birds all in at night and keeping them inside, but there are a half dozen that refuse to go into the chicken house and instead sleep in the pine tree out front. And every time I herd one over and open the gate to let it in, another one or two will get out. I wave my cane around, and toss grain on the far side of the chicken yard, and still fail to get everyone locked up. I'm tempted to wear a bowler hat and little mustache, get video of this, turn it to black-and-white, and speed it up. It'd be real cute.

I guess I need to buy some more chicken wire and cordon off the tomatoes.

And while I'm whining, I'll mention that, for the first time in two years, the goats have gotten into the garden, the little bastards. They pushed the gate – a 6-foot chunk of heavy cattle panel – off to the side and squeezed their pudgy, horned selves through. We fixed the gate, but they so enjoyed the raspberries and amaranth they figured out a way to jump between the top of the fencing and the wire above, after loosening the fencing by rubbing their big old goat butts on it. So I ran bright yellow binder twine from the posts, around the three wires and through the fencing mesh in big "v" shapes to hold it all tightly together. It looks a bit sad, but has kept them out. I think I'll move all the cattle panels we own to the garden perimeter when we get another pasture fenced this fall. We cannot have goats in the garden.

A weather change is finally coming – there's a 20 percent chance of a thunderstorm tomorrow, and then highs of 80 forecast for the next week. It'll be a relief.

Five eggs today.


  1. Hi guys, I see you and your garden are suffering with the heat the same as up here. My flowers and hanging baskets are really suffering, they look like they would normally look at the end of September--spent!! My tomatoes are not doing well, of course, the plants that have the most tomatoes on are the ones with blossom end rot. It always seems to be the Roma that get it, I don't think I'll grow them again. I've tried all the remedies for BER. I had the most success with putting epsom salts and crushed egg shells in the hole at planting time and then side dressing with the epsom salts a couple of times in the growing season. Worth a try!! Those damn goats, seems like their entire goal in life is to piss you off with their behaviour!! lol

  2. Hi Janice - I'll try the epsom salts! I've also heard that borax helps. Our sauce tomatoes always get it worse, but some of the others get it, too. The worst ones this year are all down in one spot, where the soil is still pretty sandy and dry. I wonder if there is a sauce tom that has some resistance bred into it? I'll try to remember to apply the salts/eggshells when planting (if I'm not too overcome with spring optimism). I know the goats are just bored and mischievous, but there are times....

  3. Those damn goats, seems like their entire goal in life is to piss you off with their behaviour!! lol