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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If I Had a Garden

I would be gritching about the heat. 100F+ for several days now. 

Tomatoes will not set fruit in temperatures higher than 85F, some 90F degrees. Pollen becomes unviable. If it's super humid, pollen because too dense, heavy, to do much good. Keep the plants healthy by side dressing them with fertilizer. You can also try shading them with your awesome bed sheets, and have a light mister going during peak heat hours. They will fruit once the temperatures come back down.  And when Fall sets in, don't forget that you can make all kinds of yummy dishes with unripened tomatoes.

The heat, as you know, kills the cool weather plants, but it also has detrimental effects on your cowpeas, common beans, corn and sorghum. ( cotton, rice and wheat as well, FYI). If your overnight temps are reaching above 75F, good luck getting any of the above to do much of anything. 

If you are entering drought, or in a constant one, flooding the garden a few times a week, in the evening, will help the chances of your plants producing for you. Do not flood them every night, 3x a week, or when the soil at root level starts to dry, is all you need. Be sure to side dress with fertilizers! When watering, you need to remember that evaporation is a huge factor. You are losing more moisture than you think. 

Do not flood your orchards, it causes the soil to lose the oxygen for the roots to survive. A good soaking is fine. 

Well, that's what I would do if I had a garden.

Small harvesting potatoes last fall. The tire tower worked better in drought than the lazy bed method.



Sandy Livesay said...


Thanks for the information, I do need to cover my tomato plants for more shade.

My potatoes are actually doing very well in there tires :-) can't wait to harvest those.

longtime wife said...

Boy you will so love gardening in Kentucky!
And with water on your property that will never be an issue, you could make a diversion channel to your garden that you could open as needed. I really think you will love Kentucky. The plains are ok, but alot of the same. I am in PA and the west virginia, kentucky carolinas are some of the nicest places.

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