Since posting a week ago my cherry tomato crop is looking to be 300 plus if I can manage to control the various pests and diseases that challenge these plants. Butterflies are laying eggs, leaves are turning yellow and birds are getting interested. Knowing these are common problems with solutions keep me from throwing in the towel. I marvel when I think about our colonial ancestors who had to solve these problems to survive. Albertsons was not an option.
Since both Chu and I love snow peas, I have planted two whisky barrels in addition to 4 squares in one of my raised beds to reduce the risk of losing some. In my excitement I planted the first crop too early (mid-August) and they have struggled. They may still make it, but look ragged from fighting the consistent 100 degree heat we have been having. The ones planted in the barrels (and shaded) look much happier. My greater concern are the yellow leaves on four of my six tomato plants planted in the raised bed. The fruit looks healthy, but the yellow is excessive. The depth of my two raised beds average 8-10 inches. These 4 plants were planted in an area with only 6 inches of Mel's' mix and 12 inches apart. According to Mel, the depth and spacing should be OK but I'm suspecting due to our desert heat they would do better in at least 10 inches. The two tomato plants planted in the deeper whisky barrel hardly have any yellow leaves at all. Next year I will rotate my peas to the 6 inch area since they are more shallow rooted. Click on these photos to see the tomatoes AND the yellow leaves.My pole beans are amazing climbers. Without any help from me their tendrils easily grasped the nylon trellis with a death-like grip. Does Jack and the Bean Stalk come to mind?
We are now starting to harvest spinach, radishes and banana peppers. The bell peppers are beginning to take shape and hopefully we can have a crop of these before it gets too cool.
For family members, I've included a photo taken at Peter's (my brother-in-law) 65th birthday brunch. Peter is VERY happy since he now qualifies for Medicare. Peter's wife, Kay, put on a great spread for this occasion and invited all related persons living in Tucson. Even at 65, only the naive will take him on in ping pong (Amber Rose). Chu and I also hiked a trail near Gates Pass this past week. The hike was great and made even more exciting by running into ANOTHER large diamond back rattle snake. I thank God he put rattles on these guys as I would have surly stepped on it had I not been warned!