We all may be grumbling about today's "excessive heat" warning, and the fact that the highs for the rest of the week are in the low to mid-90s, but that is what you expect in the middle of July in Kansas. At least we've recently had rain. This is the first week this summer that every day has a forecast high in the 90s. We should count ourselves lucky.
Yes, I'm thinking of frost as the high temperature climbs steadily toward 100 and the highest chance of rain for the next week is just 30 percent. My rain tanks are full and the hoses are at ready. Today I planted more bush beans so we can have more tender green beans in a couple of months. Beans don't take as kindly to frost as the brassicas, but we should get a good crop of them before we need to worry about frost. When I plant my baby broccoli in the garden I'll also start planting seeds of radishes, lettuce, spinach, bok choy and probably some other things I've forgotten. Carrots and beets get planted now, as well. If you plan to protect them with plastic once frosty weather sets in, you may plant some of these things just a bit later. One year my radishes, carrots and beets under cover continued to grow well into November, maybe even December. Once the carrots and beets are grown, they can be protected by a thick layer of mulch and harvested until the ground freezes.
When planting cool-season crops in the heat of summer, water water water and a little shade are the things to remember. I recently bought more soaker hoses and really need to order some drip irrigation supplies. I should already have my drip irrigation system in, but 10 inches of rain during the last two weeks of May, and continued rain in the first couple of weeks of June made it seem like a task that could wait, especially when weeds are taking over everything. Even though we've recently had rain (more than 3 inches just last week) the high heat tells me I really need to put some serious thought into the drip irrigation system. I'll be spending the next few afternoons indoors, so that's top of my list (after all these phone calls I've got to make today).
|Baby watermelons! Summer squash! Tomatoes!|
Next month our summer apples will fill the baskets, Then more apples over the next couple of months. Gladiolus, zinnias, phlox and many wildflowers bloom right now, with extra color added by the butterflies. The next six weeks will seem long as the days are hot, sunny and dry. So September will be welcome.