That’s what I tell folks when they ask about (the weather) My Atlanta Garden. This is supposed to be a Zone 7b climate, and yes, we are known for our hot humid heat, our dog days of (Indian) summer, and even our dry spells. But rarely do we get them all at the same time. Or so early.
The heat is typical – for September / October, but usually late Summer / early Fall also provides us fringes of tropical storm bands to break up the sweltering heat. Today is June 14th, flag day (I think), and (according to my calendar), I have not seen any (measurable) rain in …. wow. It’s been so long, I hadn’t yet started keeping track of the rain this year, when it last rained. It’s easily been 6 weeks, and I’m pretty sure closer to Two Month’s since last my ground was wetted by wain.
In that time, the high temperatures have not been less than 94*F during the day, or lower than 80*F at night. (ok, maybe there were, like 2 days in there when it was 87/75, the same 2 days it was overcast and we saw a ‘sprinkling of rain’). Needless to say, it is brutal. My poor air conditioner is crying for a break, as the kids manipulate for cooler temps (low 70s) and dad advocates for the health of the heat pump (upper 70s) inside the house.
Outside, well, this is where I need help. I’m no master gardener. I have brown (Ga red clay) thumbs, and am guaranteed to kill just about anything, given a chance. While I stand tall knowing most of the plants in myatlantagarden have fared better than in (nearly) any other year (the very first year on the property was best), they are all succumbing to the heat, and dying a slow sadistic death.
By far, the onions have produced the best, seeming to thoroughly enjoy their rock garden bed. The peppers in the same bed have mixed results. The Green Bell Pepper plants put off off (2) small fruit early, additional fruit is nonexsistent. The hot peppers, on the other hand, took longer to get started, but continue to put off small habeneros. The squash (yellow Zuchinni) plants (also in this bed), while not flourishing, are fruiting regularly and providing delicious Zuch’s.
Up in the cinder (raised) garden, the stalks have grown tall and thick, and the ‘apples’, (according to my buddy and 5 year old friend Will) are numerous, and big. Only a single Brandywine so far, but oh my, was it good. No, not good. Fabulous. Magnificent. Mouth Quenching. Juicy. (I could go on and on, but suffice it to say it was better than any store bought tomato I’ve ever had, even if it was on store bought bread, salt and mayo…)
The plants were so big, and the fruit so heavy, even with the cages and cord as support, two of the plants toppled over, snapping the stalks. Yes, while this is sad, thankfully I have oh so many more.
I must admit to being bewildered by these bushy budding … (I ran out of B words) plants. When I prune them, snapping off the lower limbs or any active suckers, I can can just stick them into the media bed, and they will root. Easy as all get out to propogate. Yet keeping these same plants healthy and productive into the harvest stage is nearly impossible (for me it seems). I can only assume it’s the blistering heat. The shade seems to have helped, and plentiful water is always provided, still, the soaring temperatures seem to be just too much.
None of the beans really produced, at least not for long, and the cucumbers are just now starting to thrive… I’m so confused.