Back in July, as we were watching the blossoms on our tomatoes dry up and fall off, I read this post from Pobept:
“Tomato’s and Peppers stop pollinating and blooms drop occur when:
Daytime temperatures greater than 32° C (90° ) Pollen sterility occurs, flowers may drop.
35° C (95° F) Much reduced fruit set .
Night time temperatures less than 15.5° C (60° F) or greater than 24° C (75° F) will result in poor fruit set.”
Well, crap! Our daytime temps have been well over 95 for months now, with night time temperatures in the high 60’s, even 70’s.
We’ve seen some fruit on our tomato vines, but it’s just sitting there.
Beautiful green round tomatoes. The only ones that started to ripen turned out to have blossom rot.
But, we have been getting my favorite beans, the asparagus and long red beans. We get enough of those for dinner about every other night.
I have to look hard, they like to hide in the Johnson grass.
Peaches don’t do well in this weather either. They don’t get very big, they get burned, they don’t ripen evenly. And the blue jays are waiting. Every day I go out and pick a small box and leave it to ripen in the garage for a couple of days.
Today I have enough to fill a freezer bag. They aren’t as nice as tree-ripened fruit, but it’s better than paying $2.50 a pound at the store.
My husband planted the usual melons, different kinds – in past we’ve done well enough to freeze a bag of mixed melon.
The last months have been tough. We spent our “discretionary” money fixing up our old rental to sell, and with no tenants to pay rent, that got pretty hairy. I worried and worried as my husband and son scraped paint and replaced rotten wood, replaced old fixtures, spent a couple thousand bucks just doing required testing and repairs. Luckily the buyer was anxious and willing, and very cooperative, or I think my husband would still be on top of that house scraping and hammering.
He had to replace the hail-damaged shingles himself, but it was worth the savings.
Plus, my son was going through a lot of angst over the last year, marginally employed, girlfriend marginally employed, our town turning to crap all around their heads. Even in the worst neighborhoods, housing is incredibly expensive here, whether you buy or rent. They wanted a house with a yard – in their price range, that would mean “Chapmantown.” Poor Mr. Chapman, getting that albatross hung round his neck.
A typical example – one cute house they looked at was on the news a few nights later. The neighbor, an elderly woman, had an old motor home parked in her side yard, and couldn’t keep the transients from breaking into it at night. One night it caught fire and nearly burned her house and the house next door. The news crews talked to other neighbors – older folks, many of whom kept little trailers on their property, or had sheds in their yards, and had the same problem – constant break-ins by transients.
Chico is having horrific problems right now, so we all had to wrap our heads around the concept of them moving to another town. That was hard for me, and later I realized, it was pretty traumatic for them too.
They found a much nicer house and cheaper expenses, but we are physically separated for the first time, another town, a good half hour away.
So, it was nice for the boy to spend a couple of months tagging along with Dad, scraping and painting and hammering, and talking about things that go bump in the night.
So now I got my husband and my dogs and my garden, and thank goodness for texting.