Here is an interesting article from a gardener in Arkansas.
Gardening is tougher when it is hot and humid!
by Janet Carson | July 19, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.
This past week was our hottest and most humid so far this year. Our upcoming week has slightly cooler temperatures predicted, but when you look at the heat index, you know the humidity must be a killer, because we are in the low 100’s for feel like temperatures every day! We have a slight chance of rain 2 days, but it doesn’t look like anything measurable. But think back to previous summers. At least our yards are still green, even those yards where no one waters. That could begin to change if this weather pattern continues. Right now, I feel like I have a hose fastened to me. The pots on the deck in particular need daily watering—and even with early morning soakings, I sometimes see some wilting by late afternoon.
I am hearing a lot of complaints that tomatoes are on standstill for ripening.
When temperatures get above 95, they are slow to ripen. I am still getting a ton of peppers and eggplants, and the squash are slowly coming back. I did not have squash vine borers but I was attacked by two army worms
(or at least that is how many I found!) I am still getting cucumbers and the okra is almost big enough to start blooming –it was a very late planting.
I don’t grow much from seed with the exception of a few vegetables, but this year I scattered some sunflower and zinnia seeds that I found in the garage. Both are blooming.
I think my sunflowers may be a bit confused. I have always thought they all faced the west or the sunny part of the yard, but I have some pointing in all directions.
The summer annuals are the best I have ever had—my gardens are a sea of color—and much of it orange!
I am also covered with Hydrangea paniculata varieties in full bloom all over the yard.
I have enjoyed spending time in the garden this year and watching the daily evolution. I have been seeing butterflies, and finally got some swallowtail caterpillars—no monarchs yet, in spite of milkweed in the yard! I was watching my baby swallowtails,and they were growing daily on my parsley and fennel. I was showing my son them one day and one of those horrid red wasps swooped in right in front of us and killed one of the caterpillars. I started throwing sticks at the wasp, but missed. Once the caterpillar was dead, I killed the wasp. I think my son thought I was overreacting a bit! I hate wasps! It is amazing that we have any butterflies with all the problems they deal with. I read that there is a 90% mortality rate in most species! I guess it is a dog eat dog world, or a wasp eat caterpillar one. I saw more adult swallowtails today around the parsley and fennel so I will be on the lookout for caterpillars and wasps!
The hotter it gets, the harder it is to spend much time in the garden. I try to get outside as early as possible, because the weeds are not stopping, and the grass still needs mowing. Work smart, drink lots of water and don’t forget to water your plants!
Taken from https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2020/jul/19/gardening-tougher-when-it-hot-and-humid/
Again till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337