This heat has not been good for our gardens at all. The temperatures are in the 90s and the “feels-like” temps are over 100. Almost all of our herbs are bolting, and half of the fruits and veggies are either bolting or died off. We were out of town for two weeks, and had Justin’s family coming over to water the garden. We also set the sprinklers to come on every day for a few minutes. It still wasn’t enough for most of it.
The herb garden is almost all dead or bolting or getting overrun with weeds. One of our indoor plants wasn’t doing too well, so I planted that outside to see if it helps. The aloe plants are usually in the yard, but we moved them to be able to mow where they sit and to give the grass a break. I also noticed that almost all of the stain that I had put on the cinderblocks has worn off.
In the vegetable garden area, the okra is still doing well. The celery hasn’t changed much at all. We have one or two onions that are almost ready to harvest, and a few peppers still growing. The lettuce is almost ready to harvest the seeds, and something has been eating at my broccoli plants that never produced. The tomatoes have all wilted in the sun, and the mint is starting to bolt as well.
On the other side of the yard, the blackberry bush seems to still be growing really well, and we have had to tie more of the branches up to keep it more of a bush rather than running all over the yard. The pineapples are also still growing, but we lost over half of the strawberry plants. When we planted those, it had said that zone 9 can sometimes be too hot for them, and apparently this summer that’s true. The few that are left aren’t looking so good either.
Even with all this intense heat, the plants that are thriving are the tropical plants along the back of the yard. While we were gone our banana trees grew at least another foot taller each, and the canna lilies are now just about as tall as the fence. The ginger bush plants we have are finally starting to really fill out as well, and there is definitely new growth on the spider grass that we moved from the front yard to the back a couple months ago.
I hate seeing everything in the gardens dying off and/or bolting, but we figured that was a potential during the summer because of the heat. At this point, we are going to try to let everything bolt and collect the seeds from it once that happens to use for the fall. We don’t have to worry much about freezing and frost here, but the heat of the summer is killer on most of these plants. I enjoyed being able to grab foods from our own garden when making meals, but that will have to wait for a few more months now until we can plant for the fall.
At least all the plants along the back are doing well. I love looking out the back windows and seeing all that lush, tropical greenery. We have already said that whenever we move, we will definitely be planting some banana trees and canna lilies again. They are just the look we were going for and they grow so quickly. Not to mention they are hardy and can withstand the heat pretty well, which is good since I don’t ever plan to live where it gets cold!