I hope you’re making it through this heat okay. We’re not out of it yet, but at least we’re going to “dip” back into the 80s a few days next week.
I’m trying to tell myself that it’s good that it’s hot, it means the figs are ripening. But then I step outside and think I’d be okay with the figs taking a little longer if it meant it was a little cooler. Fortunately, there are many crops that, as long as they get watered, handle the heat a lot better than I do.
Cantaloupes are one of those illustrious crops that don’t mind the heat. Look for a nice golden color in a ripe cantaloupe. In the picture below, the lower cantaloupe still has some green and should sit out on the counter for 1-2 days to ripen. Top left has a nice golden color and could be cut now through tomorrow. And the melon on the right is ready to be cut right now. Once your melon is ripe, you can store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cutting it. Once cut, the cantaloupe will keep a couple days in the fridge. Farmer Matt is trialing a smaller cantaloupe (1-2 lbs at full size) right now; the plants are loaded with flowers and we’re excited to see how it turns out.
And it may be hot, but we still have to plant for fall. We’ve got trays and trays of lettuce, kale, and collard seedlings under the Paw Paw trees. We’ll pretend that we planned to have trees with dense foliage near the seeding station (and a water source). Thanks to the trees, the seedlings are in the shade for most of the day, keeping them from cooking in the summer.
A note from Farmer Ruth:
Ever since we went through a prolonged heat wave (and no rain for 8 weeks) in 2001, when plants burnt to a crisp in the field, we make sure our plants have a drink of water regularly. Drip irrigation saves our plants when the weather turns intense. Be kind to your plants and give them an extra drink of water!
In case your hanging baskets didn’t make it through last week’s heat wave, all hanging baskets are on now sale for $12.99. Stop by the store and get yours before they’re sold out. Mostly begonias, impatiens, and geraniums.