Early to bloom, early to ripen, early demise. On the calendar that is! Our “endless summer” has mitigated its heat wave temporarily, so plants look a bit more refreshed. As observed over the last couple of weeks, some squash leaves signaled their fatigue and resignation to powdery mildew, as the fruits of their efforts came into maturity. Spaghetti squash and delicata bushes were harvested and removed, providing some more freed crawling space for the little margarita and chanterai-type melons. It seems so early for all this, but then again summer weather started very early. Our first tomato pickings, too, and now they are moving into more continual ripening. Zucchinis and yellow summer squash are still very active, and the cucumbers come in little waves. I haven’t dared to peek under the acorn squash yet; and it is still quite mildew-free, so there’s a bit of time to catch the breath before doing more work.
As much as I’d like to start planting more lettuce, it is still too early, given the soil and air temperatures are too warm; must be patient till at least mid-to-late August. It is amazing how well beets will hold up if they can keep their roots shaded from too much light. And, it is always amazing how beans will recuperate from moderate deer browsing, to push forth more flowers again. Seems like we might have the deer stymied for the time being, although he does come by to see what vines he can possibly nibble on that might escape the protection of netting.
I have been watching for the signs of summer fatigue in the landscape and forest trees this last week, after another 4-day marathon of 100-degree heat. Whereas the subtle shift of green to green-gold comes in mid-late August, there are some trees that have flat-out protested the whole summer, with leaves turning brown, curling up, and are blowing off this week. I had a brief glimpse of fall there, then realized these were severely heat-stressed! Lavenders have recuperated a bit, and providing plenty of nectar for the bees and butterflies. Life is good!