Good morning Beekman 1802 Gardeners ! We have had some beautiful weather in South Florida and the Beekman 1802 Heirloom vegetables are loving it ! We have had temperatures in the mid 80s during the day and 60s at night. Which is perfect for our garden.
The winter and summer squash are gigantic and blossoming as of yesterday. The flowers are a beautiful bright yellow. I have also seen flowers on the bush beans and sugar pumpkins. The flowers on the bush beans are a beautiful lavender color.
In Zone 10 at this time of the year it is hot and dry. We might get a rainstorm or two, but it could be a week between good drenchings. Keep an eye out for wilting crops. Nothing spoils production more than dry soil. Make sure all of your irrigation equipment is working properly. Crops that are growing tall and wide need more water. You may have to increase watering frequency to every two to three days in sandy soils. Maintain a 1/2 to 3/4 inch watering. If you are using mulch layers and if they are starting to decompose, add a fresh layer. They should not be more than 3 to 4 inches at one time. Mulch that is too thick can keep water from reaching the roots. If you are using containers to grow your vegetables, they may need water more than once a day. We always water early in the morning so that the water can soak into the soil before the sun reaches over the house and the temperatures rise.
The Simpson Elite lettuce and the Gerrys Round Dutch cabbage are flourshing. I cannot wait to harvest the lettuce, it looks just like spring with it’s bright green curly leaves. I am sure it will be delicious in a salad or on top of your favorite sandwich. Now my mouth is watering.
By now the newly planted crops are ready for another feeding. You may use any one of several feeding techniques. Keep granular fertilizer away from the stems of the plants. Scatter granules over the surface of the root systems. Drench liquids over the root systems as well. Water the plantings after feeding to move nutrients into the soil. Use manure as a sidedressing over the root system or apply a manure tea drench. Keep beans and their relatives at one or two feedings. Give container gardens a weekly feeding with fertilizer solution.
The Black Cherry tomatoes and Slicing Cucumbers are also well on their way. I have noticed a blue colored fly on the tomatoes and I am researching what difficulties he may bring. The two worst disease problems are wilts and leaf spots (blight). Wilts are caused by a bacteria or fungus. Plants start to wilt as if they need water and gradually decline. The only controls are replanting new plants, planting in another area, or growing the next crop in containers. Leaf spots and blight form on the leaves, often starting with the lower leaves. A fungus or bacteria is usually the cause. I hope everything continues to be healthy but thought I would mention what to look for in case you see anything usual.
The Bell peppers have grown to about 8 inches high and we are hoping they will flower soon. I had to include some pictures of some of our Cavandish banana trees. My husband Dan and our Bichon Bentley are a great help to me in the garden. We planted two banana trees over 5 years ago and have had many bananas. I thought it would be interesting for the Beekman gardeners to see what a bunch of bananas on the tree looks like. We are quite proud of them and share with friends and neighbors when they are ripe as a bunch can contain more than 100 bananas. The purple flower lets us know bananas are on their way. When the tree falls over, the bananas are ready to harvest. They are the sweetest fruit I have ever tasted. They make great banana creme pie, banana bread and banana muffins.
Wishing all of the Beekman 1802 gardeners a very happy Sunday from Camp Reed. Enjoy every minute of today and I look forward to catching up with newly acquainted friends on the garden forum. Take care !