A couple of weeks ago the summer monsoon rains arrived by the garden. For those that do not know, the garden is in the mountains of central Arizona. Although in the mountains, it is a high desert climate. We do get more precipitation than metro Phoenix and it is generally about 15 – 20 degrees cooler. Despite that, we still have the occasional 100 degree day, and we had a few of them, and many in the high-90s, in June. That, combined with very low humidity and a lack of natural rain stresses the garden. We are now averaging about 2 inches of rain per week; up from no rain for months. All of the annuals are just starting to acclimate to life in the ground so they are not overly established in June. They are now establishing themselves in a very aggressive manner.
Each year it seems as if the rhubarb, which we brought back from a few friends in New England, will wither and die during the hot, sunny and dry June. Then the rains come and with them cooler temperatures and some humidity. Then the garden explodes with growth. Everything that is temperature sensitive, like the peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos, starts setting fruit. Everything turns a nice shade of green.
This year we planted the gourds under some trees so we could send them up the branches and have the gourds hang down like ornaments. The last couple of weeks has produced tremendous growth and our little gourds, and squash that are taking over, are up and over the small trees.
The tomatillos are also producing lots of lanterns and inside the lanterns I can feel tomatillos starting. This has also been a great couple of weeks for the Anaheim peppers, poblano and Joe E Parker, and they are setting lots of fruit and some that set earlier in the season is growing great. The ghost pepper plant is now likely the healthiest pepper I have ever grown. It is setting fruit everyday and the plant is covered with peppers. I am not sure what to do with that many peppers that are that hot. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
This year I planted the Avamatoes in the ground instead of containers so they would grow better. I also placed tomato cages over them to try to contain the wild growth. Well, one of those notions worked – they are growing far better in the ground than they did in containers, but they are growing so wild the cages seem futile. I’m going to have to have a talk with Ava to see if she can talk some sense into them.