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July has taken me by surprise.  I had expected everything once green to be brown and crispy.  Everything.  I am so happy I was wrong.  Before I blow the trumpet too loudly, I think it only honest that I disclose the number of triple digit heat deaths...

My beautiful pineapple sage died.  Both of them.  I suppose the loss would be more devastating if I had grown if from seed instead of laying out 5 bucks at Lowes.  I was looking forward to harvesting radish seeds right up to the moment I came home and found them ALL brown and crispy.  Radishes.  I killed radishes, the easiest veggie on the planet to grow.  I won't even go into the green bean saga... I'll just say we are NOT harvesting green beans. On the brighter side, the pumpkin vines gave me two lovely future pies before it gave way to squash bugs. I had the fabulous idea to transplant my tomatoes and peppers to the dappled shade of the north wall.  While the peppers are thanking me with new greenness, the tomatoes said adios.  On the topic of transplanting, I HAD to move the palm that was crowding the irsis bed... and, yea, it's dead too unless by some miracle it shows signs of life in the future.  Stranger things have happened, like the mostly dead zucchini plant I couldn't bring myself to pull.  I just couldn't do it and I have been rewarded with new life out of the bed of death.  OK, that was a bit dramatic but it IS extra cool to see it putting on new leaves every day.  Lest I forget, the beautiful red honeysuckle that was doing SO well changed its mind.  I couldn't dig it up, not yet, so I just cut it back and pray it surprises me with new shoots come spring.  Don't spoil my dream with reality...I'll dig it up next summer when all hope is past.

So, now I know a little more of the do's and don'ts of gardening in the valley of the sun.  Mostly ~ Don't expect too much, don't be devastated when the best of plans turn crispy, be encouraged with life no matter what shade of green it happens to be, and always trust God with the details.

That said, all is not brown and crispy... there remains the promise of something beautiful for tomorrow.  

Pepper plants are now a year old.

Sweet potato plants scattered through out the garden are doing fabulous!

                                  Yes, I am trying green beans again, this time in the iris bed again where they did well last fall.

Black eyed peas are just beginning to flower.

My beautiful pineapple plant!  Only 2 more years before it fruits.  :-)

Basil and sunflowers, Zinnias and okra all flourishing in the hot hot sun.  It is enough encouragement for another season!

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Comment by Kim Watkins on August 20, 2014 at 9:17pm

I usually dig up the sweet potatoes in november. They love a long hot summer but stop growing when the nights cool.


Comment by Ericka on August 4, 2014 at 8:54am

I find that Okra calls it quits once it gets cool, esp. at night. By Nov. they are done. 

I know nothing about sweet potatoes,but it seems like OCt-Nov. is harvest season for those here.

Comment by De Ann on August 1, 2014 at 5:50pm

Sage was another plant that is slowly going belly up.  Now I don't feel so bad about it.  Will okra keep thru the winter here?  That would be fabulous!  I have kinda started the 'next' season by reseeding my winter squashes.  Question:  When do I know to dig up the sweet potatoes?  I've never grown them before.  I read somewhere that they have to flower first?  

Comment by Ericka on August 1, 2014 at 3:56pm

This summer has been pretty brutal, no monsoon has really put our garden on pause for sure.

I did want to mention that radishes are a cool season crop so they were bound to expire. In fact, beginning of Sept. is when you plant radish up until March. They do not like the heat one bit. Also, when I took the Master Gardener course, the Herb class Carolyn Hill mentioned that sage will alway side off in the summer so plan on re-planting this every year. Except white sage (I think) that type can sometimes survive our summers, sometimes.

Give yourself kudos, many things you have are looking great! 

Comment by Candice Yurcisin on August 1, 2014 at 1:33pm

Had a few "tragedies" myself lately. Time to prepare for fall!

Comment by Melissa Rawlings on August 1, 2014 at 11:14am

I'm sure we all have had our garden mourning, I know I have. I rejoice in the fact that we get to have TWO growing seasons though!

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