This evening, I noticed a story running on several news sites about the temperatures in June. They were the highest in recorded history across the globe, and our temperatures here in Northeast Ohio were no exception. I rarely run the air conditioning, but when they're consistently in the mid-90s for a few days with little cooling at night... well, my Gardening Assistant looks like she's about to melt under all of that heavy Malamute fur, and that's when I cave in.
Thanks to the wet spring and the hot temperatures, almost all of my fruit crops have been promising banner yields. I had to thin the peaches, and the raspberries gave me so much fruit that it was borderline ridiculous. Tonight, at dusk, I picked my first peach:
And I already found the first fruit on my container-planted 'Yellow Doll' watermelons:
Guess it's time to start figuring out just how I'm going to support those fruits, huh? They're a little smaller than a tennis ball right now, but will end up being 3-7lbs at maturity. (Imagine that there was such a thing as a "single serving watermelon"... that's how the mature 'Yellow Dolls' will end up looking, size-wise.)
On the flip side, the heat and dryness of July has really decimated my blackberry crop. On a single berry, about half of the little segments have dried up while the others mature. I still eat them, carefully, but they're not really good for making jam and such. And the birds and squirrels have been eating my grapes--partly for the juice in them, I would imagine. The 'Concord' grapes are mostly okay, as there's a protective layer of chicken wire around the arbor that I've been too lazy to remove, but 'Himrod White' is almost completely picked clean!
Hopefully the 'Brown Turkey' figs, pictured above, will keep enjoying the heat and will escape the critters' attention. There are a good dozen and a half right now, and I would be happy to get at least several to harvest. As always in a garden... time will tell!