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Tomatoes are still alive

Although the extreme drought has been really bad for our garden, making it almost impossible to grow any decent vegetables this year, my tomatoes are still alive. There have been few occasions when late blight almost killed all of my plants, but prolonged dry periods have actually helped to stop the blight and despite the odds, I still have some tomatoes. Usually, by this time, I'm already done with my tomato harvests, but this year my big tomato harvest has actually just started a few weeks ago. In normal years by this time, we'd have showers and prolonged rain periods followed by fogs which usually kill my tomatoes. So I usually grow only tomatoes with a short growth period. They are usually done with the second-floor harvest by the end of August. This year I bought my seedlings, and I already wrote about the prolonged ripe period of the varieties I've got , so some of my varieties are actually just starting to ripe. The ox-heart tomato is such a late variety that it has
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Stuck in a never-ending day

It has been a hot late summer day for the past 20 days. Every single day the morning temperatures have been around 13°C(55°F) and daily temperatures around 33°C(91°F), not a single drop of rain and not a single cloud in the sky. Right about a week ago, it started to feel like we're waking up on the same day every single morning. Nature also has the same feeling, everything is standing still, almost feels like it's hibernating. Nothing is growing and nothing is happening. If it weren't for the fruit leaves that are slowly starting to turn yellow, there wouldn't be any sign of the summer's end. The grass isn't growing, vegetables aren't growing, there are no mushrooms or autumn fruits. Everything is standing still.   The situation in my garden is the same. Nothing is moving, everything is as it was in the middle of August. There are no new veggies or newly grown plants, the soil is still completely dry, weeds are hardly visible and there's actually not muc

Removing the sunshade plants

Although we've had a week of abundant sunshine, due to the low morning temperatures, the temperatures haven't reached over 30°C (86°F). This is wonderful for the vegetables and garden plants. They aren't experiencing heat distress anymore. Still, we're in a drought period and there's not enough water. We had a couple of showers at the beginning of the last week, but most of the showers didn't hit us directly, so the amounts that we got were very small. Since the heat is no longer so strong and the morning temperatures are around 10°C (50°F), the vegetables that like the sun don't need any more sun protection, so I decided to remove the sun shading plants. Cosmoses that are around the fefferoni peppers are mostly done with flowering and are starting to turn yellow, so I've decided to remove most of them. I have enough Cosmoses at the bottom of the garden and on the paths to collect seeds for next year, so I can remove the rest without any damage. Removing

Don't water the beans

 Beans are one of the vegetables that are highly stressed during the summer heat. They like warmth and they are very frost sensitive, but when temperatures are too high, the beans will react with the lack of pods. This year has been very warm and very dry in Croatia, and in most of the gardens, bean crops have failed completely. Beans that have managed to grow pods are very expensive and rare, and most of them come from the mountainous region of Croatia, where the temperatures are always much lower.  There's not much we can do during the heatwaves. The solution would be to lower the temperature under 29°C(85°F) for the plants to grow pods, but let's face it, not many of us have that option in our gardens. So what else can we do to help the beans? Could we try not watering them? This may sound a bit foolish, but here's why I've stopped watering my plants during the heat. When the beans get enough water during the heatwave, they keep on producing flowers, which continuous

Weird pumpkin identified

 A few weeks ago, I've noticed a pumpkin-like plant growing next to my rhubarb. I haven't sown any of my zucchinis or pumpkins here, so I had no idea which plant it was. When it first started growing I thought it could be watermelon, but as the leaves were getting bigger I was certain that it was some kind of pumpkin.  The vine continued growing like mad, so I guessed it could be pumpkin, but the problem is that I haven't sown any pumpkins in a very long time. Sure, the birds could have brought the seeds, but no one is growing pumpkins close to my garden, so I had no idea what kind of pumpkin it could be. This week finally the mystery was solved. The vine is actually the Round beauty zucchini. I've sown them in the spring, but on the top of the garden. I have no idea how the seeds got here, could be the birds or the downpour we had in May that dug out the seeds and took them all the way to the bottom of the garden. Considering the position of the grown plant I think the

Battle for tomatoes continues

As soon as we got some colder weather, the tomato diseases activated again. The blight is now spreading even faster than before, and it will be hard to stop. The rain brought us first fogs, and they are usually death for our tomatoes, especially when we have relatively high afternoon temperatures right after the fog (27°C/80°F). So far I was able to prevent the late blight from spreading to the fruits, but now there's no way to stop it. The fruits are also getting infected, especially the ones that are on the top of the garden, which gets less sun during the day.  Because of the fair number of tomatoes that are still healthy I had no other choice but to pull the infected ones out. There's no more time for them to grow other fruits and the only thing they will do is infect the healthy tomatoes.  The good thing about moving the infected tomatoes is that the cabbages will now have more room to grow, and they will be ready for harvest sooner. Although the top tomato bed is badly in

The summer killer was here

 The Assumption of Mary, August 15th, is a well-known date in Croatian inland as the summer destroyer. Around the 15th, we get a hard weather change with strong north winds that drastically lower the temperatures. We still get some warm days, and even temperatures above 30°C, but the nights are always colder, so there's no chance for a heatwave anymore. This year the change was late, but it came on August 17th. We didn't get much rain, but the temperatures dropped significantly, with morning temperatures around 11°C (51.8°F), which we didn't have since mid-June. The rain that we got revived the tired veggies and woke up the ones that were sown last week. Now all of the baby plants that I've recently sown are out and growing. The autumn lettuce is all out, and the one that I've transplanted has rooted well and it has started growing new leaves. Due to the accident with the seedlings, many of the lettuce varieties have been lost, so I've sown them directly to the