The rain, and whether we get some or not, is the main topic of conversation on Facebook and other social media sites. Gardeners and farmers alike are watching the weather and willing the green and red splotches to venture into their backyard. Today it is our turn and a gentle rain has been falling since dawn. I don’t know how much will end up in the rain gauge but natural rain refreshes the garden in a way that plain watering, however well done, does not.
Maybe it is the clouds that hang around and allow the water to be absorbed by the whole plant rather than just the root systems. The accumulated dust is washed off leaving the landscape clean and bright. One rainy day will be enough though for me.
The cooler temperatures will also be great for the tomatoes who should be putting out new flowers all through July and August so that the fruit will ripen in plenty of time to avoid the first frost of the year. I have a variety called Japanese Black Trifele which is a potato leaf variety. The palm shaped leaves are enormous and apparently the plants are known to produce a bumper harvest, so I am eagerly waiting for my first ones to ripen.
Another oddity in the garden is a basil plant that is one of the large leaf varieties. It has managed to come out with purple splotches on the upper surfaces of the leaves and purple on the underside. According to Renee Shepherd it is probably one of the ornamental varieties that managed to get into the packet of seed but however it got there, it is interesting and fun to watch. I plan on isolating it to save the seed and see what I get next year.
My fall planting plans are underway and the remnant chards and cabbages that were destroyed by deer or other animals can be removed and the ground made ready for the new plants.
I glanced at a chart on the Peaceful Valley web page that gives the exact date that I should be planting beets, chards, cabbages and other cool temperature vegetables. I have some seedlings growing but I think I may need to plant a few more to see us through the fall season.