August surprised us this year in our part of the Ohio River Valley. Mild temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s (F) are unusual during what we usually refer to as the “dog days of summer.” Felt much like late September. It would have been a shame to face winter without a few of those miserably hot, stick-to-your-car-seat, never-stop-sweating days that make you contemplate moving as far north as you possible can. “Hello, Santa, Could I borrow a cup of eggnog?”
But, alas, summer has caught up with us with a stretch of 90-degree days and humidity levels usually found only under water.
The garden has reacted accordingly, with the tomatoes and peppers drinking in the heat and exhibiting the remarkable fecundity that August usually produces in the garden. It smells of green hotness and dank vegetal matter, what I imagine it smelled like when dinosaurs roamed an earth that was one big tropical rain forest.
But while the heat produces an abundance of garden goodies, the humidity can be a bit unkind to the peonies, zinnias and other plants susceptible to mildew. And a leaf fungus has taken hold in the tomato patch, eager to stop production before we are satiated on love apples. With any luck, we’ll be able to manage it at least for a few more weeks until the frost arrives.
My Granny used to warn me about the danger of snakes this time of year, more likely to bite than
run slither away due to the effect of the heat on their cold-blooded bodies, resulting in hot tempers and a general lack of lack of conviviality. I took (and continue to take) her advice and avoid snakes during August (as well as the rest of the year.)
How’s the summer been in your neck of the woods? Has it been a productive year for your plants? Any particular success or failures due to the weather?