We had to be away for a long week, during which Chicago temps played out like this:
Sub irrigated planters (SIPs) and Art's auto watering system saved our produce. I wasn't sure what I'd see the morning I crawled up the ladder at 6:59 to beat the day's heat. Among other things I found an early-producing Glacier tomato that had set fruit. Happy day.
The green beans in their Earthbox were also thriving.
Little Bells sweet peppers love the heat
(and yes I dispatched that one down my gullet for breakfast)
As do these Jimmy Nardellos
The Whippersnapper tomato from Bountiful Gardens, a new variety for us this year, had also set fruit and is loaded with flowers. What a sweet little tomato.
this post about our resulting light harvest) inhibit fertilization.
Optimum fruit set occurs within a very narrow night temperature range of between 60° F and 70° F. When tomato plants experience night temperatures lower than 55° F or above 75° F, interference with the growth of pollen tubes prevents normal fertilization. The pollen may even become sterile, thus causing the blossoms to drop.
Still, the vegetables were thriving, relatively speaking, because they had a steady water supply. Tom Skilling spells out just how dry Chicago's been:
While temp relief is underway, the precipitation picture is an entirely different story. It's abysmal. Since June 1, O'Hare's recorded 29% of its normal rain: 1.18" versus the normal 4.06".
Happiest were these SIPs,
sitting partly under the gazebo cover
Happier still the malabar spinach, twining up the trellis. What and exceptional supply of nutritious green this spinach provides in extreme heat.
I picked some for our noon salad, along with the tailings of the lacinato kale and collards. Time to replant the latter two.
We can't control the weather, but we can control the water supply with sub irrigation (written with the clear understanding that living next to one of the world's largest freshwater lakes helps...a lot).
We lost power last night and into today, the grid clearly challenged by the hellish heat. Cooling breezes have arrived, with luck in time for the later tomatoes to set up for a bountiful August/Sept harvest.