A taste of summer weather
By Clif Knight
We know it’s hot when we step outside and are reminded that we left our hat inside. Nothing is more compelling than the need for a head covering to help protect a balding head from 100-degree heat in the face of a scorching hot summer day. Such was the case on most days last week when the temperature eclipsed the century mark. The feel-like temperature was even higher with the humidity factor included.
I started showing the ill effects of the heat walking about 100 yards to my small garden patch. My head, face and arms were already sweating profusely and I had to sponge off the sweat before I picked up a hoe and started working. Every 30 minutes, I’d take a 10- minute break and rest under a shade tree.
At the same time, I’d drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It didn’t help that I spent most mornings in the air-conditioned comfort of my home. Ideally, I could’ve prevented some of the stress of heat by working outside during the early hours of the day and spent more time indoors during the afternoon.
Lack of moisture in the ground added to the difficulty of maintaining peak conditions for plant growth during the dry days of late June. Fortunately, early to conventional garden crops received adequate rainfall during their early growth stages and haven’t been adversely affected. The problem has been getting seed germination and early root growth in the absence of rainwater. I have always poured a row of water in rows before dropping seed.
This practice has usually gotten plants out of the ground and off to an early growth start. However, I have been forced to replant in skips on most everything I’ve planted and it has been necessary to water some of the plants after they have come out of the ground. Tomato plants are an exception. They have set a good crop and are close to reaching maturity.
Varmints continue to be my worst enemy. Birds attack seed after they germinate, scratching them up and leaving bare spots. A deer still makes its home in the woods behind my house and makes a occasional visit to the garden. It snacks on the buds of okra and tomato plants. Armadillos tear up the ground hunting grub worms.