Here’s my report:
In addition to ongoing production of fresh eating veggies e.g. corn, peppers, tomatoes, beans, okra, and squash, this is the time of year for soil building for fall/winter crops. Failure to use these hot months is a huge missed gardening opportunity to build soils for future as well as produce for now.
For example, pictured below is a triple row of field peas in purple hull and crowders. These are second generation and on their way to producing a third generation of natural soil building, weed inhibiting cover crop where next year’s potatoes and onions will be planted This is how I consistently grow 2 plus pound onions….and how my potatoes consistently produce in excess of 10 pounds of new potatoes per pound of seed potatoes. Its all about soil building and summer is the best time to add N2 and tons of other elements to prep that soil for next year.
This next picture shows first generation field peas growing and replenishing the soil where my potatoes and onions grew last year. Notice the deep dark greens colors indicating presence of N2. This row will be shredded in a couple of weeks and second generation of cover crop will grow and continue to rebuild soil up until fall frosts when winter cover crop will be planted.
I have an ongoing experiment of the use of alfalfa as a summer cover crop. Thus far I’m not favorably impressed with the early results as I’m not seeing required weed suppression and am seeing some repression of good veggies. More time is needed for this experiment, but thus far the alfalfa is not as good as the field peas for summer cover. More on this later.
Corn: Ongoing production is highlighted by my third planting of corn. We will be eating this corn fresh well into August having previously frozen about 40 freezer bags of corn for winter.
Beans: My “King” limas are growing with lush vegetation but only so, so production. Earlier crops of Christmas limas and bingo beans are in the freezer.
Okra is producing profusely. In fact, I can’t keep up with the production as it needs to be harvested daily to insure small tasty fruits.
Peppers: My peppers are regrouping for the fall production phase having already produced many jars of canned peppers. Often, the fall production is the best of the year.
Tomatillos: My tomatillos got a late start but are now carrying numerous small friuits and I’m anxious to see how they mature. Somehow, basil seeds were sent to me first by mistake as tomatillos and I have had to start all over again with the real tomatillos but they seem to be doing great in the summer heat. Loaded with fruit!
Tomatoes: Production from the “Whopper” is winding down while I have a few Arkansas travelers coming on for continued production. I couldn't find "heat master" seeds so using the AT as a substitute. Should get continuous production until frost. The “Whopper” will also produce fall green tomatoes from the limbs that have been covered in dirt and new plants taking off.
We’ve had a great harvest of spaghetti squash (thanks to Karstopo for seeds) and that production is winding down now…but several still to be harvested. Many, many meals produced and still coming.
Summer heat? No problem. This is the time to build soils in preparation for future crops....and also take advantage of those veggies which love the heat.