I’ve been busy gardening through the 100°F days right up to our current absolutely wonderful range of low 80’s with a nighttime drop to mid 50’s. It reminds us of what New England temperatures use to be and why people enjoyed living here during the summer.
I took a break from working outside and went on a tour of the historic gardens at Strawbery Banke last week with a friend and my Master Gardener group on the final day of the oppressive heat. It went well over 100°F, and it was sweltering. The tour was great, the company was fun, lunch at Gino’s Chowder House was delicious, but I sure did appreciate the A/C after I got home.
Weeks of temperatures going over 90 have taken a toll on plants. I’ve had to pull out several of my vegetable plants and my blackberry harvest is being impacted by the high heat. A blackberry or raspberry is made up of a series of drupelets, those small circles that make up the berry itself. The berries that are in the center of the plant are perfect, while the berries on the outside may have one or more drupelets turn white. As a home gardener, I can just cut those out but for those farmers hoping to sell their crop, it can be devastating.
I’ve also had to dig up dark leafed plants and move them to a shadier spot in order to save them. On the plus side, the phlox and brown eyed susans are loving the heat. Did I mention we’re also in drought status, so watering is a challenge.
On Thursday, we went to New Castle with a friend to watch the parade of tall ships as they made their way into Portsmouth. The weather was overcast but nice and cool, and where else can you sit and enjoy the view of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Fort Constitution, Whaleback Lighthouse, and the Wood Island Life Saving Station except right there where the Piscataqua River meets the Atlantic Ocean.
To top the week off, our refrigerator decided it would be a good time to leak, cause water damage, and then gasp its final breath. Thanks to younger members of the family helping, the leak was halted, the food is in multiple coolers, and a new appliance arrives tomorrow. I can’t say I want to repeat any of this experience any time soon.
This morning I’m headed to Maine to pick up a donation to the Master Gardeners of 100 tomato cages. I’m looking forward to seeing the garden that could utilize that many.
Hope the weather in your area is back to a more normal range and that you’re having a good August.