Tuesday, May 20, 2008

101 Degrees

This squash looks how I feel. I can not believe that it has already hit 100 degrees! I can already feel my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) coming on. I know that most SAD suffering occurs in the winter months when the sun isn't out. But here I get cranky and irritable and sad when it's too hot and sunny. I look outside and it's beautiful. The sun is shining, and the sky is blue. I should be outside enjoying the day.

And then I go outside and end up looking like this:

A dried out gnarled version of myself. It doesn't matter that I've lived here almost sixteen years. It doesn't matter that I know where every watering hole is within a 100-mile radius. It still sucks. One hundred degrees is still about twenty degrees too hot.

And now I'm worried how this early heat will affect my tomatoes. I've got lots of large green ones but none are ripe. Some are starting to crack before they ripen.

I've heard that tomatoes won't set new fruit when the temperature is above 92. Does this mean that the tomatoes are finished for this season? I built them high-rise condos and now they are only going to need single-story ranch houses?

What about the cucumbers? The lemon cuke just started producing and crawling up the trellis. Is it doomed as well?

Argh. I feel my irritability rising. I have to remind myself that some flowers are still looking good, even in the heat. I think this zinnia has replaced the red as my favorite. Maybe it actually hasn't unfurled completely, but I love it.

And the cosmos continue to dazzle me. I went looking for their seed packet the other day to make sure I get them again and found that they were supposed to be orange and yellow, not purple and lavender.

But that's one surprise I can handle, even enjoy. Summer weather before Memorial Day is not.


  1. That is hot, too hot. We had temps in the high 50's most of the day. Too cold for this late in May. Too cold. It's always something, but is it ever right?

    You have my sympathies!
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. I feel your pain. It was 109 here on Saturday...today it was about 80 I can live with that. I am not ready for the heat of summer yet...I think your tomatoes will be just fine. Keep them watered!

  3. I get summer SAD too. But after reading Cindee's comment, I feel that we got off lucky with a mere 100 degrees. Well, only five more months to go until it's pleasant outside again. ;-)

    Very pretty pictures, by the way!

  4. It does seem that summer comes on to soon and after the wonderful spring bloom it is a shock...we have had temps in the low 80s and I am not ready for hotter, humid weather.

    I'm glad you had a pleasant surprise with the Zinnias.

  5. This is one of the reasons I'm glad other gardeners are blogging--especially Austinites. I've spent years griping out our horrible summers, coming up with plays on winter words like "oversummering", "putting my beds to sleep for the summer" and (my favorite) "the dead of summer".

    Now I have a whole group of people to commiserate with--who understand exactly what I'm talking about and who can help me explain it to those gardeners that think Austinites have a lovely long growing season.

  6. Yes, I feel your sweat! The early heat - not just that 101 degree day, killed my Alliums before they were even 1/2 way up - it's just been too warm. The tomatoes will likely be fine - to set fruit they need to have NIGHT temps below 70 and we should have some more of those coming still. I think the cukes will be fine as well. I can survive a little of this, but by August I'll be right there along with you - SAD! Make Mojitos and sit under the fan!

  7. I am a sufferer of SAD, too. Give me 85 degrees....heck even 90 degrees and I am a happy camper. Any hotter than that and my hubby and kids know to dread lightly, LOL.

  8. There's not much consolation when the temperature 'only' gets to 97 degrees, is there, Vertie! I was interested in the tomato question - we get some every year but the yield seldom seems a result of garden knowledge or practice - just a result of whatever weather we're handed.
    And the Too hot/too bright depression thing is no joke - so good luck!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Thank you for your sympathies. I realized I sounded a bit whiny, and I appreciate your not calling me on that. I immediately felt better after the kvetching and starting making plans to endure the long, hot summer.

    I just wish my vegetables could make such plans. I'm afraid they will still have to tough it out.