Up in the low 100's over this weekend. That always kind of changes things.
I am spending a lot of time hanging around here and rearranging the watering. So far so good, but boy does it dry out fast, even in partial shade, even with mulch.
I've been getting in some nice pattipan squash, and have bell peppers and tomatoes starting to fruit out. I've got the bell peppers in a fair piece of shade and well watered and they are doing just fine. I plan to string up the shadecloth very soon over the major tomato patch, even though I have it mulched and the soil well amended. Desert gardening has its own unusual requirements.
A few of the tomatoes are coming down with something that is either a nutrient deficiency or some kind of wilt...if it's wilt, nothing I can do about it other than plant something in the same spot that isn't susceptible. Part of my heirloom tomato project is about experimenting with disease susceptibility, so that's okay, in a way. It's all data that I want to collect and share with other growers. What's interesting is that I had purple calabashes (and crosses) there for the last few years, and I got none of that, and since wilts hang in the soil for a long time, that is something of a datum. I'm going to figure out what's wrong with them; people here will help. The leaves are discoloring from the bottom up, yellowing out. But we'll talk about that when I have photos.
I couldn't get any purple calabash seed this year (this is a very old Mexican tomato variety; tomatoes are originally from Mexico). They look different from your standard tomato hybrid; the flowers, the growth pattern, the look of the leaves. I'll try to get some photos of the different varieties I've been growing to try to show some of that soon.
So I've been wondering whether it's possible to look to the older, odder heirloom varieties for disease-resistance. Well, I know it's done all the time, when there is a crop crisis. So it makes sense to pay attention to such things pre-emptively. I'm not the only person thinking about this; I think over a third of the seeds listed in the Seed Savers Exchange yearbook are tomatoes varieties.
I have them in different plots in the yard and I still have some in pots to put in different plots, after I get some other stuff harvested. Wilt diseases live in the soil for a long time. I have different varieties in different plots. I'm trying to work with different vectors thusly.
I plan on doing another garden photodiary for June, with more detail, soon.
The tap water from our city wells is still failing to deposit any kind of calcium salt patina on the soil surface, which is fascinating considering that we have had no precipitation since last September other than the several inches of snow in the bad freeze in I think early February.
The El Nino heavy rains in the mountains the year previous must have bumped up the aquifers enormously...thinking about the scope of all of that is fascinating.
We are still not on water restrictions, and we are starting to get tentative thunderstorm predictions. No action there yet locally.
Watching the weather in adjacent parts of the country, though, I'd settle for one bad hailstorm and no tornadoes. People here don't do basements.