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Hot and Humid…Friend or Foe?

Just about everyone I’ve talked to has an opinion about our recent heat wave. I have to admit, while the humidity has been a bit much a couple of days, I do prefer “hot and sunny” to “snowy, blow-y and icy.” I’m not above sitting in my daughter’s kiddie pool and splashing with her to keep cool. She thinks it’s big fun to throw a cup of water at mom and have mom splash back. Heck, when I was a kid I spent most summer days in somebody’s pool.

Unbeknown to me, vegetable plants are kind of partial to warm, humid weather as well. I’ve been watering the veggie plants almost daily because, well, I don’t want them to die and the soil always looks so dry. When I checked them in the morning after it rained, the cucumbers were about an inch around and about 8-10 inches long. The zucchini were about an inch around as well and about 6 inches long.

This is how my first burpless cucumber looked when I checked it before the heat wave.

This is my first regular cucumber before the heat wave.

I guess I should have picked them then because when I checked on them a day or two later, they were all 2-3 inches around and one of the cucumbers had to be about 18-24 inches long. What a difference one day, some cooler temps and some rain can make. Needless to say, I picked them. Believe it or not, the cucumber still tasted pretty good. (I’ve been told veggies can get bitter tasting if they get too big.) I haven’t cut into the zucchini yet; I’m almost afraid to! I hope it still tastes as good as the cucumber!

When I went to pick them, I found I had "super cucumbers." (The kitchen knife can give you a size reference.)

Apparently, heat and humidity bring out "super zucchinis," too. (Kitchen knife=size reference)

The morale of this story:  while heat and humidity may not be a friend to you, they can be to your vegetables. If you’re a newbie at veggie gardening, check on your plants at least once a day. You never know what you might find.

Until next time….stay cool and don’t forget to hydrate!

Mary Gold

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