July 28, 2009: Hot!

Monday (yesterday) in the Garden

The heat is too intense to get much done. All of the SWCs (self watering containers) have to be filled twice a day, and the tomatoes in them still wilt mid-day. The tomatoes that are planted in the ground are withstanding the temperatures just fine, with watering every other day. Even the ones in the five gallon buckets fare well with once a day watering, so I think this will be my first and my last year of using SWCs.

The flavor of the tomatoes has improved over those early picked ones. I was just about to pull up the Russian Persimmon, but I tasted one today and it was actually quite good. My Chico III, a Roma variety, looks terrible. It looks like it's affected with blight, but it has some lush new green growth coming out on one side of it. It is loaded with tomatoes, many of them nearly ripe, and I'm undecided whether to pick them and pull out the plant or pick them and prune it back to new growth to see if it gives me another crop. The Celebrity right next to it is also beginning to show some damage to its lower leaves....I hope the disease isn't spreading.

The peppers are beautiful! I've never grown them so large and so plentiful. The plants were so heavy they were horizontal. I spent the evening staking, tying and fencing them to hold them upright. A few of them are getting sun scald, but most are just gorgeous. Since I forgot which varieties were planted where, I'm anxious for some to turn color so I know just what I have!

I'm considering pulling out my remaining nasturtiums. I looked under one today, and there were thousands of sow bugs underneath it. I've had more insect damage this year than ever before, and I'm thinking the plants are too close and providing excellent hiding places for multitudes of sow bugs and earwigs.

Powdery mildew is rearing its ugly head in the pumpkin patch and on one of the lemon cucumbers. I think I'll cut off the really bad leaves, then begin spraying the plants with one part milk to nine parts water, which is supposed to control the mildew.

Our son, John, came by this afternoon, and I loaded him down with tomatoes, cucumbers, crookneck squash, refrigerator pickles and bread and butter pickles. I still have tomatoes all over the kitchen counter, so I need to do some canning.

Monday's Garden Dinner

*Pork Chop and Potato Scallop (potatoes, onions, parsley)
Honey Glazed Carrots
Cucumber/Tomato Salad for Mr. H (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions)
Sliced Tomatoes for Granny (tomatoes)
Iced Tea


Pork Chop and Potato Scallop
4 servings

4 pork chops (about 1 pound)
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup low fat milk
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 1 tbsp. dried
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
Salt, pepper

Dredge pork chops in flour. In skillet, brown chops in oil, seasoning each with salt and pepper. Remove chops from pan and set aside. In drippings, blend soup, milk and parsley; heat to boiling.

Place potatoes and onions into a Pam sprayed 2-quart casserole; stir in hot soup mixture. Top with chops. Cover; bake: at 350°F for 1-1/2 hours.


"We eat, therefor we garden"


  1. Oh that recipe looks so good! I'll definitely be trying it. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Blech-those temps are TERRIBLE. And I was just complaining that it was going to be 81 today. Hmmm. I better hang my head in shame! And you want to can? Sounds like "curl up with a good book" kind of weather.

  3. 104!? You're in Washington for goodness sake. I had no idea.

  4. Granny, I use copper fungicide on my cucurbits, and it works pretty well. I've never tried the milk solution, but heard it works, too. Those tomato slices look gorgeous! I really need to take harvest photos sometime....Good job!

  5. That is really hot. We too are having a heat wave, but a mild one. It is getting up to a whopping 86 degrees at our house. Sadly the humidity is just terrible or it wouldn't feel too bad at all. I know it doesn't sound hot to you out in the NW, but for us this year that is really hot. It is going to be a very weird year if our hottest day ends up being that 90 degree day in April.

    I bet all that hot weather is what is making those pepper grow so big. I wonder what mine would have looked like if we had had heat in June.

    Your dinner looks delicious as usual. I'm drooling all over your sliced tomatoes.

  6. Hidinginmygarden, it was pretty good, especially with those freshly dug potatoes. If you like, you can replace the milk with 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup of water for yet a different taste.


    Sue, it's been in the high 90s for quite a while now. 104 is quite normal for this tie of year...it will probably get hotter than that by August.


    Ribbit, our south-eastern section of Washington isn't a lot different from Arizona! We just have more available water so much of the land is under irrigation. Not too many years ago it was mostly sagebrush. Sinfonian and KitsapFG live on the pretty side of the state.


    EG, I wouldn't be too unhappy to lose those two plants, so I'm not going to spend $$ on them. I'll try the milk or the baking soda. I've been wanting to try out my new 1-gallon sprayer, anyway.


    Daphne, these are normal temperatures for the area, so it must be the varieties of peppers I'm growing along with good organic seed. The ones from the store-bought seed packet are not producing any better than normal, it's just those I bought from Ohio Heirloom Seeds.

  7. Wow... that's hot!!!

    Well Granny, here in Wyoming it's going to be in the 70's maybe 80's all week.

    I'll send some cool air up your way, OK?

    Dinner looks yummy! I copied your recipe into my YummySoup recipe program. I have some pork chops in the freezer... think that I'll give it a try!

    That plate of tomatoes looks good too! Those yellow tomato slices are so pretty next to the red ones.

  8. Yum. My Mom makes Scalloped potatoes with mushroom soup as well. I have not had chops cooked on top though, good idea. I will be trying that next time.

  9. YUK! I know the feeling. Just way to hot. So far today, it's only gotten to 105 on Hubby's gadget, which is better than 110...not much, but better!
    Dinner looked yummy.
    Have you tried the Murphy's oil soap and baking soda? 1 Tablespoon of each to a gallon of water. It's working for me, but I have to apply it just before dark or the plants fry the next day...

  10. Toni, just send me some of your lettuce. Mine bolted looooong ago! The yellow tomato is a Kellogg's Breakfast, and it is really, really good.


    Dan,We really like it, and the pork chops were fork tender. I don't cook with soup a lot, but I do like these potatoes better than regular scalloped ones. I like the mushroom soup in my beef gravy, too.


    SB, the hottest we've had here in previous years was right around 110-111. I was in AZ in a day when it was 118. That's the hottest weather I've ever been in.

    No, I was thinking of trying either the baking soda or the milk. So far, I haven't found time to try either one! I'll do as you say and apply it tonight at dusk.

  11. I've got to say, I am so happy I found your blog! I've already learned so many neat tips from you and your readers :) Your supper looks gorgeous -- I'm envious of your harvest... but not of those temperatures (though my peppers and tomatoes probably wouldn't agree!)

  12. Almost 100 today here on the pretty side of the state too. No AC so the house is feeling mighty warm tonight.

    Those slices of tomato look heavenly! So rich and sweet looking.

  13. Fiona, I'm glad you did too...because that led me to your blog!


    KitsapFG, our heat is normal for this time of year, but yours isn't. You must be miserable!

    I'm loving the sliced tomatoes, but my counter is full, I must can some tomorrow.

  14. I'm not looking forward to 101 tomorrow. EEK. I hate hot.

    I agree that SWCs with huge tomatoes suck up water in this heat, but I still love them for knowing that the plants take only as much as they need. I don't mind filling them daily if necessary.

    I wish I was harvesting a ton, but like last year, my garden is pretty bare because my summer crops haven't done well and the fall crops are failing left and right in this heat.

    Stay cool if you can.

  15. Sinfonian, it's hard to imagine the Seattle area having temps in the triple digits! We're used to it, but you guys aren't.

    My SWC tomatoes aren't doing nearly as well as the ones in the beds (with exception of my diseased Roma). I think the containers will be used for cucumbers and melons next year.

    It's hotter here than over there, and I can't keep up with my harvest...I'm giving most of it away because there's too much for us to eat!

  16. I feel your heated pain Granny!

    I wish I was closer to Washington because I could use some extras.

    Those tomato pics just make my mouth water....

  17. Granny,
    Just read your post today about powdery mildew on your pumpkin vines...

    How did the milk mixture work out? I've got some powdery mildew on some of my melon plants... got to try something.

  18. Toni, procrastinator that I am, it didn't get done. I don't work well in 103-108 degree temperatures.