Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blooming in the Heat

The past couple of days have been very nice here in Vegas. Cloud cover and the threat of rain have managed to keep high temperatures in the 95 to 100 degree range. For those of you that have never experienced Summer in America's desert Southwest, such temperatures are quite a reprieve. August in Vegas really sucks the energy out of person and plant alike.

Out in the garden this is very evident as the plants are just refusing to put on new vegetables. With the amount of blooms we've had recently on our Jalapeno, bell pepper, okra, and tomato plants we would be overwhelmed with produce if the temperature would just stay below the mid 90 (32 c) degree mark. Instead, with normal daytime highs hovering between 105 and 110 (41 to 43 c) and nightly lows in the mid to upper 80s (29-31 c), the blooms just dry up, fall off, and blow away in the hot desert wind. Even our okra (a plant that loves heat) is saying no way, as it's dropping bloom after bloom rather than producing pods. It all really makes me wonder at how people could live here before the age of air conditioning. They must have been some extraordinarily tough characters!

Jalapeno Blooms

Bell Pepper Blooms

Dried Up Okra Blooms

3 comments:

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Wowsa, it gets hot there!

It DOES make you wonder how people survived in the desert before grocery stores. Though from what I understand of the geological and climactic history of the desert Southwest, not long ago it was a grassland, so there was shade for things to grow. In fact, most of the large cacti still around are essentially dying because they used to get more shade from grass, small trees and shrubs.

Perhaps if you liked prickly pear cactus fruit...

Perennial Gardener said...

That is a great question, surviving in the desert. I guess your veggies are trying to tell you something, IT IS TOO HOT! :)

DP Nguyen said...

Oh my! I hope those blooms actually grow into a little bell pepper and okra. I hope they survive the heat you're getting.