Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maine’s July 2009 Rainfall Total Is In

According to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine’s Climate Report on the NOAA website, 8.6-inches of rainfall reported in Portland, Maine for the month of July. Normal rainfall is 3.32. Not surprisingly, we are well on our way to breaking the record for the most rainfall during the summer months.

I harvested my first little Sumter Cucumber along with a few more zucchini and five Royal Burgundy Bush Beans that were ready:


From the looks of it, there will be many more cucumbers to come:


The bees were busy doing their thing among the flowers, but then I spotted this:



This is a Striped Cucumber Beetle. It is the first one I have seen. They are much smaller than I thought and FAST. I had a difficult time taking these pictures and when I reached for him to squash him, he zigged and zagged and flew away.

I went back a little later and sure enough he had returned…and he brought a friend:



When a male beetle finds a host plant, they release an aggregation pheromone that calls others to their spot. I will need to be more diligent when checking for pests. (More about Cucumber Beetles here)

The lettuce has just about had it with these 80-degree temperatures. I will harvest the last of it this weekend. I am pleased at how well it did with such a late start this season. The cooler weather helped:



The spinach was pulled last week as it bolted before producing anything edible:


This leaves a bunch of open squares in my SFGs, but I am not sure what I should plant. I have a few lettuce starts growing inside for fall, but won’t plant these until the temperatures cool down. That still leaves a few squares open. I was thinking I would plant some radish seeds. However, I am not pleased with the first batch of radishes that I planted in a container. They are already bolting and haven’t developed yet:


I think I will pull these radishes. I can use the container for a few more tomato suckers that I potted up earlier this season, but had no place to plant them. I think I will chance planting two in this container, as they don’t have much time to grow very large before the end of the season. Since they are blooming, I hope to get at least a few tomatoes from them. I may do this later tonight when it is cooler.

I wonder if it is too late to start more lettuce seeds for the other open squares? Worth a shot, right?

11 comments:

  1. I think you should. Lettuce is a fall crop as well. I am waiting to find space to plant lettuce myself. Congrats on the harvest :)

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  2. Great photos of the beetle! From the looks of all of those blooms, you'll be covered in cucumbers soon.

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  3. Those beetles sure are fast! Amazing the rain fall and that things are still looking as good as they do. That's fantastic!

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  4. What's your plan of attack to manage the cucumber beetles?

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  5. I planted lettuce this week in 104 degree weather. I read that it's not supposed to germinate at temperatures above 75, but I planted last month in 90 degree weather and it grew just fine. What's a few seeds, I always say!

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  6. JenGC, I’ve never tried growing lettuce for fall. Then again, I have never really been successful with growing lettuce until I tried it in the SFG this year. So you are right, I should give it a shot.

    EG, Thanks! Yes, there are a bunch of cucumbers growing already. Crazy.

    Ribbit, I am lucky that my traditional garden is slightly slopped and drains well. Of course, the SFGs drain well too.

    kitsapFG, Well, I haven’t devoped a plan yet. I did find that cucumber beetles are a bit slower first thing in the morning. I went out to check and found two on the same cucumber plant. I was able to get one. The other disappeared for now. I’m just going to watch the situation for now and hope it doesn’t become a problem.

    Annie’s Granny, Ok, I think I will give it a shot. You are right, what’s a few seeds?

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  7. By any chance do you have one of those hand held dust buster vacuums? They work great for potato beetles and I would imagine for cucumber beetles too. You just suck them up - being careful of your plant leaves so as not to damage them - and then empty the canister of beetles into a can of very soapy water to drown and later discard. It works if combined with egg patrol and crushing (bottom of the leaves).

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  8. KitsapFG, yes I do have a dust buster. I just plugged it in after reading your comment so it is ready in case I am invaded by cucumber beetles.

    Thanks for the tip! :)

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  9. That is alot of rain. If you want to add lettuce, I would just put it in anyway. Since you're not sure what to put there, you can just experiment and see what happens :) .

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  10. I will be interested to hear if that works for cucumber beetles as I have never had them to deal with. It sounds like they are bigger and faster than potato beetles (which is what I used the dust buster on) but hopefully it will work for them too.

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  11. Actually they are much smaller than I thought they would be. They are only about 1/4-inch long. But they are FAST.

    I caught the two that were hanging around my cucumbers (at least I am assuming they are the same two), so far no new ones have appeared. Hope it stays that way :)

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