Before - big and bushy
After - thinned out significantly.
Green tomatoes harvested and placed in a paper bag in the window with an apple to ripen.
Pests and diseases are often a big problem in the heat of the Summer. The plants are already stressed, so it's a great time to pounce for a garden predator. Give your veggie plants some TLC with seaweed/fish emulsion sprays and a little extra fertilizer and compost. You can dilute compost tea and foliar feed (water the leaves and blooms) - and remember to only foliar feed early in the morning or late at night as the heat of the sun combined with the goodies in the liquid fertilizer can burn the plants' leaves.
Porter Improved tomatoes, little Matt's Wild tomatoes, and some ripe serranos
Squash vine borers devastated all my winter squash - i ended up with two tiny butternuts. So sad. So i pulled out what was left of them to go into the compost and will replace them with new hot pepper transplants. Again i will attempt to plant a cayenne - can i escape the curse!? I sure hope so, as my cupboards are bare of homegrown/ dried peppers. I happily have plenty of ripening jalapenos, serranos, whatever the not-cayennes are, and a few habaneros (more on the way, i hope). I use these fresh in salads and stir fries, and also freeze many for storage: you don't have to blanch or cook hot peppers before freezing - just pop them right into a freezer bag. They won't be crispy when you thaw them out, but they'll taste the same and be perfectly fine for cooking with (and easy to cut when still frozen).
Serrano, Mucho Nacho Jalapeno, Habanero, 'not cayenne' mystery pepper hiding at the right.
harvest of cucumbers, purple hulled peas, red ripe serranos, and tomatoes
Are you planting a Fall garden this year? Here in Texas it's often our best season. Those plants that have made it through the brutal Summer will bounce back with joy for a respit from the heat and produce like crazy. I hope i have a good season. I didn't plant any bell peppers, and do miss them from last year - especially the Giant Marconi and Golden Bells. Maybe i'll stick on in along with the cayennes in my main bed. There's a bit of room since i along with the failed squash i've also pulled out the Mexican Sour Gerkins i planted and hated. They did nothing but vine and look pretty. The tiny fruits they produced were too insignificant to warrant keeping them around.
The Natural Gardener has some helpful info on what to plant when - here's what they say about July here in the Austin area. Texas A & M also have a really helpful planting schedule that is usually right on mark.
Good luck bearing the heat, sun, and mosquitos that Summer brings, and happy gardening!