temperature today would finally reach the 90's, the first day of our heatwave. once again, when i went outside, the humid heat didn't feel too bad. it's stifling when you first step outside, but once you get use to it, you hardly notice it. where not at the point yet where just being outside feels like suffocating. maybe by tomorrow, my wednesday, i might change my mind. i was thankful i had the motorcycle, meant i didn't have to exert myself to get around (compared to a bicycle), but it was still hot. i had some stirfry noodles for lunch when i got to belmont.
because of the high heat, i didn't think i'd be out in the backyard today, and for the most part i stayed indoors, but in the late afternoon i ventured outside to make my rounds. my father noticed it yesterday, that the buttercup squashes seemed to be slowing down. most likely it has something to do with the fruit production. it seems like once there's a large squash growing on the main vine, it uses up all the nutrients and the vine itself doesn't grow as fast as it once did. another thing: female fruits further up in the vine will naturally abort because there's not even nutrients. my father asked me to side dress some 10-10-10 espoma plant food fertilizer around the squash plants. i did the tomatoes and eggplants as well, and ended up using the whole bag. while trying to fix the drooping squash vine in the outer western garden, i ended up doing more damage than good, the vine broke apart at two places and we ended up having to off the broken section (about 2ft worth) including a female flower.
my father's been collecting eggshells for several months because he saw some youtube video that said eggshells provide a good source of calcium for growing plants. he decided to try an "eggshell mulch" with a few plants to see if they'll grow any better.
we cut off a bunch of spent squash flowers and aborted female fruits. i squashed about half a dozen cucumber beetles. i have to keep an eye on them, make sure their population don't explode, and kill as many as i see. i haven't seen any on the cucumbers in RB4, that will be the ultimate test. squashes can tolerate the cucumber beetles, they're not as susceptible to the bacterial wilt they transmit. but every season we lose all our cucumbers to these same beetles, not so much the leaf damage, but rather the wilt disease they transmit.
one nigella flower finally blossomed! they are awfully pretty with the feathery leaves, i can imagine they must look great grown in a dense cluster. unfortunately we only have a handful of plants, and i don't know long they survive once they flower, i remember reading not very long, they're an annual after all. i do have some more seedlings back at home i could try transplanting though. they pretty easy to grow from seeds.
we also did some planting today: in RB2 i planted 3 zucchinis and i plugged half a dozen buttercup squash seeds along one short side of the raised bed. i also planted the thai basil, 2 cypress vines, and the lantana my mother bought, all in RB2. along the south bean trellis, i planted the rest of the long bean seeds (about a dozen) as well as a hyacinth bean.
saturday was my last application of immunox (myclobutanil). now we wait to see if any grapes will develop the telltale black rot infection. last year the first signs of black rot came early-june when i started to see black rot spots on leaves. by mid-july grape fruits started developing the eponymous black rot. i haven't seen any black rot spots on grape leaves so far this year, so that a good sign. immunox is supposed to be very effective against black rot, belonging to a new class of sterol inhibiting fungicides. i also learned about a new grape disease called phomopsis and i think i've seen signs of it on a few reliance grape leaves (i thought they were black rot spots, but now i think they're something else, possibly phomopsis). to control phomopsis, i need to do some early season spraying with a fungicide called captan i've seen mentioned quite often when it comes to controlling grape diseases.
my mother didn't want to cook today so we ordered pizza for dinner. she always gets hawaiian, i wasn't in the mood to get more than one pizza. we also got two servings of wings (10-pieces), one garlic parmesan, one sweet habanero. i keep on forgetting how awful domino's wings are. they essentially thaw out some tiny frozen wings and then drizzle some sauce on them afterwards. i promise myself i'll never get wings from them ever again, it's simply not worth it and they taste terrible.
i went out into the backyard in the early evening one last time before heading home. i got to experience some fresh jasmine blossoms opening up for the night. the regular jasmines have a classic fragrance, kind of reminded me of lily-of-the-valley. the bell of india jasmines have a more cloying tropical fragrance, reminded me of plumeria, or some other variety of night-blooming tropical flowers.
it was 84 degrees inside the house when i got home. i turned on the AC while i went to go take a shower. when i got out, the room temperature had dropped down to 81 degrees. i settled in for another night of NBA action, game 5 between the clippers-suns. phoenix was up 3-1, while los angeles was fighting for their survival. as much as i'd like to see the suns win, the fact that the clippers won tonight meant there'd be a game 6, more NBA action. and should the sun eventually win the western conference, the more experience they can get playing against the clippers, the better they'll be when they reach the finals (most likely facing the bucks). los angeles didn't even play rondo tonight, wonder why. i didn't remember seeing him in the last game either. is he just hurt or does the coaching staff doesn't think he's good enough for the playoffs? this is playoff rondo we're talking about here!
i kept trying to turn off the AC, but even after midnight it was still 83 degrees outside. it's going to be a tonight night sleeping, as i don't sleep with the AC on and it's not cool enough to open the window.