It's the weather I'm talking about: good for people, not for tomatoes. Here in the Los Angeles area, we've had one of the gloomiest summers on record. Now I, personally, am not complaining. I hate the heat and the sun hates me so okay, fine. It's the garden that's complaining. And not even all of the garden -- just the tomatoes and the melons. They get started and then a heavy gloom (complete with morning drizzle) kicks up and they just kind of stop in their tracks. Mostly they don't grow any fruit. I just took a look at some of last summer's entries on the garden blog -- the beauty of a blog is the ability to look and see where things stood year to year (a good reminder to keep a garden journal in whatever form) -- and by mid July I was enjoying tons of tomatoes and by August the melons were well on their way.
Well, it's the first week of August and I just pulled out the tomatoes that had volunteered way back in March because they just got sad looking and weren't offering many decent tomatoes. In the meantime, a new volunteer tomato plant is making its way into the world, as you can see in the above photo, taken of the far east side of my plot a few days ago (it's between the lettuce on the far left and the roses in the middle -- and it's grown in the days since I took this photo).
This photo is actually kind of a microcosm of the garden right now. First of all, it's got that messy look that seems to happen in the summer, plus the new lattice fence I put in to keep my neighbor's REALLY messy garden from encroaching on mine. From left to right, you've got your very happy lettuces, the volunteer tomato, some happy roses, a melon (the Algerian, in front of the roses) just starting to meander, near corn just starting to grow -- and a chocolate sunflower (in the upper right) that's not only not flowering but, because it didn't develop a strong enough stalk, fell over after this photo was taken. The weather: good for garden, not for sunflower. Sigh.