Here in coastal North Carolina we had August in June and now we’re having June in August. We had almost no rain at all in June, and now in August, we’ve had a lot more rain than usual. I should have modified the watering schedules sooner, but I didn’t think we would get this much rain during this part of the summer. The result is that there is a fungus on some of the tomato plants, and the plants are growing very fast and very tall. I’ve cut the watering times back to about a quarter of what they were during June. Hopefully this will help.
The garden has gotten away from me. It’s time to pull up most of the lower garden and plant new crops. Many of the plants in the side garden are growing too big for their supports. I’ve been sick for the last few days so I’m getting behind on a lot of things that desperately need to get done, but those are the breaks. The weather is cooling off a bit, so that might help me get caught up, because I should be able to work outside longer than I can when it’s like a furnace outside.
I’ve been cutting down young trees that look to me like Sycamores growing among the trees behind our house. I hope to build an arbor above the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants that the plants can grow on after they become too tall for their supports, and that will provide shade during the hottest part of the summer. My husband upset a nest of Yellow Jackets while he was helping me cut down trees and received several stings. I’ve learned a lot about Yellow Jacket behavior from his experience so I have been able to avoid getting stung myself.
I take a long crowbar into the woods with me and poke the ground ahead of where I want to walk and I also poke around the base of each tree I want to cut. From what I have observed, and based on what my husband has reported, it appears that Yellow Jackets will tolerate the presence of an intruder fairly close to their nest and they will send up a scout to give a warning if you’re too close. I had to go retrieve the tree that my husband cut just before he got stung. I found that I was able to get within a long crowbar’s length before they sent up the scout, and I was able to stay far enough away (pulling the tree from its location using the crow bar) to prevent them from finding me. So far in the several times I’ve been cutting the trees, I’ve only seen two Yellow Jackets. The first was the scout I already mentioned and I also saw one this morning. But doesn’t appear to have been near its nest because it didn’t threaten me in any way and it looked like it was just poking about in a leisurely kind of way. I also talk to the Yellow Jackets and tell them that I don’t mean them any harm. They’re a kind of wasp, and I find that wasps don’t really want to hurt people. They just want people not to hurt them.
I’ve just come back from cutting some more trees and I took some pictures while I was working.
This is one of the trees I cut this morning, just before I cut it
This is a pile of sticks that I’ve already cut into eight foot lengths
This is the pile of trees that haven’t been cut to length yet. I haven’t brought the trees I cut this morning up to the house yet, so this pile will look bigger when I do.
I have to build the arbor strong and heavy enough to withstand high winds since we get a lot of those here on the coast. I hope I can get it done soon. The poor tomatoes have started to flop over and are growing back down toward the ground.