One more month of summer to go, the weather is still pleasantly warm and the plants are continuing to produce. Lower temperatures will allow the plants to even grow better up to certain point. Gardeners need to be aware that the change in daylength is going to be the determining factor whether to keep annual plants in the garden or not.
Bell Peppers (Capsicum annum)
The bell peppers are still producing - in fact the plants are too small for the yield that they produced. A simple tomato cage was used to prop the plant up. The green bell peppers are the immature version of the red, yellow or the orange bell peppers. I'm not sure if we could wait for the red color of the pepper. I can see Hamburger-Stuffed peppers as the destiny of these ones.
'Fresno Chili' (Capsicum annum)
It is interesting to note that these two varieties of peppers not only are different in the shape and size of their fruits but the growth habit of the fruits are contrasting. The bell peppers are growing downwards while the 'Fresno Chili' fruits point upwards. Could this be due to phytohormones or gravity?
Increased occurence of female flowers.
Increased fruit setting.
The summer squash (or zucchini) have been flowering for a while but production has been low up to this point. Fruits would come at a slow rate of one every couple of weeks. Unlike before when most of the flowers they produced were staminate (male), now several pistillate (female) flowers arise resulting in more zucchini fruits. In some cases the cause of low yields is the absence of male flowers. Commercial growers have to resort to using growth regulators to induce more male flowers. Even if they don't turn into fruits, staminate flowers are the source of pollen that fertilizes the pistillate ones; without them there would be no fruit production.
Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
I purchased unlabelled eggplant seedlings from the farmers market last spring. I am not sure what variety they were. The vendor told me that it was a Japanese eggplant. I was going to assume that it is 'Ichiban', a variety I am very familiar with, but the leaves were not the same. The growth habit was different and now the fruits do not have the dark sepal. Whatever variety it is, this plant looks very prolific considering how sparse the leaves are.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Better Boy')
The tomatoes are continuing to grow. The relatively cooler temperature this year is conducive for fruit setting. It does not look like they are going to slow down anytime soon. However, the shorter photoperiods will soon interfere with the photosynthetic rate of the plants. I have six tomato plants and we harvest way more than we can eat. We have to get creative in the way we use them. I found out that the best ways to our good utilize the bigger tomatoes is to make Bruschetta. In our house, cherry tomatoes are eaten like grapes for snacks. My kids would watch TV with a bowl of tomatoes on their laps. Who needs junk food when the tomatoes are so sweet?
Unripe Cherry Tomato 'Sweet 100'
Here in California the weather is so mild that tomato plants can remain green till Thanksgiving. However, the fruits will grow at a much slower rate due to the shorter periods of exposure to sunlight as the days get shorter.
Eating home-grown foods are in. Enjoy the fruits of your garden while they last.