I have learned a lot trying to grow a few edibles in the summer here in Mazatlán.
1. I thought that fruits and vegetables that like it hot would love the summer sun here. At the top of this post you’ll see my pathetic little cantaloupe melon. When I tried to grow cantaloupes in my garden in the Pacific Northwest I’d always yearn for a longer, hotter growing season. Well, it can be too hot, for sure. The little guy at the top was obviously way too young to pick but its vine died back and there was nothing I could do. I think they would grow great in the wintertime here. I started these from seed in late May. The picture below is the same melon when it was growing. I had such high hopes for it!
2. Paul bought some heirloom tomato seeds at our organic market and unfortunately didn’t sow them right away so they ended up hitting adulthood right when it got hot. Of course this means they were being scorched by the summer sun. Blossoms dropped and the fruit was scorched. Again, we’ll grow these in the wintertime and not even try in the summer.
3. Some plants like it hot. The basil plant pictured above has been harvested almost to the soil line at least 4-5 times. I have a freezer full of pesto, and always have all that I need. It seems to like all the sun it gets on our upstairs patio – the only sulking it will do is when it gets cloudy and rainy for a long stretch. I also have a sage plant that loves the hot weather on this patio – the only time it was unhappy was when a grasshopper was enjoying it as a sage salad bar.
4. At the very last Organic Market of the season I bought an eggplant start. It sat around for probably a month before I transplanted it to our sunny upstairs patio. That’s it pictured above. Another hot weather lover, I thought it would love it up there – and while it has quite a few fruits on it they aren’t growing very fast or looking too appetizing to me. This one needs water every day or it droops and probably would be happier with a bit of shade cloth.
In the future I plan on only trying to grow vegetables and fruit during the fall, winter and spring. Oh, by the way… that melon at the top actually had pretty nice flavor! I’m crossing my fingers that the two remaining melons make it to maturity!