- Author: Marime Burton
After a couple of lackluster years in my vegetable garden I have high hopes for this summer’s effort. For the first time in far too long, bees are working busily in my garden.
The combination of cooler than usual summers the past two years, along with a dwindling bee population has made its mark in my back yard. Tomatoes, zucchini, cantaloupe and beans that grew effortlessly have required hand pollination which has been only marginally successful. Even with that extra effort, the relatively cool temperatures of the past two summers have not spurred the tomatoes into their usual fruiting frenzy.
The bees made themselves known in March when the ceanothus began to bloom. We could hear the frenetic buzzing from inside the house. By the time the ceanothus quieted down, bees were busy in the potato vine and beginning to visit the bright yellow blooms on the tomato plants. I’m hopeful pollination will proceed accordingly
As for the hot summer, it’s more of a double-edged sword. Those cooler summers may not have encouraged vegetables but they sure made the season easier to enjoy. I know we can’t have both, and now while it’s cool, tomatoes have the edge over 100 degree days. You have to be careful what you wish for though, and the outcome probably depends on whether I begin to delight in the vegetables before the heat hits us.