July And August In Bulgaria - Very Hot And Usually No Rain

July and August here in Bulgaria are the dry months and apart from being unseasonably flooded out early this month we are back into the trend of no rain and sweltering temperatures. This Saturday it was 42+ C! No one was outside expect grazing animals during the day; it was just watering crops early in the morning and last thing at night.

July And August In Bulgaria - Very Hot And Usually No RainThere was no water again this weekend it would have been nice to have a shower after grafting in the fields, but we were lucky that we have the well water to rely on and a ice cold shower in the heat was to say the least certainly refreshing.

We have a problem again here with our grapes. The thieving starling wait until our backs are turned and swarms of them clamber around every bunch of ripening grapes where most of them fall to the ground. This happens every year and there is nothing we can do about it. We cannot be there all the time and it is so frustrating after al the time and effort we put into looking after the vines. It could well be that there will be no wine or rakia this season with the damage they have done. I have written about this before and the Bulgarian way of dealing with it is do nothing, just be there.

July And August In Bulgaria - Very Hot And Usually No RainThe potatoes have been invaded with thousands of little orange beetles, but that is not so much of a problem as the actual buried potatoes are now full to size and just waiting to be dug out. The foliage being eaten to smithereens now doesn’t matter so I let them get on with it, in fact their doing me a favour by devouring them, less for me to transport to the tip at the top of the hill.

Watermelons and honey melons are set and just need a little extra time to 'sweeten up'. This is the first time I have grown these and I am very excited at the prospect, although Galia is quite keen to try them, but she can’t see what the fuss it all about when she can buy one for a couple of leva that is just as good or better in the bazaar and not get her hands dirty!

We get strawberries every week now albeit smaller with only watering once a week, but they’re sweet enough. The pumpkins have taken off and their massive umbrella leave spread out and suppress weeds that now get no light. They are such a low maintenance crop to grow once the roots settle in. We have created a small reservoir by the base of the source root and fill it up before we go back to town it last five days quite well now.

July And August In Bulgaria - Very Hot And Usually No RainThe proudest crop this year in the Skalitsa village farm is the sweet corn. Again, before this year I had failure after failure, but I’ve got it right this year albeit on a much smaller scale. Next year I will more than double the crop. Once again the foliage once grown suppresses weeds and they look after themselves if doused with water once a week.

Galia isn’t with me this weekend and stayed in Yambol as she has gone down with the flu, she was much better by Sunday when I got back to Yambol. We wanted to go to the Black Sea this weekend for a little break, but the apartment we found that had a great offer on was fully booked, everything else was too expensive so w have to wait for another deal probably not until September now.
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