Tuesday, July 10, 2012

::Texas Summer Garden Update::

I read lots of blogs and I see many of you are JUST starting to see the fruits of your labor out in your gardens.  I,on the other hand, am seeing the winding down of our garden.

Which isn't a bad thing. I'm sort of tired and I figure the ground needs a rest too.

Last year-- I said I'd take a break during the summer; let the land lay fallow and not worry about growing during the heat of the summer. 

 Well, guess what?! This summer has been all together different for us here in Kaufman County,TX-- than it was last year. 
 In just the last 4 days-- we've had rain every day!  Not to mention that we've had other days with intermittent showers...yes! So the growing season has been extended. We grew tomatoes, cabbages, brussels sprouts, and broccoli over the winter. We also had carrots and radishes and Fall Potatoes! So while it's been two summers that we've had a garden we are in our THIRD SEASON of growing. It has been hot some days...and it has been wet others!!!
 That's not to say we haven't had our share of pests too. 
Last year we had a terrible 'plague' of grasshoppers. This year, they haven't been as bad. 

 The chickens have helped to deter them on the ground...but they couldn't stop the 'hoppers from eating the SUNFLOWERS OR THE CORN!!! We got a little bit of corn; enough for The Honey and I to have a few meals. I'm determined to put corn up. I may try some in the fall. 
I was just reading the other day-- That where we are-- is right on the cusp of Gulf Coast and Southern Interior planting zones. We may be able to plant and grow corn in the Fall! I hope so.  I also read that we have ON AVERAGE 254 GROWING DAYS throughout the year.  I'm starting to believe it. 

 I haven't had to cover the tomatoes this year with Tulle...that was my main defense last year against the 'hoppers. This year...they hardly come to the front bed at all. I don't know that the 6 chickens in The Friendly Flock could have handled the grasshoppers we've had. But ,The Nuggets have become quite adept at hunting and eating those pesky bugs; and have earned themselves "a stay of execution".  For now... 

The days are long and have been hot enough that our lettuce bolted... finally. We hardly EVER HAVE LETTUCE AND TOMATOES GROWING AT THE SAME TIME. Last year-- I harvested seeds from the lettuce we grew...this year's lettuce was the result of that harvest. The Honey didn't know this tid-bit of information and he cleared out the lettuce one day while I was out running errands.  Oh well, live and learn.  

 I know many of you are experiencing HEAT where you are-- and are having poor results in the garden. Not to mention-- having to adjust to those sweltering temps--- most summers it's like that here. This summer has been pretty mild. I was telling The Honey-- it reminds me of summers when I was a kid. They weren't always so hot you could fry bacon on the side walk...no, some summers were nice enough to run around the yard and play in the rain while the sun was breaking through the clouds! 

That's how it is GROWING for us this year. 
How about you?  Are you having any luck in the garden? 
Is your garden just about spent or are you just getting started?  I'd love to hear about your garden adventures... share in the comments! 

deborah jean's Dandelion House

The grace of the LORD Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Philippians 4:23


karen@somewhatquirky said...

I have given up food gardening (other than herbs) since I moved to Michigan. My yard is small and I just don't want to sacrifice the space for the limited harvest window here. Tomatoes don't turn red until AUGUST!!! This summer might have been different because it has been so dang hot, but I have nothing planted. I'm just letting the hydrangeas take over.

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

no garden here, but if I had one, it would all be dead. NO rain, with 100+ temps=too hot to live. :(
10 days with those temps, finally we're cooling off. Glad you're having a good summer.
take it easy... garden in the fall. I'm all for taking the summer off!

Sandy said...

I'm sad to say, "I gave up on my garden about 4 weeks ago... we are much too hot, and in the rainy season. That means every day around 2pm the thunder/lightening storms roll through and my garden is steaming and fried! We here in So. Florida garden in the winter and leave the summers to the tropical plantings. My Bananas are happy! I enjoyed your post. OH and the Orchids are showing buds out in the Oak tree but that's it! Stay cool! Sandy

Kristina said...

We finally got a break from the heat, but still haven't gotten the rain.

Lisa Lynn said...

Here in northern Illinois I am just starting to get my summer veggies coming in. The tomatoes are still green, but the eggplants are almost ready to start picking and the peppers are coming in wonderfully!

I harvested potatoes the other day and have lots of cabbages, carrots and kale that I pick as needed. The Brussels sprouts are on track for a record year. Beans are almost done, but I have another row planted later for a late harvest.

It's so much fun to hear what you are harvesting in Texas...thanks for sharing!