Take a photo tour of my June garden
Welcome to the garden tour, we’re glad you’re here! Most of you may be finishing up your planting and are looking forward to the summer harvest. Here in Central Texas, the garden has been cranked up for a few months and the harvest will come to an end within a month.
That’s Central Texas Zone 8b!
You should know that my garden is a mess!. I’m not going to give you a panoramic view, it’s just too much for one person to do right now. I have all kinds of excuses.
- It has been so wet that I have not been able to keep up on the necessary weeding.
- I work.
- It’s too hot in the evenings.
Ultimately, I’m doing what I can and that’s okay with me. I few weeds don’t bother me and we are still having a terrific harvest.
My Garden Success
Even though they weren’t staked properly. The Juliet cherry tomatoes are producing and we are in salad heaven. I’ve been researching making sauces and other ways to use the abundance of these small, sweet tomatoes.
I received a gift of zinnia and marigold seeds from friends this year. Basically, I threw the seed out in freshly tilled soil and figured if they took off great. They did!
The zucchini was planted by mid-April and then we discovered there was a calcium deficiency in the soil. How do you know? Blossom end rot strikes summer squash too. Adding organic fertilizer specifically for end rot has turned my zucchini from a garden fail to a garden success.
The dill, lemon verbena, and plantain are ready for their first harvest.
I harvested a total of 40 sweet peppers this season, The plants are healthy and are beginning to set flowers again. We had fresh stuffed peppers for dinner and the rest are dehydrating right now.
The Kentucky wonder pole beans are just beginning to produce. I found handfuls of beans ready for picking at the base of each plant. If I had waited any longer they would have been too tough for eating. That’ll teach me to get busy and not pay attention in the garden!
This is my first year gardening through the complete Central Texas season. Even for a seasoned gardener like me, there is a lot to learn about gardening in the south.
Here are a few things I’ve discovered.
- The bugs are big and they are everywhere. You have to keep up on it or they will win.
- It is important to get your soil tested when you start a garden. A simple soil test would have alerted me to the fact that the soil has a calcium deficiency and I would have had summer squash earlier.
- Fire ants are awful, awful, awful creatures.
- It’s hard to kill grass without herbicides (which I refuse to use), that means plenty of hand weeding is involved (which I have not done).
The weather has been extremely wet for Texas and my new peach tree is waterlogged. I still need to do research to see if it can be saved.
Fire ants are my garden nemesis. All the preparations that get rid of them and can be purchased at the big box stores are too toxic for plants or people. They are certainly not what I want to put in my food garden.
For now, they appear to be winning. This fire ant mound is at the base of a jalapeno plant. What are they thinking?!
Anyone have a good, organic way to kill fire ants?
…and finally, I have a sunflower “problem.” These plants are all volunteers. I’ve pulled them from the walkways and from most of the garden beds, but they are everywhere.
For now, I’m leaving them as a cover crop in the areas of the garden that were not planted with vegetables.
That seed had to come from somewhere, so it remains to be seen if this will prove to be a garden success or failure in the future.
Garden Odds and Ends
The red onions blew over in the last storm but still seem to be growing.
I planted a handful of cantaloupe seed in an out of the way part of the garden- thinking that the seed was old and it would not germinate. Now I have about 20 plants reaching out and I need to figure out a trellis for them.
My fancy 6 foot tall sunflower plants all germinated and then the tops died. Out of 15 plants only 2 have survived. Those are completely bug eaten!
It appears that the Mortgage Lifter Heirloom tomatoes are not going to keep my family in tomato sauce this winter. They have few blooms and even fewer fruit. I think they need another dose of fertilizer, so all is not lost.
Garden success or failure? We shall see!
Homestead Garden Tour
I have a very special treat for you today, which is a virtual garden tour of eleven other gardens! I always love seeing what other people are growing, and how they are growing food, herbs and flowers. Plus, on this tour you will visit gardens in USDA gardening zones 3 through 9a. That means that some of the gardens are just beginning their season, while others (zone 9a!) are wrapping up their harvests. Join the virtual tour by clicking through to the other sites on the list below. Have fun!
Joybilee Farm (British Columbia, Zone 3)
Homespun Seasonal Living (Montana, Zone 4b)
Homestead Honey (NE Missouri, Zone 5b)
Family Food Garden (British Columbia, Zone 5b)
Learning and Yearning (Pennsylvania, Zone 5b)
Reformation Acres (Ohio, Zone 5b)
Homestead Lady (SW Missouri, Zone 6)
Timber Creek Farm (Maryland, Zone 7b)
Grow Forage Cook Ferment (Oregon, Zone 8a)
A Farm Girl in the Making (Washington, Zone 8a)
Schneiderpeeps (Texas, Zone 9a)