Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gardening Update

I was told by some of the agrarians who've been here longer that in this part of Texas, the gardens tend to die around midsummer. Mine seems to be doing just that. Some stuff is hanging in there, but other plants are just withering up and dying no matter how much water we're putting on them. I suppose they can't handle the heat.

Here's the basic rundown:

Okra - doing well still. The plants which got established before the real heat began are thriving and producing pretty well. That's only about 4 plants but they're producing a little bit of side food for us.

Tomatoes - Most are doing pretty well but they aren't setting fruit. The heat is too high and the pollen melts. This was something we faced in Illinois as well, but when the dog days of summer start winding down then it should pick back up a little, if the plants stay alive.

Peppers - They suffered from water shortage early on and have begun to bounce back now that we're giving them a lot of water but there's only a few peppers and a few blossoms.

Beans - Dying back except for very few plants. They were planted very late in the season and were mostly intended to help out the soil, not to get a crop. They've got plenty of water but the heat is brutalizing them.

Cucumbers - All dead. They never really did well and I suspect poor quality seed had something to do with it. They came out of one of those $1 Burpee packs.

Squash and zucchini - They were stressed due to lack of water early on and this led to a massive bug population. I pulled them all up to try and prevent eggs from being laid in the soil to cause me a problem next year.

Cantaloupe - Most are doing fine but some at the fringes where they get less water have turned yellow and are dying back. Right now I'm focusing the watering effort on the ones which have fruit.

So here around the last week of August we'll begin planting our winter garden. So far I've got kohlrabi, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, and garlic set to go.

Water is not much of a problem right now. The pond is getting low but there's still quite a bit in there. More than adequate for our needs between now and the anticipated September rains (God willing). Some of my trees have lost leaves. Very foolish to have planted new trees at the end of July. They did not get enough of a chance to set roots before the real heat set in. Some made it though and I'm only out about $20.

It seems as if much of our life revolves around water. There's not a day goes by that I'm not hauling it, pumping it, storing it, or pouring it. I can easily see now why so many bible references center around water.

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