Yay! Four months after moving in, I’m finally eating more food from the garden. For a short while anyhow. All of May was clouds, rain, and thunderstorms, even into the first week of June. The rain finally cleared a couple of weeks ago, but the plants didn’t get any opportunity to sunbathe without the heat. We’ve had highs in the 90’s almost every day since, and it’s not going to get cooler again for months. (Time to start planning the fall garden!)
Here’s the breakdown for all my food plants:
Tomatoes & onions
I was elated when the first green tomato that I picked and left on the dining table as an experiment actually started turning red after a week or two. Fortunately, after the heavy rains let up several of the tomatoes started turning red on the plant. Unfortunately, with the dry weather, several leaf-footed stink bugs took up residence. I saw some while they were still nymphs, but my collapsed tomato plants are kind of a big leafy mess to pick insects out of and most hid when they saw me coming. I’ve harvested a couple dozen of these tomatoes so far and will probably pick the rest tomorrow. Even if they’re still green, I want them for myself and not for the stinkbugs.
The onions around it never grew very large bulbs, but I’ve been harvesting a couple every week. They’re still full of good oniony flavor.
I love cucumbers but had to give a couple away this week because they were all coming out at once. Like the tomatoes, they didn’t fruit until the rain stopped and we started getting sunny days. I’m not sure if these plants will make it much longer. That picture was taken just a couple of days ago, and in that time many more leaves have already started curling up and giving in to the summer heat. They probably would have produced more if I had planted them more upright so that I could more easily find the cucumbers at the right time instead of when they had swollen well past the diameter of large supermarket cukes. Lesson learned.
July should be melon month, so I’m trying to be patient but it’s hard. Every day I go out there to look at this tiny watermelon hoping it will have grown a lot, but I can’t really see any difference day-to-day. There’s one other similar looking melon that I’ve found also. Not sure if they’re from the Crimson Sweet seeds I planted or from one of the bastard melon seeds. I planted them all in the same area and the vines are completely intertwined now.
I just saw this one for the first time a couple of days ago. It’s larger but was in hiding under the foliage. Looks like the cantaloupe seed I planted.
Here’s hoping that there are others hidden away. 🙂 Also, I really hope a couple of canary melons come out this summer, but I’ll end up picking up a couple from Engel Farms at the farmers market anyhow.
I think my squash plants are dying already also. They’re certainly less vigorous now. Spoiled by the constant rain but then sudden heat. Even though the yellow squash here hasn’t grown full-size yet, I’ll probably pick it tomorrow to ensure I get some sort of harvest from this crop.
I transplanted this bell pepper a few weeks ago now, and it looks pretty happy although there’s still a ways to go before it’s large enough to produce any fruit.
The lemon tree sapling that was starting to look good last month is looking even better now, but the other one is pretty dead. 😦
The tomato plant I recently transplanted into the front garden bed is starting to look pretty happy also.
The jalapeno pepper that’s in another bed out front is still pretty small, but peppers are supposed to be able to stand up to the Texas heat so it probably still has plenty of time to grow. I obviously didn’t do a very good job of removing grass from this bed.
Not pictured here but yesterday I also stopped by my mom’s to pick some oregano and the garlic that I planted in the garden there last fall. I got five good sized bulbs with nice papery skins so they probably won’t need too long to finish curing. There are still a couple more to harvest, but I’ll do that next week when I go collect seeds from the lettuce plant that bolted a while back.