It’s the middle of summer, and it’s a scorcher here in SE Texas! Our temperatures are hitting the upper 90s, and the “feels like” temperatures are over 100 every day. Needless to say, our garden has not gotten a lot of attention besides just watering it and harvesting anything we can.
We have been spending a lot of time indoors lately trying to soak up the air conditioning, which means the weeds are running rampant in the garden.
Justin and the boys did go out and take care of the garden a few weeks ago, but we just got home from our second two-week vacation this summer. While we were gone the garden got watered between rain, sprinklers, and my in-laws taking care of it. But the weeds still need to be removed.
We still have tomato plants growing in the gardens that the boys started, but they haven’t produced much. While we were gone, my father-in-law did harvest about 7 or 8 small grape tomatoes, but I am not sure which plant they came off of.
After cutting the mint way back a few weeks ago, it’s starting to grow in again. A good bit of this is weeds, but there’s still a lot of good mint left. The onions have a lot of weeds in there as do the peppers. I’m not sure what’s going on with the pepper plants this year, but they aren’t doing near as well as they did the last two years. And the watermelon plants are starting to spread out so far they are encroaching on the pepper plants.
It’s been so hot out lately, that even the tropical plants need water every day. We were surprised to see the banana trees drooping in the afternoon sun. So far, everything along the back fence, all of the tropical ones, have been very hardy. They even survived the multiple freezes that we had over the winter this year, but this heat is almost too much.
Surprisingly, the blackberry bush is growing really well right now. It’s crazy how many branches have grown in and how thick the entire thing is getting. We don’t have many berries right now, but I can’t wait to see what happens in the winter when blackberries usually produce the most. Hopefully, though, we can collect the berries before all of the birds eat them again.
Since we pulled all of the squash and zucchini out a few weeks ago, that bed is now overrun with weeds. The tomato plants in there are still growing, but haven’t produced much either. This intense heat is not very conducive for vegetable gardening.
My goal, at our next house, is to have a greenhouse that I can control a bit more of the amount of water with its own sprinkler system and have a way to regulate the temperature for the summer, and in the winter if needed. If I can do that, we would be able to grow a few more plants than we can now, and would probably get more fruits and vegetables off of them since it would be more ideal growing conditions.
Before we left on our first vacation this summer, we moved the sweet potato vines into the backyard so the sprinklers would get them some water and they wouldn’t be in the direct sunlight. We still haven’t moved them back, and they seem to be doing much better. I’m thinking about moving those inside somewhere and getting more hardy plants for the front porch. It just looks so bare without anything out there right now. I have a hard time finding the right plant, though, because one side of the porch gets a lot more sun than the other because of the angle of the house. Oh well, I’ll eventually figure something out.