As I write tonight, the thunder is rolling and the rain is falling. Such a beautiful sound and the scent of rain in the air is just delicious. How grateful I am to have the rain to water all that has been planted. Lately( like since Saturday), we have been having typical Texas weather- hot and humid. I do not mind, the tomatoes and peppers are growing, setting fruit and acting as they should. We are finally harvesting squash.
This garden plot is one of four in an area of the farm that holds water each time it rains. And by” holds water” I mean that water will sit in this area and be squishy to walk on for days after the smallest rain. As I write the trenches are filled to the brim from the rain coming down. We suspect that there may be an underground spring located here, as well. Anyway, for whatever reason, this area is a challenge. So, to possiby make this a usable area I have trenched deeply and piled the dirt up to raise the rows. Hopefully, this will allow the plants to drain well enough to grow properly. I am thinking that if the plants can survive the spring rains that this wet area will be a benefit in the summer. So far, the bell peppers and egg plants are doing well. These particular plants like the heat to really thrive, so they are just now beginning to grow vigorously. Also planted in these wet plots are cucumbers, watermelons, mush melons, and butter beans.
You may notice the hay scattered about. I had company coming and thought a quick mulch that would make the beds look nice would be hay and I could just run to the farm store and get a bale easy. So, I did. Then a day or two later as I was admiring the lovely garden plots it occurred to me that I had no idea where the hay had come from and what had been sprayed on it. Yikes! Thus, I raked it all out and fed it to the goats. This may seem like a lot of work but considering that some of the herbicides that are used on hay fields kill any plant in the nightshade family (think tomato and eggplant) and stay in your soil for five years- this was hardly a waste of time. Now, I can rest easy. I will have these plots mulched by weeks end, but I will use pine needles from my mother’s place.
Our potato towers are growing very well. I covered the plants about 5 days ago as shown in the photo above and already there is so much new green growth out of the top of the compost that it is time to cover again. I am excited at the idea of home-grown potatoes! In the tomato patch, “Large Red” and “Illini Gold” are loaded up with green tomatoes, Matt’s Cherry is looking good as well and has an orange fruit getting ripe as we speak. I love to look out the kitchen window in the morning and gaze at my gardens while I wash dishes. We have so many song birds in the gardens, they love to sit on the trellises that we have built for the tomatoes, cukes, and melons. I would like to think they are happy to sing to me in the morning, but I know that they are really just casing the joint.
What is growing in your garden? If you don’t have a garden, what would you grow if you could?