Friday, August 29, 2014

Late Summer 2014 in the Garden

 These first few photos were from early summer 2014, back when tender things were un-scorched by the sun.
Granted, we have enjoyed an unusually mild summer.  But that doesn't change the fact that Texas summers are brutal on plants.
 The front yard is now covered in weeds, so I'll spare you that image.  Call me ungrateful, but I sure do miss the actual real fall that we had in the mountains of North Carolina.  Especially during August, which is a Texas summer's last hurrah.
The peppers love the heat, and are going strong.
 And while the bee balm couldn't take the heat, the zinnias are crying for more.  These beauties can certainly take a licking!  I'm sold.  More zinnias of all varieties for next year!
 Remember that successive planting/overplanting/companion planting thing I tried this Spring?  Well, when the borage and kale took over, I had to pull it to let the other plants have a chance.  And as soon as I removed that living mulch, the earth started to dry, compress, and oxidize.  Exactly what happens in 100 degree heat when there's no covering to protect it!  So now it is mulched with compost, and is slowly being covered with grass clippings, both of which feed the soil and roots and are FREE (if you compost your kitchen scraps). Here we see the in-ground bed with okra, watermelon on the fence, pole beans dying out from the heat behind, and a few small basil and mustard plants holding their ground.  Not as pretty as the Spring garden, but it's producing. I have pesto and beans in the freezer!  And as soon as the temperatures drop, all those bare spots will be planted with lettuces and carrots.
Another zinnia...look at how gracefully it handles the heat!
 Basically this looks like an overgrown dump.  But it's two raised beds we put in this Summer, filled with mostly tomatoes, basil, watermelon, peppers, and cantaloupe.  The walking area is completely overgrown, and the tomatoes are overly leggy because even this most-sunny part of the yard gets only part sun.  I'm done with tomatoes.  I give up trying to grow them.  The farmer's market has them anyway.  As soon as temps drop I'll be pulling all this and planting leafy things.
 These sungold tomatoes and the Matt's wild cherry tomatoes are pretty much the only ones we've harvested this year.  Big letdown.  I might try one cherry tomato plant next  We just don't have enough sun.
 All of these purple hyacinth bean vines sprang up from seeds dropped along the fence last year.  They're a beautiful and free privacy fence, so I'll take 'em.
 A tiny baby icebox watermelon from Renee's Garden Seeds.  Hopefully these will be ready to harvest by winter!
Sorry it's been so long since the last update.  We went through several months there with electricity and internet problems, so this blog has been hard to update.  How has your garden performed this summer?

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