Summer 2012 Garden Recap

We’ve hit the 100s temperature wise, which is my cue to let the garden shut itself down. With no shade to speak of and water at a premium here (blame the drought), I just can’t justify regular watering again in the veggie garden until things cool off a bit. (We keep our landscape on life support, but have come to accept that we will always be on a water rationing schedule. That’s the price we pay for warm winters, I guess.)

As the garden winds down, it seems like a good time to revisit some of my favorite images from the year thus far. My particular favorite? The one of the rosemary mulch experiment.


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  1. Oh no… are you telling me that the two tomato plants and the pumpkin I just bought last weekend were a bad decision? Our early-summer tomatoes died without producing ANYTHING, and we were so disappointed as we had a wonderful garden in Germany and wound up with more than 40 lbs of tomatoes from 4 plants.

    When we moved back to Texas and started our first Texas garden, I did not expect to have the robust harvest that we had in Germany, but nothing? really? And now, with these 100+ degree days, are you telling me these garden newbies are destined to fail? Please say no. Please say no.

    • Texas is a tricky climate in which to grow, with lots of even trickier micro-climates. We live on what used to be near-arid ranch land. I joke that we garden on Tatooine. Rocky soil and caliche clay. No shade.

      10 minutes away it’s much more lush? I’m jealous.

      In most of the state–but especially here in Central Texas, we have two seasons: a short one that ends in July and a longer run that is truly a winter garden. In fact, just South of here there is an agriculture region called “The Winter Garden” because it produces when the rest of the country can’t. I’m a bit more limited where we live because we are in a “pocket” of the hill country where it gets a little cooler than the surrounding area. So I get 100+ temps in summer and <30 in winter. Charming. =)

      Where do you live/what is your microclimate? Did you purchase the plants at a local nursery? Those are two big factors.

      Note that you can keep the tomatoes going, but they will not "set" fruit until it cools at night. So patience plays a role, too.

      Hope this helps!

      • Your soil sounds just like ours. I found you from the SA bloggers group on FB, so I am going to assume you’re in the SA area – I am just north of 1604 and east of 281. Rocks, rocks and more rocks. Fortunately, we have some large hybrid oaks that provide us some shade.

        As for purchasing plants, we have only bought from Milberger’s and Shades of Green (with the exception of some little decorative potted cacti that we got at Lowe’s).

        Thanks for the information on the tomatoes — I had no idea. Two of our early summer tomato plants succumbed to disease and the other two, well, as I said before, those were fruitless…

        I also think we’re dealing with squirrels stealing anything remotely ripe on the rest of the plants (with the exception of the peppers – hah!). Gotta figure that one out, and come to think of it, I’m not sure why I haven’t researched solutions yet.

  2. For those on a water ban, consider switching to bio-degradable soap (something that won’t harm your plants) and plugging the drain when you do your morning showers. Then scoop out the water and re-use it in the garden! We’re not that bad here in New England, but I had thought things through when I was worried we might be hit badly. Most dish and wash water is fine for watering, provided you don’t use bad soap.

    Osarah, don’t give up hope! Create a small shade for your tomat plants, to cover them during the worst of the heat, and sub-irrigate them if you’re really worried (bury an plastic 2L pop bottle beside or between plants, with pin holes in the bottom of it, and fill with water once a day… this waters the roots and not the top, so there’s less evaporation and loss to the air).

  3. Just beautiful! I’ve had so much fun growing my first garden this summer, though there have been many misses. I love looking at photos like these!

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