A little over a week ago, I planted my garden. Last summer, I had a smaller garden and it did okay. I had a ton of tomatoes, more than that I could handle, but since then I got a pressure canner for Christmas so nothing will be given away this year! But more importantly, I had unrealistic expectations. I really thought I could have a garden all summer long. Boy was I wrong because by July almost my entire garden burned. In the heat of Texas, it can reach temps of over 105 some days. The portion of my yard that my garden is in I call “heat central”. It gets direct sunlight from early morning to when the sun sets. I’ve spent all winter researching our area and even asked to speak with a knowledgeable person at the nursery this year.
In our area, I can plant late February to Mid March for yields until June. Then July and August I will have to dig the garden up and get my soil ready for Fall planting in September for yields through November. Ugh, I am so mad at myself. I tried starting seeds indoors however I did it too early. Gardening doesn’t come easy for me and I’m very much a newbie. This year, I planted starter plants. I doubled the width of the garden area and tilled it myself by hand a few weeks prior. I added ground egg shells, ground veggie scraps, and used coffee grounds to help the soil. Along with adding nutrition to the soil I added some DE which is diatomaceous earth to help with the nasty snail issue I had last year. I had a ton of snails in my soil which ate a lot of the plants I had planted. DE acts like shards of glass so the snails won’t crawl over it. It’s a fine powder almost like baby powder. Make sure you buy Food Grade! It is a soft and crumbly very porous sedimentary type powder that is fossil remains from diatoms. Diatoms are a type of algae.
This weekend my babydoll and I were watching the news and my eyes got HUGE. Oh my gosh torrential downpours were coming and temps were going to drop in the low 30’s with a high possibility of snow (which never came). I panicked and babydoll and I found ourselves at Walmart at 10pm scouring the aisles looking for things to make a makeshift greenhouse so my poor plants didn’t freeze. We ended up finding 4ft handles that are used with rollers for painting walls and clear rolls of plastic. We made stakes with the poles and created a tee-pee affect with the plastic. All my potted plants went in the garage and my pansies that were in flower boxes went in my kitchen. I was on edge for a few days wondering if they would make it, but they did. You should have seen babydoll and I at 11pm in the high wind and rain trying to fix the plastic that had fallen with water. A sight to see!
We uncovered the garden today and all is well. Phew! Now we are researching on how to build an actual greenhouse cover for the plants when the heat comes. Hopefully we can extend their growing just a little longer. Here’s hoping.
Veggies: Potatoes, strawberries, green bell peppers, chili peppers, habanero peppers, jalapeno peppers, asparagus roots, onions, cherry tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, beefy tomatoes, cabbage, pole beans. In a few weeks we will plant cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.
Herbs: rosemary, lavender, and cilantro.
We also planted beautiful pansies of oranges, yellows, and white to help with bees within our garden. I don’t know if it will work, but let’s hope. The wood is just spare wood we had so I can walk through the garden to harvest.