I am beyond happy with my gardens this year! I think its safe to say they are the best I have ever had here. I am having a hard time being inside at all this summer! We are having a good summer.
We have had rain! More rain than we usually have!... Shocking I know but its true! What rain water does for plants! All the watering in the world from a water hose cannot do for a garden or any plant what rain can do!
The temperatures have stayed below 100 so far as well!!!
I have been canning something on a regular basis as of late! Dill Pickles, Pickled Banana peppers slices, Pickle Jalapeno slices. Vadalia Onion Relish. I love pickled food. I LOVE dill pickles. I go through a jar a week darn near. LOL. Tomatoes are not ripe yet so havent got into canning of tomato stuff yet.
I must tell you, there are many places easier to garden than in Texas where I live. The heat is usually horrible. Rain is hard to come by at best. The sun can cook the leaves right off a plant, I am not kidding. Its happened to me more than once. Where we live its hotter than say south Texas go figure and it drier as well. I always find it odd how we are hotter than down south, say Houston etc. Then go a bit further Galveston and they have even better temps! But they are further south, I just find that so odd...
I have the shade covers on the front garden now and I usually raise them on the sides in the mornings and then when we hit the heat of the day I lower them down the sides all the way.
Last evening I spent four hours tieing up berry bushes ... I am no where near done. My blackberries and raspberries are out of control. They have over grown the walkways! Which just tickles me pink I must tell you! Keeper is inspecting the work, he says Good Job Mom......As you can see ahead of him the row is completely impassable with limbs from the raspberry bushes. I haven't got that far yet LOL.
I do have all the Kiowa Blackberries done. Whew that was a very ouchy job as the thorns on Kiowa blackberries are unlike any I have encountered on any other blackberry with thorns.. whew mean they are! But these berries do very well here where I live. The extreme heat doesn't phase them and they don't require a lot of water.. They are happy to get it but don't have to have it to survive and make berries.
I have the thorn-less blackberries down the long side of the garden done as well. These are Navaho, Arapaho and Quachita .. these berries do well here but they do require more water and more care in general or that has been my experience with them here. They are a joy to work with and pick I must say though. Not a thorn on them :O).
The rest of the thornless berry row.
Got this group of tomatillos tied up. I was not vigilant about keeping them inside the cages and then some over grew the tops of the cages. I had one 54 inch cage. I will be getting a few more of those big cages for next year for my tomatillos. They simply get HUGE. They break very easily too so I will make sure I keep them tucked inside the cages as they grow next year. For this year I have just tied them up the best I can.
I picked a nice size bowl of them last night! They will become jars of Salsa Verde!!! mmm
So you guys remember the hybrid spaghetti squash I showed you before... well this it is!! The thing is growing down the row on top of the pepper cages now.. my goodness but these vines do get HUGE.
Let me show you how many squash they are making! Never before have I had spaghetti squash put on like these are! If I got 4-5 off a whole trellis of vines on the others I was lucky. These are covered I don't even know how many are on here but these is a look at how they are all over it. I pulled back some leaves so you can see! They turn yellow on the vine. I hope these vines will stay as healthy as they are now while they ripen. I always had a hard time keeping the vine healthy long enough for the squash to ripen as its takes them the better part of the summer. Spaghetti Squash are winter squash and its been my experience they store a good long time.
Remember how sad my cucumber vines looked and I had planted cucumbers 4 times this year LOL ... kept loosing them to rolly pollys and the freezing weather we got late did some in... wellllll look at them now! Can we say "Thank You Rain" .. oh ya ...
As you can see I have put on the shade covers on our hoops frames... this is the new shade cloth we got this year. Its 50%. Its not near as dense as the other we were using and I think its better for the veggy garden. Its enough I think but not to much. Very pleased with it thus far. I push them up on the sides till about mid day or so and then I slide the covers all the way back down.
Below Zuchs and tomatoes...
I don't know what is up with the Zuchs and Yellow Crook Neck Squash. I am loosing probably 8 of every 10 to rot. I get about two full sized ones out of 10. I have done everything I know to do to fix a calcium deficiency if that is even the issue, I am doubting it now. All I can do is watch and pick early. If I see one is going to make it I can kinda tell now by looking I can let it go to full size. Otherwise the minute I see its not goin to I pick it and we just eat miniature squash LOL
Below is the row with the giant spaghetti squash on the right then on the left I have some Yellow Patty Pan type. My best bud shared these seeds with me and wow they are great! They will go in again every year. They are not rotting like the zuchs and yellow crook neck! They are very prolific makers...
These are the squash they make. I picked these this morning.
Below cucumbers and tomatoes and some yellow squash further up and then swiss chard that is still doing well thanks to the big tree at the end of my garden and the shade covers.