Vegetable Garden Update: June

by Texas Homesteader ~

Unfortunately our area of NE Texas has slipped into yet another drought this year.  Oh there’s been plenty of rain in surrounding areas but it’s mostly managed to miss our homestead!  What we have gotten is lots of the cloudiness associated with that precious rain.  But so many cloudy days means my garden is really behind where it should be this time of year.  My tomatoes are nowhere near producing yet and my peppers are all still tiny.  But I’ve had some successes too.  C’mon into my garden, y’all.  I’ll give you the tour!

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TexasHomesteader

Y’all remember I planted 3 rows of different heirloom green beans this year, waiting a few weeks between each row’s planting. I figured that way I’ll have a longer harvest of fresh green beans. So far it’s working great.  I’ve been harvesting green beans for weeks and cooking, freezing or sharing them.  They’re delicious!  I’ve left the beans growing on the plant at the end of each row to produce my heirloom seeds for planting next year.

Mis-Packaged Heirloom Green Bean Seeds?

But I notice that my final row of heirloom green beans are starting to vine. VINE??!! I planted Page’s Tendergreen Improved Heirloom bush beans. I thought they were supposed to bush, not vine.  This is my 1st time planting these – maybe they mis-packaged these seeds?

In any event, unless they rock my world, this is one heirloom seed I’ll not be saving this year!  Now since I need to find a way to stake these beans I put on my thinking cap.  I stepped in 3 hot-wire posts, but I need string.  I don’t want to buy something so I took all those long rip strings from our feed sacks & tied them together.  It worked great and I was able to put to use a wasted material from our cattle feed bags.  Once again, Use Whatcha Got!


As I mentioned, my tomatoes are still tiny.  Although I’m anxious for that first delicious garden-ripe tomato, looks like I need to wait a little longer.  I am finally able to begin tying up the volunteer tomato since it’s growing pretty well.  I guess that’s encouraging.  Once we start getting more sunshine I’m sure the tomatoes will grow like crazy.

And my volunteer cucumber has been producing very well also.    RancherMan’s not really fond of raw cucumbers and there’s only so many a girl can eat by herself.  So I decided not to plant them this year.  But a vine volunteered right in the perfect place by the chicken fence.  I’m training it up to give the chickens shade from the west sun.  I’ve harvested a few to share with friends & family since I won’t attempt to make refrigerator pickles until they’re producing several a day.  That day is coming quickly though.

Garlic & Onion Beds

Other than harvesting green beans & cucumbers, I’ve been harvesting garlic, onions & cilantro to make our own fresh pico de gallo in minutes.  I went ahead & harvested several of my garlic and the heads are currently lying on a table on a shaded porch to cure.  Even more garlic will be harvested soon.

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TexasHomesteader

When I was harvesting the garlic I came across little bulbules growing loosely on the garlic heads beneath the ground.  I knocked them off back into the soil to make more garlic for me.  Heck it’s free produce, why not??  I’ll let them grow & then I’ll relocate them this fall so I can plant them a little a more orderly fashion for next year’s harvest.

And I’ll probably be harvesting my onions pretty soon as well.  The volunteer vines in my onion beds are growing like crazy and I want to catch harvest time before the vines make it more difficult.  After I harvest the onions I’ll cure them on the back porch too and then store them in my pantry.

Among my other onions are these Walking Onions gifted by a friend, I love these.  They reproduce from what would be the bloom section in other onions.  The bloom section forms several bulbules which weighs down the bloom stem.  The bulbules touch the soil and start growing into more onions.  I love the thought of having continuous onions without replanting!

Speaking of volunteer vines – DANG they’re going crazy in my peanut bed too.  And now they are actually starting to produce.  There was initially question as to what they would end up being, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, cucumber or cantaloupe.  I’m happy to find they’re cantaloupe!  YEA!  Free produce!

Kandy Korn

This is the first time I’ve ever grown Kandy Korn.  A sweet friend gifted the seeds to me when her father died unexpectedly.  He was an avid gardener and she knew I could put those seeds to good use.  The Kandy Korn seeds were red/pink which was different than the yellow seeds I’m used to.  How cool, it looks like the silks are red too!  I’ve never seen corn like this.  I’m anxious to harvest & see how it tastes.

Let’s see…  Oh, the grapevine is doing AWESOME!  I’ve never had this many grapes before.  I typically make & can grape juice with these grapes but I have enough to try my hand at making jelly as well this year.  Concords are extremely flavorful.

And I’m beyond excited to see I have a few little apples on my miniature tree.  It’s only produced once for us since we planted it and that production was a couple of years ago.  Drought has been a challenge and it looks like we’re in for yet another year of drought.  I’ll be sure to mulch this tree & keep it watered best I can.  Hopefully it will go on to produce a few apples that I can harvest this year.

Edible Landscape Plants

The herbs in my front ‘edible landscape’ bed are doing pretty well.  The sage overwintered and it’s huge.  It’s blooming and the bees love it too.  I purchased & planted basil and lemon thyme since the drought took them last year.  I also planted some stevia which I’ve never grown before.  I’m totally enamored with the thought that I can grow my own sweetener!  We’ll see how that goes.

And the carrots I planted in this edible landscape bed didn’t do much but for some reason one of them went crazy.  So I allowed it to bloom and I’ll capture these seeds to plant next spring.  I figure even if I don’t get a good carrot harvest, I just love the lacy tops and how they look in my edible landscape.  Being able to harvest & eat something so pretty is just icing on the cake!

Weekly Blessing Basket

One last note to you gardeners out there.  RancherMan & I meet with a church study group on Wednesdays. Many in the class are older or don’t garden anymore. So I’ve started something I’m calling a “Blessing Basket”.  I’ve vowed to put everything I harvest on Wednesdays into a Blessing Basket and take it with me to class to share the love. Last week there were only a few green beans.  But this week there are also a few cucumbers, a large head of garlic, some herbs such as rosemary, sage, basil and oregano and even the three fresh eggs my girls laid today. Soon there will also be tomatoes & peppers.  Cantaloupe & okra.  Even pumpkin & watermelon!

Come with me and walk through our vegetable garden. We're still struggling with the weather but we have some successes! #TexasHomesteader

I challenge all of you gardeners to do the same. Whether you meet with a book club or garden club, or maybe just for a neighbor down the street.  Bundle your harvest one day each week and pass the blessing on!  And let’s get others to do the same.  Share a photo of your weekly Blessing Basket on Instagram with the hashtag #BlessingBasket.

So there’s a quick tour of our NE Texas garden.  What’s growing in your garden these days?


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13 thoughts on “Vegetable Garden Update: June

  1. Charlene Dryman

    We live on the coast by Galveston and we prefer drought. We can control the water. But, here we get at least 5-10 inches a week. Fungus is horrible. I just tore down all our tomatoes. Cucumbers grow a few feet, then the fungus takes over, oh and the leaf-footed bugs take over everything and ruin the tomatoes before they ripen then they ruin the pomegranates. The year we didn’t have much rain, we had a beautiful garden and a bountiful crop.
    I had a pretty good crop of zucchini, till the squash bugs hit. I am trying to get more to grow now.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I know what you mean Charlene, we had a very, VERY wet spring a couple of years ago. I planted & replanted (and replanted) my garden to no avail. But then the taps turned off & we were thrown into yet another drought by summer that year. It seems we’ve had about 5-6 consecutive years of drought. Fingers crossed that we get at least moderate moisture this year. ~TxH~

  2. JessB

    Walking onions are AMAZING. I have mine from what was on my parents’ place that they bought over 30 years ago. It’s so cool to think of all the generations of onions that have come off those plants.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      They really are JessB! I’d never had them before and was thrilled with the gift a few years ago. How cool that you have generational walking onions. Love that. ~TxH~

  3. Shirley Taylor

    What a wonderful garden!
    Even though I’m in Oklahoma, I started my garden LATE!
    My green beans had to be planted twice,so they’re only 4 or 5 inches tall,my tomatoes are trying to get started and peppers too.
    My lettuce needs picking but thats all!
    I’ve cut back drastically on my garden space in the last few years.
    Talk about volunteers,I have gorgeous pumpkins flourishing inbetween my fig bushes,right outside my garden and a nice clump of tomato plants that I don’t have room for but can’t bring myself to pull them up!
    All my basil came up volunteer as well as my tithonias that I had last year,and they’re 5 feet tall already!!
    We finally need rain again and it’s coming this weekend.
    Just hope we don’t get toad stranglers!!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Sounds like all is well on its way Shirley. It won’t be long before your harvesting buckets from the garden! And I love your volunteer plants that you can’t bring yourself to pull up. I have the same affliction with all the volunteer cantaloupe vines. I’ve just let ’em go. So far they’re doing a great job providing living mulch for other things to protect them from that harsh summertime summer in a few weeks. Then I’ll have lots of cantaloupe to harvest as well – woo-hoo! ~TxH~

  4. ColleenB.

    Your garden looks great and growing by leaps and bounds.
    I have volunteer tomato and pepper plants that have come up as well
    Nice to get a good bounty of veggies in place of a bounty of weeds……….Right. :}

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I sure wish I’d had volunteer pepper plants Colleen, those are the only plants I actually had to buy this year. But I do think my garden is about to hit its stride and do me proud. Oh, and RAIN last night – about an inch and a half! Praise God! Things are going to start happening now… 🙂 ~TxH~

      1. ColleenB.

        Seen on news you where getting rain in your area and was hoping you where receiving some of that. Saves from not having to water when Mother Nature does it for us.
        rain stated here around 3:30Am and it rained and it rained. Finally quit around 8 and just now checked the rain gauge and got almost 2 3/4 inches.
        Nice to have the rain but in the meantime it puts a stop on working on my shed :{ Water puddles all over in the yard.
        Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Cynthia D

    What a wonderful way to share the fruits of your garden. A church I attended many years ago did a similar thing on Sundays. Gardeners would bring what they had to share and leave in the church hall and anyone could take what they could use. One year a man with a small peach orchard had hail damage and brought the unsalable peaches in and I had a really good pie that night.

    We have walking onions but have not yet harvested them. Can you eat the top onion as well as the ones in the ground?

    The birds dug up all my corn seeds so I have replanted and the corn is up and I have it covered with a row cover. Of course this is for covering crops to keep them from getting too cold, but since I have corn and green beans under them and the highest it has gotten is 86 I think I have been good so far. Row cover is suppose to add 3 to 6 degrees, but don’t know what full sun all day does to that this time of year. As you say use what you got.

    Love seeing all growing in your garden. Hope you get some gentle rain soon.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love your church’s way for gardeners to share – I just may suggest that at our church as well. Regarding your question about eating the tops of the walking onions – I’m sure you could eat the tops since they’re just tiny onions. I’ve never eaten them though, much preferring them to make more onion plants for me. Thank you so much for sharing the story of your garden with us Cynthia. Happy gardening! ~TxH~

  6. Ruth

    Here in Michigan we have had too much rain. We are just getting our annuals in the ground. Our asparagus crop was stunted and produced only a fraction of what we had last year. Still keeping the faith. 🙂

    9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,

    with the firstfruits of all your crops;

    10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,

    and your vats will brim over with new wine.
    Proverbs 3:9-10

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It seems it’s feast or famine with the rain, huh Ruth? We’ve had years that the continuous torrential rain for weeks drowned the garden over & over again (the taps still turned off completely in late spring throwing us into a drought that year). Then we’ve had years like this one – areas all around us getting rain but our space slipping into yet another drought. Even last night heavy rain fell about 4 miles up the road, but here we didn’t get enough to float the floater in our rain gauge. Praying for rain soon! ~TxH~


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