by Texas Homesteader ~
Y’all remember last month the bull hopped the garden fence & tromped around the wet soil decimating my newly-planted garden? Well I smoothed down the soil best I could and basically had to start over. Because of this damage my garden was now waaaaaay behind schedule! But I’m hopeful I’ll be still be able to harvest lots from my garden this year. Come see the damage recovery report for May.
Recovering From Bull Damage
If you’ll remember, we came home from only an hour’s absence to a yearling Romeo bull who had jumped the fence to be closer to his Juliette, from whom we’d separated several days before for (eh hemmm….) early accidental breeding reasons. In that short hour he’d done a mighty large amount of damage. Bad boy!
So after my anger had subsided (has it subsided even yet???) I went out to survey the damage. Deep hoof prints were everywhere and tender seedlings were stomped into the ground. I basically needed to start over. With a deep sigh I took the dirt rake and smoothed the soil back down as best I could.
Mulching The Walkways
I like to make walkways in my garden to keep compaction down in my planting areas. So I took several paper feed sacks that RancherMan saves for me and laid them along the pathways between planting rows. Then I topped it thickly with shredded bark mulch that I Get For Free.
Since my tender tomato seedlings had been stomped into the ground I knew I’d be way behind in getting tomatoes before the hot Texas summer stopped them from producing for awhile. So I planted double the heirloom Mariglobe tomato seeds as the plants I’d previously dropped into the ground.
They germinated quickly and are just now growing enough to bloom. I have in my garden supplies an old juice bottle that has holes punched in it. I buried it to the neck next to my tomatoes so while I’m watering I can deep-water here.
Green Bean Planting Rotation
Green beans are the garden veggie that RancherMan & I love the most. So I planted two rows of heirloom green beans. Once again since they are heirloom bush beans I’ll be able to save seed for next year.
Two weeks after planting those two rows of beans I planted 2 more rows. This way when the first two rows slow down their production I’ll be able to harvest from the two newer rows which by then will be in full production. Then perhaps I can even replant the first rows for a continuous supply of the green beans we love.
There are a few garlic plants that popped up too. I’ll relocate them to the garlic bed. RancherMan & I love garlic!
I also replanted all my peppers. RancherMan loves a medley of roasted veggies as a delightful yet healthy side dish. So I made sure to plant plenty of various varieties. All the varieties I planted are heirloom so I’ll be saving seed from them as well. I’ve got a poblano, red bell, sweet banana pepper and anaheim.
My heirloom jalapeno seed didn’t sprout this year so I had to buy a plant. I just can’t do without my jalapenos!
I’m excited to see my poblano peppers are growing well. Last year I discovered an easy cheater version of Chile Relleno that I can whip up in a flash. RancherMan absolutely loves it. That dish is the main reason I planted poblano this year.
Egyptian Walking Onions
In the photo of the bull you see above he is standing in my onion bed, doing his best to stomp them to the ground. But they’re hearty onions. After I went through and returned them to the soil, they recovered quite nicely.
They are now blooming and forming tiny bulbules in their blooms. These bulbules will weigh down the bloom until it touches the soil not far from the mother plant. There they will take root and make a new onion plant (Thus the name ‘Walking Onions’.) Yeah, I really love these! I never plant onions anymore, they just do their own thing year in, year out. Lazy gardening? I think so!
Last year I had a bumper crop of grapes, yet I harvested not one. As they ripened, a raccoon family came to invade the vines each night to stuff their faces!
Now I see I’ll have another great crop of grapes this year. RancherMan & I are making plans to secure the harvest in a multi-pronged method that involves both nets over the vines and trapping. Hopefully I’ll at least get a few to taste this year!
Years ago I transplanted a blackberry vine to the fence of my garden. I trained the vines to grow up and along the fence. They’re wild vines but the vines remaining in the pastures haven’t produced many berries. But thankfully I’ve at least been able to harvest from this garden vine. Although I don’t have gallons in the freezer as I have in previous years, I have enough to bake a couple of Blackberry Cobblers.
I plant Kandy Korn in my garden each year to honor a sweet friend’s father who passed away suddenly. She gifted me his garden seeds and I plant Kandy Korn so I can share the harvest of her favorite veggie in her dad’s garden. But it was hit the hardest by the bull’s garden dancing. I tried to replant the corn bed but not all seeds came up for some reason. I still have several cornstalks but not a full bed’s worth.
I wrote before about how to get Free Veggie Plants for your garden – oftentimes from compost. My compost is good about presenting me with tomatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkins, squash, etc. I see I have a few volunteer vines in the garden but I’m not really sure yet what they are – maybe cantaloupe?
I’ll allow these volunteers to grow along the rows & between plants to make a living mulch. I mean think about it – free mulch that preserves moisture in the garden plus FEEDS YOU? Yes please!
I also have several volunteer tomatoes in my back porch planting troughs. But since I planted heirloom Mariglobe tomatoes in the garden, I don’t want another unknown tomato to cross pollinate with them. I want to be able to save pure seed from my Mariglobes. So I may allow one of these volunteer tomatoes to remain in the trough but I have to pinch the others. Oh how I hate it! I’ve asked around for someone to take a few, but there are no takers. Are there fewer people gardening these days?
I also allowed my basil in the front bed to go to seed last fall hoping it would sprout volunteer plants. And sprout it did! Although I’ve transplanted some to be Companion Plants with my tomatoes in the garden, I’ll have to do the same with the basil as the tomato volunteers and pinch them off. I’ll bet I have about 50 basil seedlings that volunteered!
So there’s how my garden is doing this year. Hopefully yours is faring better.
(Helpful hint – keep the 800-lb bovines out of your garden! LOL)
So tell me, how’s your garden doing so far?
We have a container with potatoes in it. I’m not sure how they’ll do, but I decided to try it. I have bean seeds that I got from some Mennonite friends when we lived in your town. She called them hoticulture or October beans, but we just have one container so the potatoes found their way into it.
I’ve always thought growing potatoes was such a fun thing to do Nancy. And the fondest of childhood memories for my grandmother’s garden was helping her dig up potatoes. It was such a treasure hunt to me when I was a kid! ~TxH~
Tried to comment but it didn’t work the first time. Too bad about the bull, but things are starting again for you. – Margy
That’s a huge critter to be in a garden. And to think, I worry about woodrats. My garden is doing well except for my lettuce and some of my onions. I pulled one and found wireworms. I’m not really too surprised since I was trying to trap click beetles last summer. – Margy
It’s always somethin’, huh Margy? Glad the rest of your garden is doing well. I see my green beans are starting to put on little beans. Oh the joy of it!
Once they start putting on they’ll be coming in fast. Fresh green beans on our menu soon. ~TxH~
My garden is still in my heart and mind. Can’t help planning one even though we don’t garden anymore (too old). I do relish the thought of gardens of years past. And, of course, those put in by people like you. Happy gardening.
I know what you mean Sondra, gardening is just in my bones. If it’s gotten difficult to garden I wonder if you can do a gentler garden, such as container gardening? For instance, we have huge tubs (empty cattle supplement tubs) that could be filled with soil for planting. It’s big enough to plant tomatoes & peppers in the same tub. Although it would have to be watered more frequently, no weeding or squatting down would make it least less maintenance or harvest toil. Just a thought… ~TxH~
There are less gardeners and most of the gardeners I know are older. My garden has about 4 dozen tomato plants, cabbage and broccoli. The last 2 will be leaving soon and beans will go in their place. Calling for a dry cooler day (low 80’s) planning to put out peppers and egg plants today. Garden is a little behind this year due to rain, but we are cooler here than in TX.
I find that so curious, Cynthia – that there are such fewer gardeners out there. I mean, there’s no tomato quite as tasty as one you’ve just picked fresh. I get that we live in a rushed world, but you’re still spending that time obtaining your food somehow – even if it involves driving to the store or schlepping it back home. (I get that you’d have to go to the grocery store anyway for other food, but see tomato comment above! LOL) I’ve seen and shared the phrase that growing a garden is like printing your own money and I can totally see that! And that one pack of seeds gives me hundreds of pounds of produce. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but I just can’t understand it. ~TxH~