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 bulbils in their blooms. These bulbils 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?