Well, where to start?? This year my garden has struggled. Hard. It started by a bull jumping my garden fence and tromping the tenderly transplanted seedlings to the ground. Not to be deterred, I replanted by seed. A late start, yes. But I just have to have my garden!
But spring skipped us. I mean ALL of it. We got no storms as is typical in our NE Texas spring season, but we got no rain either. Then the heat & humidity of our summers hit – again with no rain. It’s a sad thing, but I’m making adjustments to try to squeak by.
I like to use natural materials in my garden. Things such as straw, wood chips Dry Leaves or even grass mulch after RancherMan mows the lawn and bags the cut grass. (be sure to let that freshly-cut grass cure a bit before adding it close to your plants or it could burn them)
For instance, I have a grapevine that I’ve surrounded with three bales of straw. That straw serves a dual purpose. Its initial purpose is to protect my garden from encroaching bermuda grass.
I jokingly refer to our yard as the ‘Botanical Hole of Death’ since I struggle to get things to live in the ground right around our home.
Oh don’t get me wrong the land here is productive, lush and green. But apparently we built our home right in the middle of the Botanical Hole of Death. But I’ve found scrappy plants that thrive even in our yard!
How can we save our newly-planted tree during yet another drought? Ugh. RancherMan & I often do some light traveling during the summer months.
We had a road trip planned & we’d be away from the homestead for almost two weeks. I’m worried about the small pear tree RancherMan bought me this past spring. How and I going to keep it alive in my absence with this weather?
One year it was a roller-coaster ride for RancherMan & me due to me suffering an unexpected illness. It would be the very first year I couldn’t plant my garden. I’m not gonna lie, it made me pretty sad.
Thank goodness I had garden angels that surprised me at our house one beautiful spring morning and completely prepared all of our raised beds and planted my garden for me. What a blessing!
I was able to harvest fresh veggies from my own garden this year because of the love and tender hearts of those sweet people.
But as I recovered from my illness, obviously my focus wasn’t on gardening. So I had some garden failures too where I normally wouldn’t have. One such failure was my crop of onions.
I planted plenty, but I wasn’t able to tend to them as they grew. So they just withered & disappeared beneath the straw mulch as the brutal drought gripped our area of Texas for the third year in a row.
But recently I was pretty excited to see those little green tops peeking from beneath the soil. Some of my onions were coming back!
We were forced to reduce our herd in 2011 and 2012 due to the gripping drought that held us captive those years. We have maintained a lower stocking rate and use temporary stocker cows of different breeds during times when the grass was plentiful, selling them when the grass waned. It was a painful decision but that flexibility allowed us to continue our ranching operation and emerge strong.