by Texas Homesteader ~
June is a great month for gardening. But this month has been even better being unusually temperate with plenty of rain. That’s helped it be super productive! C’mon through my garden gate and see what’s growing on…
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My garden has grown better this year than ever! We had a pretty wet month and rainwater just irrigates the garden better than water from a hose.
I’m harvesting lots from the garden every day!
I’ve included information below if you’re looking to buy some of the same garden seeds I’m growing, as well as additional posts about each crop too. So click the links if you’re looking for more information!
What am I growing these days? Check it out.
Amish Paste Tomato Plants
I planted seed saved from a mysterious tomato that sprouted randomly at my parent’s home after soil was excavated from beneath their house. It was later identified as an Amish Paste tomato.
My plants are loaded and tomatoes are starting to turn red. I’m beginning to slowly harvest them.
Paste tomatoes are great sauce and salsa tomatoes since they tend to be more meaty & less watery.
Green beans have been the star of the show this year. I’ve picked gallons of green beans. Maybe it’s because I planted them in my new raised bed.
We’re eating green beans fresh and I’m freezing and even canning them. Since green beans pressure-can at the same time & pressure as my homemade broth I was able to fill up that canner with two foods at one time!
Green Bean Pests
But as is typical this time of year my Contender bush beans are being hit by a garden pest.
The damage looks like spider mite but I see no webs and it doesn’t look like spider mites on the underside of the leaves. Does anyone have any hints?
It may just be time to cut the green beans at ground level and let this bed go fallow until fall planting. At least I have plenty of garden green beans preserved to use all year long!
Growing Pickler Cucumbers
(You can *Buy Pickler Cucumber Seeds Here)
I’m also picking cucumbers every day. I made a salt brine (using the dill growing in my garden) and have made a jar or two of refrigerator pickles.
I’ll also make and can some sliced dill pickles, whole dill pickles and smaller whole sweet pickles.
But sliced & chilled cucumbers and dip is a cooling delicious snack. I don’t dip them in ranch dressing, there’s too much fat & calories in ranch dressing for my liking.
I make homemade dressing using unflavored yogurt, lemon juice, garlic & onion powder & a bit of salt/pepper. Then I mince fresh dill to go in this cucumber dip.
Healthy, creamy, delicious, cheap and ZERO WASTE!
Luffa (or Loofah) Gourd
(You can *Buy Luffa Seeds Here)
There are several benefits in growing luffa. If you allow it to mature it makes a scrub sponge. But if you harvest it small it’s a zucchini substitute. (without squash bug pests!)
Why I Grow Luffa (and why YOU should too!)
- Young Luffa A Zucchini Substitute
Cantaloupe As Living Mulch
(You can *Buy Cantaloupe Seeds Here)
The cantaloupe vines I planted as living mulch around my tomato plants are growing like crazy! And the bees have pollinated their flowers so there are tons of tiny cantaloupe starting to grow.
Okra & Pest Damage
(You can *Buy Clemson Spineless Okra Seeds Here)
The 4 okra seeds I planted grew into plants and are starting to produce small okra. I’m harvesting 1 or 2 each day.
The grasshoppers have descended upon the garden and are causing damage to the leaves. But so far it’s only cosmetic. I’m hoping my free-range chickens can help keep the grasshoppers in check.
I’m dropping harvested okra in a jar with salt brine until I get enough for a full jar.
Then I’ll make fresh brine and can the okra for the pantry. We love pickled okra and we also love okra fritters.
Garden Pepper Varieties I’m Growing
Now that the temperature is heating up I have a pepper bush full of pepperoncini peppers. And they’re now getting large enough to harvest too.
It will be another week or so before I can start harvesting my bell peppers. I love all the pepper varieties I planted this year!
Squash In My Texas Garden
As most southern gardeners know squash is prolific. I’m harvesting several yellow squash every day and one or two zucchini a week.
So there’s enough for RancherMan & me plus plenty to share with family & friends.
Egyptian Walking Onions
(You can *Buy Egyptian Walking Onions Here)
My Egyptian Walking onions have formed their bulbils and the stems have weighed down to start the next generation of onions. This is a true Lazy Gardener’s plant!
Fresh Herbs Growing In My Homestead Garden
All the herbs are vigorously growing and I’m harvesting from them often. What’s better than herbs so fresh you picked them less than 5 minutes before using in your recipe??
- Stevia – Growing My Own Sugar-Free Sweetener
(you can *Buy Thornless Blackberries Here)
I’m still harvesting 1-2 blackberries each day but the bush is about to be completely harvested for the year. This is my first year growing it.
The bush has grown impressively so next year I’ll get an even larger harvest!
Tough Gardening Weather Ahead
I’ve harvested and preserved an impressive amount of food from my garden so far this season. July promises to be hot and dry so I’m expecting it to struggle more then.
If possible I’d like to squeak it through to enjoy a short fall resurgence.
How’s your garden doing these days?
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Planting Seeds In A Milk-Jug Greenhouse
- Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- How Leaves Benefit Your Garden
- Using Manure In Your Compost & Garden
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Where I Found The BEST Raised Bed!
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Rustic Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
- The Lazy Gardener’s Plant List – Plant Once, Eat For Years!
- How To Tell When Watermelon Is Ripe
- Luffa A Surprising Zucchini Substitute!
- How To Plant & Grow The Best Tomatoes
- Keeping Potted Plants Watered
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- 3 Rainwater Collection Systems We Use
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Using Vining Plants For Living Mulch
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
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