Vegetable Garden Update: May

by Texas Homesteader ~

Well, well, well – here we are in May.  Now here in NE Texas we’re in planting zone 8A so typically this time of year my garden is really starting to fire up, but this year’s garden has stumbled along due to both circumstances beyond my control as well as a comedy of errors.  Come along and see my successes and my…  well my not-quite-so successes.

Come along and see how our veggie garden here in NE Texas (zone 8A) is growing! What succeeded? What failed? #TexasHomesteader

Planting Behind Schedule

A family illness kept me from properly caring for the seeds I planted in my indoor greenhouse in February. So very few seedlings survived, and those that did survive weren’t really vibrantly healthy.  I was able to plant a few jalapenos, 2 San Marzano tomatoes and some starts of corn but…

I was pretty excited that the corn I planted in cardboard tubes really did have a head start over waiting until the last frost & planting in the ground.  I’m already saving them back for next year and looking forward to success!

Come along and see how our veggie garden here in NE Texas (zone 8A) is growing! What succeeded? What failed? #TexasHomesteader

Unfortunately what I didn’t take into account is that this new garden layout this year puts much of the garden in shade from about 4:00 in the afternoon on, so it’s not near the sunshine I’m  used to receiving for my precious veggies.  But as we get closer to summer the sun will get higher in the northern sky so that will help… someday!  But for now, the corn is lagging behind schedule…

Buying Seedlings This Year

Since my indoor greenhouse plants didn’t do well I tripsied to the store & purchased several small seedlings to get my garden started: More heirloom tomatoes, Red, yellow & green bell peppers and another jalapeno plant.  After those seedlings were in the ground I proceeded to drop in more seeds for heirloom green beans, okra, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, summer squash, watermelon, etc.  They’re slowly growing, I even have some roma tomatoes on the vine!  The onions I transplanted were not happy at all, not sure they’ll make it.  The elephant garlic however didn’t miss a lick and is growing quite well.

But my edible landscape was looking pretty good – the lacy carrot foliage looks adorable lining the bed, and groups of herbs were planted and labeled using rocks found on the ranch: sage, basil and oregano.

The cantaloupe vines I planted will grow along the top of the ground as  a living mulch, shading the ground beneath the vines and preserving moisture along the way.

And the zucchini plant I planted to anchor the whole thing is really starting to take off.  I’ll be excited to harvest that zucchini soon and make more zucchini noodles this summer, I really enjoyed them last year.

And of course I have things planted in the cement planters on the porch: chocolate mint, spearmint and thyme.  Hey, I’ve always said that if you’re going to have pretty planters and plants adorning your porch, they might as well serve dual purposes!

Aaaahhh… The sweet rewards of spring in Texas! I planted a wild blackberry vine along my garden fence to be able to sneak a couple of juicy ripe berries still warm from the sun while I’m gardening as well as to keep an eye on when the berries in the pastures would be ripe. Apparently it’s time for me to go to the back paddock & go berry picking – I see blackberry cobbler in our future!

The concord grapes growing along the garden fence look like they’re going to have a banner year this year too, the blooms are prolific and the vine is very healthy.  Yea!

So there you have it, the state of my garden so far this year.  How’s your garden growing?

~TxH~

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18 thoughts on “Vegetable Garden Update: May

  1. Danielle

    You are way ahead of us here in zone 5b! My seedlings keeled over from out of season weather, though. Not going to be a great harvest for us this year :(. Mmmm zucchini noodles. Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing with us at the homestead blog hop!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The excessive rain has had both a positive and negative effect on our garden Danielle. The corn is growing better than it ever has, but my poor peppers, not sure how many will survive. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Elaine

    I don’t put my garden in the ground…but I do have tomatoes, onions, green beans, cucumbers and peppers in tubs!! They are growing great!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!!

    Reply
  3. Charlene Dryman

    I live in 9a, Texas City, Tx. Our blackberries are finished. I ended up with 21 quart bags full of beautiful berries. We had a bad time with tomato pin worms this year which was new for us. But I keep spraying with BT and now we are starting to harvest some beautiful tomatoes. We only grew Celebrity, Homestead and Beef Steak this year. The peppers are growing good and we got some big bells this year for a change. I have Banana peppers coming out of my ears and the serranos are starting to lengthen. I tried onions, and I got quite a few, but they were smaller than a baseball. This is the first year that I have a large number of oranges on my tree. Overall with so much rain and flooding the Good Lord above has blessed us with a beautiful garden and tasty eggs from our chickens.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      That’s a lot of berries in your freezer Charlene – I’m envious! I let the berries get away from me this year so I didn’t collect many, just enough for snacking. It seems blackberry season just hits at the wrong time, what with gardening season firing up and our annual family reunion that we host. Next year I hope to be able to jump when they’re ready. Sounds like your garden is growing well with the exception of tomato pin worms. I’ve never heard of them before – off to google it! LOL Thanks for stopping by. ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Indeed it is – and so dependent upon the weather. Some years are better than others and with the weather it’s pretty much out of your hands. Oh you can adjust to try to accommodate different weather patterns but Mother Nature has a huge impact on the garden. ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Gwen

    We have a very different climate here in the north west of Scotland, so I have nothing planted outside of my polytunnel yet. Your blackberries look delicious! We call them brambles, and ours won’t fruit until autumn. Thanks for sharing about your garden 🙂

    Reply
  5. Margy

    I’m getting spinach, radishes and onions for our salads. That’s all we have ready to harvest. The rest of the plants are starting well and we should have lettuce pretty soon. Our climate doesn’t make for very many early pickings. – Margy

    Reply
  6. Bill

    We’ve had crazy weather here in southern Virginia–hot and dry in April, cool and wet in May. It’s like nature got the months mixed up. We had to irrigate to keep the spring gardens going, but they’re loving this wet cool weather and are thriving. We have some of the best lettuce, kale and Asian greens we’ve ever grown. Our summer gardens, on the other hand, have been delayed. We finally got a little break from the rain so we could plant earlier this week. The jury is still out on how they’ll do.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Our spring last year was a total washout Bill continuous torrential rainfall in spring and then the taps turned off all summer long throwing us into a drought. Crazy weather indeed! Here’s fingers crossed that your weather will moderate for you. ~TMH~

      Reply
  7. tonia conner

    Your gardens looks fine to me. Your carrots are doing well there and a pretty border. I like the idea of herbs in the planters, mine are getting too much sun in the large wash tub on an old tree stump. This idea will work great on the deck railing, morning and early afternoon sun and the rest shade.
    My bush beans and potatoes are really shooting up everything else is just moseying along.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It’s finally turned the corner, Tonia – the carrots in the last few days have flourished, and the garden plants have really started growing by leaps & bounds! ~TMH~

      Reply
  8. Connie

    Oh, you are a good month ahead of us . . .things are looking wonderful. I love blackberries, I planted some bareroot plants last year and they died. So, I took them back to Lowes and they were out, but had raspberries so I planted them where I had the blackberries and they are full of tiny green berry starts this year. I also found some nice blackberries this year and planted then about six weeks ago and I’m delighted to report that they are doing good . . .maybe there will be blackberries in my future 🙂 I really enjoy seeing what other people are planting and seeing your process. We have only lived here two years and this is my third year to actually have a garden. I am loving country living 🙂 Too, bad I had to wait this long in my life to start, but God has he own timing 🙂

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Indeed Connie – everything in its own time. Although I longed to be a country girl most of my adult life, we lived in the big city when we were raising our kids. We needed that corporate paycheck to do what needed to be done back then, including raising our kids, purchasing this land and preparing it for the sweet day when we could finally actually live here. When the last child graduated high school and moved out on her own we built the house & made that leap to country living – It’s been worth the wait! ~TMH~

      Reply

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