Veggie Garden Update: May

by Texas Homesteader

It was with high hopes in late winter that I planted my indoor greenhouse with my heirloom seeds. Those seeds sprouted into tiny seedlings and I anxiously planted them in my garden immediately after Easter (as is recommended in our planting zone 8 here in NE Texas.)

But the strange spring weather battled with my tender seedlings.

Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

My garden was lovingly planted and with the highest optimism. I awaited the expected growth but Mother Nature had other plans… 

Although spring is typically a wet and rainy season for us, this spring has really done a trick on my garden.

Too Much Rain!

Rain systems were swinging through every few days. Then they hung around for several days. And on days where there was no rain we would be dealing with heavy cloud cover, which would prevent any of that moisture from evaporating.

And of course none of the life-giving sun could reach my tender seedlings.

Rainy Spring. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

The seedlings suffered but the grass and weeds were going crazy in the garden. After several weeks with no remaining sign of life and with a sigh I had to admit to myself that my garden was gone. 

I would need to undo all that was previously done, prepare the beds again and replant. And that’s exactly what I did.

Starting Over

So with new resolve I tackled the grass growing in the planting rows, pulling and tugging to get to the roots. I’ll continue to battle for awhile since I expect that I’ll need to address the wayward roots.

Then I pulled my garden planting plan that I rely on every year to layout my garden and planted new seeds in the beds. 

Vegetable Garden Planner. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

Concord Grapevine

My grapevine, unlike the struggling young veggie seedlings, is absolutely loving all the rain!  It’s growing like crazy and looks like it will supply me with a great crop this year.

Concord grapevine surrounded by straw bales. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

The only problem is that I’ve not  yet been able to get out there and tie the vines to the fence to make it grow neatly in the manner I want. But I don’t think it’s too late to tackle it.  (I hope…)

Wild Blackberries

And of course the blackberry vines I transplanted to the garden area several years ago are growing like crazy as well. But wow they need to be pruned back & tied too. I think those vines are a little out of control. LOL.

Blackberries - dewberries on the vine. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

But despite the overgrowth I get to see those first tempting juicy rewards of spring.  Ummmm…  delicious! I’m able to harvest a small handful of berries each day.

Those berries are frozen for future use. I want to be able to harvest enough berries to make our favorite homemade blackberry cobbler.

Garlic & Onions

And of course the garlic and onions are doing fine. The bottom leaves of the garlic are actually starting to turn  yellow, indicating it’s getting close to harvest time. It seems early to be harvesting garlic but I’ll probably be doing just that very soon.

Garlic almost ready to harvest. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

I’m not gonna lie, I’m very excited to be harvesting garlic. It’s been a LONG time since I had no garlic available for cooking. But I’ve used up all my reserves and have been waiting for harvest to replenish it.

My onions, as always, are doing great. I have walking onions in my garden. They grow a smaller bulb than traditional slicing onions. But they’re stronger flavored so I can get the same onion power from a smaller amount.

I’ve been slicing them thinly and sprinkling them on our salads. They’re perfect. And since they reproduce every year I don’t ever have to buy onions for the garden.

The plant will produce a bloom like traditional onions, but small bulbules form on the stalk. They grow & weigh the stalk down until it touches the ground. Then the bulbules root to make new onions.

Walking onion bulbules. Mother Nature has been fighting back this spring. Alas, I've had to start all over in May. Want to see how it's going? Read on. #TexasHomesteader

Garden Survivors

My volunteer cilantro grew GREAT in the garden this year! I harvested lots of it for cooking. My favorite was Cilantro/Lime Rice.

I’ve purposely allowed the cilantro plants to flower & go to seed. Although I don’t like to use the seed (coriander) in cooking, it virtually guarantees free cilantro in the garden first thing each spring. Gotta love it!

A few seedlings actually survived like a couple of tiny tomato plants. They’ll require a little sunshine though to take off.

And I’m seeing a couple of cantaloupe and zucchini sprouts in the large tubs I moved to the garden too. Hopefully they’ll go ahead & grow into hearty plants.

The galvanized trough I set up in the garden for a raised bed has green beans planted in it. They have grown and are starting to flower. But they’re not very vibrant-looking plants. So we’ll see how that trough experiment goes.

Since there’s plenty of room in the garden rows with all the non-growing plantings, I went ahead and planted another row of green beans. I’ve noticed tiny green bean seedlings have  sprouted.

They’re actually growing quite nicely and with much more vigor than the trough-planted beans. So one way or the other I’m guessing we’ll at least have green beans to harvest!

Challenging Weather

It’s certainly been a challenging spring garden here in NE Texas. I’m used to it being the rainy season but WOW – this year the garden has required two plantings in the same season. 

The second planting hasn’t really shown much promise yet. And since it’s already mid May I’m wondering what that means for the future of my harvest this year. But being the eternal optimist means I’ll be cheering it on. 

How’s your garden going?  Are you able to get it in the ground yet?  Is the weather cooperating with you?

~TxH~

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My favorite gardening hacks all in one place. #TexasHomesteader

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2 thoughts on “Veggie Garden Update: May

  1. Ellen C

    I’ve got lots of tomato and pepper starts waiting on the window sill to go outside and start the hardening off process but there has been very gusty winds and rain the last week. I think it would be too much for them. I’ve got all the corn starts ready to go but for the same reason I am hesitant to plant them. Hopefully this weekend! I purchased 10 bareroot strawberries and planted those in containers. I have never done this before and they seem to be surviving. I seeded basil in several containers but had less than stellar results. It probably isn’t warm enough for them yet. I too have lots of cilantro growing from last years reseeding. I love it. I absolutely love your grape and berry vines – I will have to figure out how to incorporate those into my yard. Thanks for sharing your garden adventures.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You’ve got lots of gardening stuff going on Ellen. If you can get your basil plants going, they’ll provide for you every year in the same way cilantro does. I always allow my basil to go to seed because our honeybees absolutely love the blooms, and the birds love the seeds as the colder months come on. Then I hack down the dead plants before spring and there will be many sprout as soon as it warms up. Right now there are probably 100 out there but I can’t make myself dig them up. I transplanted several to other locations & I’ll leave the rest in a little basil jungle for the bees! LOL Happy gardening! ~TxH~

      Reply

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