Veggie Garden Update: May

by Tammy Taylor


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 7B 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 are swinging through every few days and they hang around for several days.  Then 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 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


I raked the hay out of all the beds, stacking it all into the walkways which were already thickly covered in hay since I’m trying the deep-mulching method this year.  The deep-mulching method involves laying thick hay mulch over the entire surface area in an effort to keep grass from growing anywhere in the garden.  This method supposedly will help me finally win the never-ending battle of Bermuda grass sneaking its way into my raised beds, a battle I typically lose every year.  I can see it’s going to be a long, hard battle…


So with new resolve I tackled that grass, pulling and tugging in the thick mud to get to the roots.  I’ll continue to battle for awhile since I expected that I’d need to address the wayward shoots.  But I also had all the spring grasses that had sprouted thickly inside the beds.  I raked and hacked at it with a hoe until I once again had cleared beds ready for planting.


Then I pulled my garden planting plan that I rely on every year to layout my garden and planted new seeds in the beds.  Before long tiny seedlings began to emerge…

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


My miracle 3-year jalapeno plant that we plopped in the garden earlier this year is still alive and still has several leaves, but with all the cloud cover & rain there hasn’t been much progression with it.  I know when it dries up a little this massive plant will explode!


My grapevine, unlike the young veggie seedlings, is absolutely loving all the rain!  It’s growing like crazy and looks like it will supply me with a bumper crop this year.  The only problem is with the rainy weather we’ve had I’ve not been able to get out there and tie the vines to the fence to make it grow in the manner I want, but I don’t think it’s too late to tackle it as soon as it dries up a bit.  (I hope…)


And of course my blackberry vines are growing like crazy as well, but wow they need to be pruned back & tied too.  I think these vines are a little out of control…


But despite the overgrowth I get to see those first tempting juicy rewards of spring.  Ummmm…  delicious!  I was able to harvest a handful of berries about once a day and those berries were rinsed, dried and frozen for future use.  I’ve been able to harvest enough berries to make a homemade  blackberry cobbler  when a family member came-a-visitin’ and the berries are still coming on.  Woo-hoo!

Garlic & Onions


And of course the garlic and onions are still trudging along, although I’m already beginning to see the onions bloom which means they’re short time in the ground.  I snap the blooms off as they come out but I already know these early onion blooms will necessitate me pulling them soon.  I will chop & freeze them or dehydrate them so none of them go to waste.

Garden Survivors

A few seedlings actually survived, namely my cucumber, zucchini and summer squash.  And my peanuts are just beginning to peek through, although I can’t really weed the grass that’s sprouting around them.  I’m not concerned since it’s mostly winter rye and will die off as soon as the daily rain deluge stops & the temps heat up.


There’s lots more work to be done in the garden, but the wet soil keeps me from being very productive with it.  I had tilled a separate row for my green beans but of course the weather drowned them out.

I replanted the seeds but the grass is encroaching from either side, so with my hand hoe I hacked down any grass making a run for the growing area.  The grass has once again started growing where I’ve hoed it down but the rain has kept me from getting back out there to keep it in check.  I’ll be out there as soon as it dries up making a more concerted effort but for now this is the best I can do.  I’ve noticed tiny green bean seedlings have at least sprouted for the this time.


It’s certainly been an unusual spring here in NE Texas.  I’m used to it being the rainy season but WOW – this is the first time ever my garden has required two plantings in the same season.  The second planting looks to be hanging in there but the rain hasn’t stopped since I replanted it and there’s a 100% chance of rain today with 60% chances of rain every other day of the 10-day forecast.  MAN that’s a lot of water! May has only given us a small handful of days with actual sunshine but not enough to dry anything out during the entire month.

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


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27 thoughts on “Veggie Garden Update: May

  1. Judith C

    Can you believe all this rain? I usually don’t plant until the last week of May because things tend to drown, but our yard is like a swamp, squishy when you walk through it, and it’s on a slope! I’m happy all the lakes are up and the stock tanks are full, but I’m ready for it to stop. Your berries just reminded me, I should go to the berry patch up near Whitewright.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I really can’t believe all the rain Judith, and it looks like I’m 2-for-2 in the spring garden failure category. I buckled and purchased a few small seedlings so I can at least have peppers & tomatoes this year! I’ll replant some of the squashes and hope for the best. You’d better hurry on the berries, there are still some out there but they’re few & far between now. I’ll be making another blackberry cobbler tonight with berries RancherMan “accidentally” left out of the freezer so they thawed. 😉 ~TMR~

  2. lisa M

    The seedlings looks like they’re growing well now…hopefully the weather will hold out for you!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back again this week!


  3. Rose @ Walnut Acre

    This Spring has been cool and somewhat rainy but nothing like yours. I planted one of my gardens last weekend and already there are little seedlings popping through. I’m hoping to work in our second garden today.

  4. Carole West @ Garden Up Green

    I think we live in the same area – we have been drenched in rain too. I stopped planting and decided to just hold off until things dry up a little. Hopefully this will be before fall. It’s nice to see all the lakes full again but I can honestly say…. I’m ready for summer.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ll have to do the same Carole, I’m thinking even the replanting is going to suffer or even completely die out again. I worry that June is way too late to plant a garden though, so I may have to wing it. ~TMR~

  5. JoAnna

    There is nothing more frustrating than getting excited about seedlings and watching them disappear or get destroyed before they can be strong enough to withstand rain, critters and bugs! I’m in New England and I’d KILL for some rain! Ironic. You have too much we haven’t seen rain in like a month. Grass is tenacious and it’s the one weed I battle the most in my gardens, but I refuse to use any chemicals to deal with it. I use tons of mulch and that helps but when I don’t put it down in early spring, before I start planting outside, it gets a foothold and I battle it all summer! Glad you restarted and didn’t totally give up!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I know JoAnna, but I don’t think I’m able to give up on the garden – it’s just part of me. Sadly I *may* even have to plant a third time, although hopefully not absolutely everything. It’s currently looking about 50/50 out there but no promises if this continued deluge doesn’t let up. Dang this weather is killin’ me! I’m worried about all the grass taking hold out there in my prolonged absence. I know once I’m able to get out there again there will be quite the task indeed in clearing away the grass that’s gotten a foothold out there. Sheesh! ~TMR~

  6. Kristi

    We are in central Texas area and also have had lots of rain! More out of luck than wisdom, we planted our first garden( in this house) on higher ground! So, its gotten the rain but hasn’t been flooded like the rest of the property. We ate the first yellow squash and zucchini last week. Hopefully, with more sunshine in the forecast and a little less rain, the tomatoes will start to ripen. Our blackberries are ripening so it’s getting exciting around here!

  7. Ken

    Here on the other side of the county I’m in the same situation as you. I’ve only been able to plant in raised beds this year. Herbs doing well, peppers doing well, tomatoes beat to death in one of the last storms. I’m thankful I have some replacements for them. It’s been many years since we’ve had such a wet winter/spring. I reckon the drought is over!

    1. John W

      I’m glad it’s looking better this time Tammy. I’m leaving you an F B page of a couple and their garden farm that I have been following for nearly 2 years now. They have incorporated many things into their gardening that I would do myself now. I have given up, because of health issues, any kind of outdoor gardening. But I would still use them if could. One of the things that I do want to mention is that they will not use hay as a mulch because of so many “stray” seeds thay will give problems next year. Because of the difference in climate between the two of you, I’m sure you could find some other mulch. Straw, compost, leaves, etc. Maybe you could eventually begin a compost bin with resources you have on the ranch. I do enjoy following your experiences since I too, years ago, grew up on a farm and even tried to make a go of it in my 20’s. Good luck, John

      1. Texas Homesteader Post author

        Yes John, I’ve experienced the difficulty of seeds in the hay when I used hay for mulch several years ago. And yes, I cringed (hard) when I started spreading that hay this spring because of my past experience. But straw is for some reason next to impossible to find around here except in the tiny decorative bundles (??) and I’ve never been able to obtain enough leaves to completely cover my garden that thickly. My hope is since it’s winter-grass hay that cannot survive in the heat of our Texas summers that even if the seeds do receive enough sun to germinate they won’t affect my garden during its prime time. (OMGosh I hope I’m right!!) I absolutely do have a compost bin and a tumbling composter to make it more effective and I rely on that black gold heavily. Thanks for the FB page recommendation, they have a fun page & I’ve liked them both from my TMR page as well as my personal page so I can follow along. Thanks so much for weighing in for me today John! ~TMR~

    2. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ugh Ken, the rain has beat down almost all of our garden (repeatedly) and add that with waterlogged ground and no sunshine for weeks on end and my poor garden is really facing an uphill struggle. ~TMR~

  8. Ann'Re

    We are slowing getting things done after a late start. I have onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes and peas planted and that is all so far. It’ll get there one step at a time…
    Grace and peace….

  9. Emily

    I’ve have the same progress as you. We have used your hints to help us as we are not far from you and are experiencing the same weather pattern. We are in the process of building raised beds and using our leftover old hay as deep mulch. So far, we have onions, garlic, asparagus, and tomatoes, planted. The peppers are patiently waiting to be planted into another raised bed. When you bog down in mud 10 inches, and get stuck, you wait for another day. We are newcomers here and this is our second year. It certainly has been a strange year for us! We are trying to adjust and adapt because our first year was welcomed with the opposite, heat and drought!

    You take care.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      YES Emily. You want (and need) to be in the garden keeping up with things but dang you can’t get out there withing sinking in the mud. The ground is so saturated it literally moves under your feet. ~TMR~

  10. LindaG

    I got some blue lake pole beans in a couple weeks ago, after the rain last month finally dried out enough. I’ve been wanting raised beds, but hubby likes playing with his tractor.

    Planted some Corinto slicing cucumbers last week. According to Johnny’s Seeds they are good for this area of Louisiana where we tend to have a lot of humidity. When I checked them yesterday, they were just sprouting.

    Oddly, we haven’t had a lot of rain since then, so I go out and water by hand in hopes of deterring weeds — which of course grow rain or no!

    We planted some box store bell peppers which haven’t grown a lot, but are starting to put out little peppers. I picked off a lot of the buds after planting, in hopes the plants might grow more, but we’ll see.

    Another blog I follow, Menagerie Manor, did a post about some tomatoes and other things that made me go out and buy some Rutgers, Sun Gold and Sun Sugar tomatoes to try.
    We don’t usually have luck with tomatoes or bell peppers, but I’m trying to add a bit of Epsom salts weekly, as I saw on a P.Allen Smith garden show. We’ll see if it does any good.

    I also put out some onion sets — right before a heavy rain that flooded them, so I don’t think we’re going to see much from them.

    It’s a learning curve. Weather has been crazy since all those earthquakes a year or two ago. Good luck and God bless.

      1. LindaG

        Thank you, Tammy. Last year we planted too much and I couldn’t keep up. This year we are going to try and spread out the planting.

        Won’t be going out today, though. All this rain has us looking like all the rain last month!

        Have a blessed day.

        1. Texas Homesteader Post author

          LindaG, I’ve never seen a single month with this much rain before. I won’t give up! I may have to plant yet again, but dang it I’ll have my garden!! 🙂 ~TMR~


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