Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Gardening

Summer has arrived in full force in central Texas. Yesterday when I got in my car after work, the temperature outside showed as 111O. In all honesty, it was only 97O, but sitting outside, in the sun, with no shade other than that of the lamp-posts, the car surface was probably 111O or higher.

That same heat taking a toll on my car’s thermometer is taking a toll on all my garden plants - especially those in pots. I watered most of the plants three days ago, but when I came home today, most of them appeared as if they had been in a years-long drought.

I planted them all from seed this spring, there is no way they know we have been in a years-long drought.

I even bought Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting soil.

Texas Heat 1 - Miracle Grow 0.

Some of my plants are growing like crazy and are leaving me wondering just how much eggplant and bell pepper I can eat in a year. Allrecipes.com lists some 240 recipes for eggplant, so I should be good.

Last year I made more gazpacho than I could eat. This year I cannot get my cucumbers to put on a single cuc. They tease me with thousands of blonde deceptions, but no fruit appears.

At least the squash have started to produce.

Maybe I should have planted okra this year. It does well in the heat.

Each summer having a garden is taking a chance that the weather will not be at its worst. The last few years; however, the weather has been at its worst. Despite the weather with its heat and drought that dash the best laid plans and the critters that nibble at my plants (and sometimes my feet), gardening is the second most hopeful thing that I do (my job as an educator is the most hopeful thing that I do). Every seed I drop into the ground contains the promise of bounty. A little help from mother nature and my faithful stewardship and that seed will produce foods far better than can be purchased at the store.

I do not know if the food is “really” better or if the sweat and effort make it seem that much better. Whatever the reason, I know I enjoy everything that comes from my garden.

And thanks to my new food vacuum-sealer, I do not have to enjoy it all right now.
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