Three weeks ago we started our vegetable garden seeds in the house so they would be ready for the fall garden. Great plan, right? You would think it was a great plan anyway.
For some unknown reason the seeds sprouted in less than half the time on the package. Then instead of growing like normal plants they grew into tall spindly things that would never survive in the garden.
It seems leaving the lights on 24/7 wasn’t the right thing to do. The light from the light bulbs were not enough light for the plants. They are fluorescent lights and not full spectrum. So the plants stretched to get more light.
I decided to let them die. Yep. I’ll have to reseed the entire bunch of seeds. Which may not be easy since most of the seeds in the area are sold out.
It probably won’t freeze until late December or early January, and then only a few times and only for a few hours. If I get busy I’ll still be able to have them ready for the garden to get a fall harvest.
It’s that time of year again. The garden is withering in the summer heat. It won’t matter how often I water the the garden, it’s still going to die from the beating the sun gives it. Providing shade only provides minimal relief. The tomatoes are still producing, but not as well. Everything else is pretty much over for the season.
The birds are feeling the heat too. They aren’t eating as much and spend most of their time at the water fountain or water buckets. Less food intake means less energy so they are more docile and won’t produce as many eggs. They spend their time inside the barn to avoid the burning sun.
Their food is in the barn to encourage them to eat and to keep it from baking. Since we close their barn doors every night and open them every morning, I’m able to pay close attention to how much they are eating and when.
Quite by accident, I’ve found that if I leave them in the barn until 8:00 a.m. instead of getting them out at dawn, they eat more. It might be that they don’t have anything else to look at and it’s still cool that time of day.
While the summer garden is winding down and the birds are resting, it’s time for me to get in high gear again to plant seeds for the fall garden. Here, the best growing season is from September until June. I better hop to it if I want the plants to be ready by September 1st!
It’s time to put out a garden, again. This will be my third attempt in Texas. I am pretty sure an actual garden won’t be possible this year either. If it weren’t for the expected drought (again) it’s because of the moles it might be perfect. Those horrible little creatures have taken over the entire area. There is no where to walk in this town where moles have not damaged the ground. You must step carefully with every step or fall into a mole tunnel or mole hill. Moles don’t “eat” your garden plants, but they do uproot them.
I’ts extremely hard to get rid of moles. Poisons generally don’t work because moles usually won’t eat the poison peanuts and it’s hard to know which tunnels are being used and which aren’t. In this sandy location, you can’t flood them out. That just leaves traps. Setting traps is most effective, but even so is time consuming and requires extreme diligence and care. If a mole detects a tunnel or hole has been disturbed, they won’t use that location again. It simply makes a new one or goes to an undisturbed hole.
Because of this unfavorable turn of events, this year I’m going to put double ground mulch over the entire garden plot. After turning it in a few times, I’ll place garden mesh over the entire garden area to kill off undesirable plants. Next on the garden mesh will be more mulch to help water flow into the ground below to encourage composting of the mulch under the mesh. (Yes, I do have hopes that someday I will have a real garden!) The garden pots will be on top of the mulch, evenly spaced as they would be in any garden.
I am determined to have a great garden. Wish me luck!