We are reaching that time of year where I begin to wonder why we ever moved to Central Texas in the first place. It's not too bad just yet, the repetitive forecast of mid-90° has only just begun and I'm still clinging to the recent memory of spring showers. But soon, soon a string of 100° days will show up uninvited. They will over stay their welcome and chase me from my own garden.
I've been counting down the months to November when I can fill the garden beds with lettuce again. Michael has been buying packaged lettuce mixes and they hardly last a week before the pale little anemic leaves begin to rot. I am trying to make it up to him with tomatoes. We pull tomatoes daily if you count the Azoychkas which have proven themselves to be overachievers by anyone's standard. Leaf footed bugs have nested in the Cherokee Purple (the Azoychka is almost immune). The asparagus had it's fair share of pests, too, before I chopped all the ferny stems back.
Speaking of which - asparagus! This is our first year harvesting it. We are getting a lot more than I expected and, as always, I wish we had more. I'm lucky if the spears make it from the garden to the kitchen. The crunch and nutty sweetness can't be beat.
The last of the garden news is the Jimmy Carter bed. The peanuts continue to grow and look lush. I'm not sure when we're supposed to peek under the soil and I am having a hard time keeping myself from digging under them like a gopher already. The plants made rich goldeny-yellow flowers. They're small to be sure but the color is intense. The okra grows in the center of the bed (the peanuts are in long rows on either side, contrary to the President Jimmy's advice) and is beginning to stretch. I grow it for the widow across the street. When I took her the first few pods yesterday she looked very dismayed and asked in a horrified whisper, "Why you done let your okra get so big?" Well, now I know. Small pods are better than large. By the looks of the okra, she's going to have more pods than she knows what to do with this year.
Oh, wait. This is the last of the garden news: the cotton seed that I put in the large container has grown into a lush plant and is forming flower buds. I promised myself to pamper it this year. Cotton does produce the most delicate flowers.I'm looking forward to the blooms.
So that's my garden summary for this first week of June 2013. I'm trying to stick it out to mid-July. Maybe by then I'll be eating homegrown peanuts and watermelon. Oh! Watermelon was supposed to be the last of the garden news. There is not a lot to be told. The vines finally committed to sprawl. It was a little iffy there for a bit because something had gnawed on the main vine near the soil line early on. Whatever it was didn't make its way completely through the main stem but it did slow down the growth significantly. A good dose of fish emulsion is now coursing through the vine veins and I noticed the first few blossoms earlier this week. The watermelon may be trying to keep up with the volunteer squash vine that took hold in a 4x4 bed. Photos to come. I have lots and lots to share.