Monday, August 11, 2014

YOU'VE GOT TO KNOW WHEN TO FOLD 'EM




THIS IS THE WEATHER WARNING FOR OUR AREA:

"...Increasing heat index values expected each afternoon over the next several days and through the upcoming week across Southeast Texas...the combination of warm temperatures and high dew points will produce afternoon heat index values of 100 to 105 degrees over the weekend across much of the area.
The hottest conditions are expected mainly between 1 PM and 6 PM CDT.

The highest heat index temperatures could exceed 110 degrees by midweek.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.  If possible...slow down...reduce...or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities until the coolest part of the day.  Wear light weight...loose fitting...and light colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight. Drink plenty of water and avoid any alcoholic and caffeinated beverages."
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The eggplants, after struggling due to the ant infestation bounced back and we harvested about a dozen or so but now the plants are starting to struggle.



The herbs are hanging in, basils are doing the best, but even they are starting to fade as the intense heat of our Summer kicks in.



So, we decided it was time for me to start putting the garden to rest for the hottest part of the year.  I pulled up all the tomato plants.






We're beginning to think that our Summers are just too hot to do regular gardening, or   I think we could get by with some hot weather crops like okra and cowpea family of plants, but of course it's too late this season.  We do have a Fall season but I need to assess our beds and figure out what's best to do first, amending the soil, etc.  This coming weekend we'll do a better assessment of what we have left to do and where we stand on our progress.  So far, we haven't been too disappointed with our learning process and we're already deciding what worked, what didn't and what to do for next Spring.

As the classic Kenny Rogers song goes...

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, 
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run."

It's time to fold 'em for this Summer garden but there is still a lot to do and things we'll have to do to get the beds ready for a potential Fall planting.


20 comments:

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Code purple man (men) This is a Code Purple!

wendywoo said...

I wonder if you use a THICK mulch of, say, straw? Put about a foot of straw on top of your raised beds, open an arm sized hole down to the soil and plant your, for instance, tomato plant. Close the mulch as the plant grows up out of the hole. Would that keep the soil cooler? You would possibly use less water with your irrigation system, because of less evaporation. The soil temperature would remain a lot more constant than with little or no mulch. Might be worth a try on at least one raised bed. Just a thought...

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i think to have things like eggplant. tomatoes, basil, cukes etc., you need to be there. maybe you can find crops that won't need as much attention until you are there all the time. it is raining here today and then getting cool. i am loving it!

Texas Rose said...

I think that we in SE Texas deserve to go straight to heaven because we have already served our time in the opposite place during our summers!! The double whammy of HEAT and HUMIDITY are h_!!

About the only things that are growing in my garden now are okra, peppers, and basil. And even those are having a hard time because the air temperature is like an oven!

Time to fold 'em until it gets cooler in late September-early October! Going to get another glass of iced tea now!

Joani said...

I still say you need to look into the rain gutter grow system along with the wal-mart bags and the kiddie pool with a float attached. It has done wonders for me, and I live in Phoenix, Arizona, probably just as HOT or hotter than you are. Just saying. Have a great week.

Gail said...

The heat has arrived! Even our heat loving plants are crying.

Alison said...

Would a trellis help mitigate the heat? I don't know if you would cover each bed or the while garden or just the ones that don't like the sun, maybe you could try it with one bed to see if it worked?

Sandy said...

1st Man,

With the extreme heat, you may want to try a real early garden or a real late one. My tomato plants are taking off like tree's now. Last year, I had tomatoes real late in the season because the plant did better in the fall before the first frost.
Today's beautiful in OK, 64 this morning and we will peak to 88 today. Then were going back to the 100's later this week.

Leigh said...

You know, I think this is a really good idea, I mean to put the garden to rest during intense heat. I've considered doing the same thing in summers past. when the temps stay up around 100. Even heat loving plants don't do well then. I've considered that winter is better for growing here than the dead of summer!

1st Man said...

LOL! Definitely code purple, ha.

1st Man said...

That's a great thought. Honestly I didn't do much mulching this year and that probably would make a bit difference. I think I'll try that next season or even this Fall and see how it goes. I think he soil may have just been too hot, even with the irrigation. Like you said, maybe even one bed just as a test. This is all a learning process. Thank you!

1st Man said...

Yeah, I'm going to do some more research on easier care veggies. I bet okra is one of those, ha. I think the eggplants did well but a) got started late and b) had the ant infestation. Took care of that but it was probably just a late start overall. We learn each season don't we?

Enjoy your cool, I'm totally jealous!!

1st Man said...

I really think people in hot places without the humidity just think 'ah, it's just hot'. It's just hard to express how oppressive our humidity is. Okra peppers and basil. That may be what we have next year, ha.

I was wondering if early September or late was better. I know early September is still too hot so I'll get a few week break I think, if we decide to do something 'fall like' in the garden. Thanks!

1st Man said...

Speaking of, what do you grow, or what would you grow, in the Fall/early Winter? (down these parts of course)

1st Man said...

Oh, gosh yes I know you guys are way hotter. We have the humidity which I think is harder on people than plants. But yes, anything that can work in your heat would probably work here. I will be researching those options. Walmart bags I haven't heard of, I will look for that too.

Thanks!! Enjoy your week and stay cool!!!

1st Man said...

I guess even heat loving plants have their limits, LOL!

1st Man said...

You know, a bit of shade in the form of a trellis might work. I will look into that. Thank you! And yes, with the 14 beds total, I definitely have room to experiment. thank you!

1st Man said...

I think really early is definitely in the cards and who knows I might do the late one just to see. When did you plant yours in the Fall? End of September?

64???? WOW! That's unusual. I think we got the rain from the 'cold front' but not the cold, or the cool. It was almost 100 today, ugh. Stay cool when the heat returns!!

1st Man said...

I really think for those of us in hot areas, it just makes sense. not only for the plants and the garden, I think for us. It might be nice to have a break in the hottest month or two to focus on other things around the house and yard. Heck, maybe a good time for shade gardening huh?

By the way, halfway into your book, loving it. A post when I'm done (I am normally a fast reader but lately I've been doing so many other things at home, the farm, and of course regular 8-6 work hours, I haven't made time to read. But I need to, the book is a great read! :-)

Texas Rose said...

For my Fall/Winter garden, I plant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, beets, onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, kohlrabi, mustard greens, chard, parsley, and potatoes. These are planted in late September - first part of October. I have gone to my local nursery for years (not a big box nursery) and he always calls me when he gets in his transplants, bulbs, etc.
You can also have a fall crop of tomatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, and other "spring/summer" vegetables in the fall - you have to plant them about now into the first part of September -- but I don't do this because it's just too darn hot for me to enjoy working in my garden now.
For spring/summer vegetables, I plant in the middle of March. You can plant earlier but then you have to watch for frosts and cover up the seedlings and transplants if it freezes.
A good site from Texas A&M: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/organic/files/2011/03/E-502_home_vegetable_guide.pdf
Also:
http://www.chron.com/life/gardening/article/Fall-vegetable-planting-guide-1739918.php
Happy gardening!