By Jannie Vaught
And here in central Texas, we are under severe heat warnings!
Do all the above before the peak noontime or as the sun goes down!
Heat exhaustion is a serious complication and can come on suddenly, especially for children. Drink water at least one cup per hour and stay inside. That said as we journey into this drought we are conscious of every drop of water we use.
If you have tomatoes still alive, they will do well for a good trim. Reduce their size by 1/3 and give them some seaweed fertilizer. Place shade cloth over them to reduce the suns UV. This seems to be a real issue this year and the leaves simply burn and have scorch marks and are withered. They can return for some fall fruiting. Plant pumpkin in the prepared loose soil for Halloween pumpkins. Remember to work outside early in the morning or late in the evening and keep the sun off your head.
The garden references say you can sow seeds of, amaranth, blackeyed peas, corn, cucumbers, Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach, okra, pumpkin, summer squash and winter squash. Plant starts are eggplant, tomatoes under shade cloth for fall tomatoes and peppers. Herbs of basil, oregano rosemary, and thyme. For me, there are only a few of these things I personally will be doing as my water is carefully used and the limited time outside. I will prune back tomatoes and feed with a dilute water mixture fertilizer of Johns Recipe which has the seaweed in the formula.
I will clear out the old lettuce and plant more okra and clear and dig some area for squash, this is really the only time I can get any decent amount of squash since the vine borers moved in to stay. And of course, more mulch to hold water in the soil and attempt to keep the soil cooler. If you look around there are a few bushes that are still producing flowers. Pride of Barbados, Texas purple sage, and Rose of Sharon. The petunias and zinnias are still making flowers but are struggling with the heat and lack of rain. If the story of the Texas purple sage is true it will rain soon as the ones I see are flowered. As July has made a hot entrance onto the stage of my garden, the time to start clearing out, and planning comes as the garden journal comes back out and I begin the plan for fall. What worked and what didn’t. What do I want to try and how might I restore the soil for the big push of fall.
You see we are never done in the garden we just have a few times when we are able to plan, observe and rest for the next big adventure. And remember that here in central Texas it is always a daily adventure.
A very happy super hot summer to everyone.
Inside growing green today with Jannie