Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

First Day of Summer in an Austin Urban Garden June 21, 2011

This has been a really strange Spring, with around 17 days of over 100 degrees, many as high as 103-106.  The wind has been like a fiery gale force from Hades.   The lack of rain has the Earth and all of our much needed waterways drying up in record speed.  It, quite frankly, is scary.  Even with all of these negative factors in place, my garden has never produced more.  I have had more tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers than ever before.  I don’t get it.
The heat is starting to take its toll on my tomatoes, and the production has slowed to a Stupice or two but mostly Large Red Cherry tomatoes and Black Cherries. The Cherry varieties withstand the heat better than others.

Tomato Jungle

The nine tomato plants in the big back garden, have morphed into a tangled mass of plant, intertwined and mingling to the extent that I don’t know who is what.  These plants still look relatively healthy, benefiting from some dappled shade throughout the day.

Cherry Tomatoes

The tomatoes in the bed by the driveway, that get no shade, look like they are more dead than alive, yet still manage to produce fruit.  I’m continuing to water them, but think they need to be relieved of their scorched condition, and laid to rest soon.  At some point, I think you have to weigh the cost of water versus the yield, or at least I do.
The cucumbers have been going great guns, and continue to do so.  The Straight Eights have rivaled the Armenian Cucumbers in volume, and all are delicious.

Cucumbers

There are 4 watermelons that share a bed with some peppers.  Two of the melons are near ripe, and two seem deformed, perhaps deprived of nutrients from the big ones.

Big Melon

The peppers, all of them, are heavy with produce and need to be tended to.  It is so hot, I haven’t quite gotten to it just yet, but will soon.  I’ve already pickled several batches, so there is no rush.

 

Chile

I’ve harvested about half of the peaches, and they are delicious grilled with a tiny bit of butter.  Oh yes, grilled peaches are wonderful.

Peach

The tomato window that changes daily, has been unburdened of many of its contents, although bowlfuls keep being added daily.  I have shared more tomatoes than I can even believe, and have all manner of tomato product filling my freezers.  I’m oven drying more now, to make more Oven Dried Tomato Basil Pesto, my new favorite thing ever.

Tomato Window

It has been quite the season, and I am thankful.  I don’t totally understand it, but hope to figure it out all one day.  It is difficult to think about planting for Fall, but I know I will.  The oppressive heat and drought are taking their toll, and making me feel apathetic about the coming growing season.  I’m hoping to snap out of it.

 

One Response to “First Day of Summer in an Austin Urban Garden”

  1. Claudia A Says:

    Snap out of it! hahahahaha.
    And yes, grilled peaches are amazing. My mom gave me a recipe: cut them in half, fill pit cavity with a splash of Brandy or liqueur of your choice, top with manchego, parmesan, or another sharp melty cheese and grill/broil until cheese melts. Killer dessert!


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