Garden Update: July

By Tammy Taylor

Well it’s July in Texas and it’s hot, hot, HOT.  I don’t have too much room to complain I guess, we’ve had some rare breaks from the typical hot and dry summer with a few odd cool fronts that have come through as well as sporadic showers that we’re blessed with every week to 10 days.  Rare indeed.  The pastures are greener than any other year in memory during this time of year – LOVE IT!  My garden has benefited from the temperate weather as well. I’m able to harvest fresh veggies every day for our meal.

07-13 Garden Veggies - Taylor-Made Ranch

My tomato plants are loaded!  I bring them in by the armloads and I’ve been enjoying them fresh and also freezing them for later.

07-13 tomatoes- Taylor-Made Ranch

Unfortunately I found the damage evidence of the dreaded tomato horn worm.  As soon as I saw this damage I immediately started searching for the destructive little beast.  The only thing I can figure is perhaps a bird got to him before I did, as there was no further damage after this.  WHEW!  Tomato horn worms can wipe out a plant in no time flat, stripping the leaves to only bare stems and they’re so perfectly camouflaged that finding them is a ‘Where’s Waldo’ type challenge!

07-13 Horn Worm Damage - Taylor-Made Ranch

Let’s see, what else?  Oh, I was so excited to harvest my very first ever Concord grapes.  Oh my they’re delicious!

07-13 Concord Grapes - Taylor-Made Ranch

I also got to harvest my very first apples from our miniature apple tree.  This tree will only grow to about 10-ft tall so it won’t overproduce with more than RancherMan and I can eat or preserve.  The apples were amazing, sweet and crisp.

Apples - Taylor-Made Ranch

My jalapenos have been keeping us amply supplied, as well as our oregano, thyme and sage.  I’ve already harvested the onion & garlic and the green beans are really winding down.  I’m hoping to plant more for a fall garden in the next few weeks as green beans do amazing things during the fall.

And lastly, I have a special place in my garden where I transplant a seedling that sprouts from my compost.  It’s a fun game I play every year trying to figure out as early as possible what’s going to grow.  Some years it’s tomato, some years squash. One year is was the pumpkin from our youngest daughter’s wedding decorations!  This year it was a cantaloupe – very exciting to me since I didn’t get to plant cantaloupe this year! Oh the anticipation… It’s almost ready to harvest and there are about 6 more following this one.

07-13 Compost Cantaloupe

How is your garden growing?

~TMR~

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Garden Update: July

  1. Nancy W

    Your garden is doing so well! My garden has finally started to produce but nothing like yours! Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop! Look froward to seeing what you share this week! Nancy On The Home Front

    Reply
  2. Gretchen

    Your garden looks great. I’m losing steam and feel like I can’t wait any longer for those tomatoes to ripen!

    Reply
  3. Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Our garden is doing well. We’ve got nice, gentle rain for about a week now. The next couple of weeks should see an EXPLOSION of veggies! 😉 -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Reply
  4. Linda @ A La Carte

    Your garden is giving you some gorgeous veggies and fruit this year. Thanks for linking up at TTF. Linda

    Reply
  5. Robin

    Your garden looks great! My kids and I picked 20 dozen ears of corn today. I have fruit trees and traded fruit for corn. Still really busy trying to put up all of this corn. Thank you for sharing your garden on Fluster’s Creative Muster Party. Now that you found our party I hope that you’ll continue to stop by on Tuesday evenings to link up. Robin @ Fluster Buster

    Reply
  6. Lisa Lynn

    Everything looks great! Well, except the tomato plant 🙁 Those tomato horn worms actually turn into a really cool Sphinx moth that I’ve mistaken for a humming bird or giant bee at first glance.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I did not know hornworms are Sphinx months Lisa Lynn – ya learn something new every day. Like you I’ve mistaken them for hummers. ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Sarah

    Glad to hear the hornworm must have been taken care of. Back in college my roommate and I would go out at dusk to look for them when we had a problem as she had heard that was the best time to look. Curious on how you prepare your tomatoes for freezing them? We have a huge abundance of tomatoes and zucchini in our garden this year. We use the zucchini in place of noodles for lasagna and have already made 4 batches and froze those, using fresh romas in place of canned diced tomatoes, but we have plenty more just picked or coming our way. Any tips on stewing and canning tomatoes as well would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Sarah – when I freeze tomatoes I bring them in and wash them & allow to air dry. Then I core them & cut them in half, dropping them into a bag to go into the freezer. I don’t even use a freezer bag, usually a bread bag or something. The tomatoes won’t stay in the freezer long enough to get freezer burn, we’ll go through them during the summer and put more away in the fall when they start producing again. I primarilly use the frozen tomatoes for salsa – a post is scheduled for that next week. We eat lots of salsa & I really enjoy making my own so we can kick the heat up a notch! 😉 ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Bee Girl

    Oh, those hornworms are the worst! I have taken to fondly giving them off to the chickens when I find them eating on my beloved tomatoes! Too much time and energy goes into my tomatoes to let them be attacked by those big green monsters! Everything looks lovely in your garden! Congrats on your apples and that melon! Wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yes ma’am – and I have chickens for the first time this year so I’ll certainly be doing that as well. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply

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