Friday, May 25, 2012

The last of the first

Well, I finally pulled the rest of the turnips, the single tiny beet (the other ones were pathetically tiny) and the rest of the pea plants, the vines almost totally brown and dry.  And all while we're still in the month of May.  
Up until the moment I ripped out the remaining pea plants (stripped of their pods) Rhiannon has been religiously picking and eating them.  "Momma?  Go out eat peas?" was uttered every day, often several times a day.  I'd better get some more in the ground ASAP or I'm going to have a cranky toddler.

Now I have an entire raised bed ready for planting again.  And this past week would have been perfect were it not for the chickens.  We still do not have the front "yard" fenced in so the chickens feel that every inch of the homestead is their personal salad buffet.

When I planted earlier this year, I had the plastic over the hoops to warm up the beds, and as a bonus it kept the chickens from scratching, pecking, dusting themselves and eating every single green thing in there.  But putting plastic on now would just cook any emerging seedlings so I'm going to have to go to the feed store and see if they have any poultry netting or light fabric that I can drape over the beds.  I'm hoping it will keep the chickens out and as an added bonus, provide a little bit of protection from the scorching sun and maybe even prevent some of the nasty vegetable-eating bugs from gaining access to the plants.

Add the chicken destruction to the fact that we haven't had ANY rain since April 13th or so, my yard, beds, gardens are basically powdered dirt.  For those of you that live in the southern part of the country, how do you keep your gardens from getting sun-scorched? 


  1. I have been wondering about that same thing. Every day I complain about how hot and dry it is and then I think about the real south (not southern Missouri) and know they garden and even grow tomatoes so they must set fruit during hot weather???? I hope some real southerners chime in here and tell us how they garden.

    I will be back looking. We are hot and dry here too!

  2. Well, gosh. I first gardened in northern Illinois where it was just . . . easy. Then when we moved up here to northern Minnesota, I assumed I was the only one that had difficult gardening "challenges" . . . because of the cold, of course. Now through blogging I'm realizing that having too much heat is just as detrimental as too little. It sure would help you "Banana Belt" gardeners if you could get adequate rain though.

  3. 3rd year gardening here in NC but I'm a yankee transplant so I had the same concerns about growing down here that you do.

    Everything LOVES the heat. I will say though that you only get one big push and then the plant is done. Everything is kaput by August except the tomatoes. The only thing that gets sun scorched is the peppers. I haven't had a successful harvest yet. I have considered shade cloth to protect them but I think CR is right that with the chickens a remay might be a good idea.

  4. Well, here in AZ all it takes is water, water, water! LOL!! Especially this past week when we had near 100-degree temps and 20-30 mph winds for FOUR days... Grrr! We get most of our rain starting in July, our monsoon season, and that is when the garden really takes off.

  5. I've been watering ever two days, and my garden has shade on two sides so some of my plants are shaded in the morning and the rest are shaded in the late afternoon. I think that's helping it. 'course I water more when they look especially dry, I think my "fresh" chicken manure is helping to keep the moisture in.

  6. I had to pull our turnips too, no rain deficit here but just too hot! The peas look so good, mine were all eaten by critters this year, ack!