Monday, July 20, 2015

First July Garden in Houston: Questions & Photos

Here are some photos of what's going on in the yard in the middle of this Houston heat. It will come as no surprise that the heat-lovers (sweet potatoes, okra, fig, citrus) continue to flourish while some of the other plants (pumpkins, artichokes, potatoes) aren't 100% loving it.


I have two small pumpkins about 4 lbs. each and the vines have died back, just like they did in the fall when it got too cold in Montana. However, here it is the 100 degree days that killed them. I am surprised I got pumpkins at all--in July? They were compost volunteers and I let them grow, so I cannot complain. I also, very oddly, have a few strawberries coming despite the fact that the plants already produced in the spring?

Some of my plants (not pictured) look bleached out by the heat and sun. I know they have enough water and are heavily mulched, but I think I need to cover them with some shade cloth as well.


I also think the heat may be too much for the tomatoes. They are alive and most of them look happy, but there are fewer fruits developing now that it has gotten hotter. Since tomatoes need night temperatures below 75 to produce, I'm guessing I may see a slowdown for a while. I have only had one tomato stolen by the birds--a grackle I assume. Here are some of the Houston-specific tomato information websites I've found: 

Buchanan's Native Plants Tomato Guide - mainly variety recommendations for Houston
Growing Tomatoes in Houston by Donald Ray Burger
Houston Chronicle "Tomato Time" - basic tips for growing tomatoes in Houston

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