Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What we're growing in our 2021 Backyard Garden

Come take a peek at we planted this year in our backyard vegetable garden. 🏑🌱
How has your garden grown this year? So far we have been pretty pleased with what we've planted in our raised beds and we have even started harvesting a few items. We have our favorites that we plant every year, but this year we've added a few new veggies and trees to  our backyard garden. 

Last spring during the pandemic, we planted a few new fruit and pecan trees and they have taken off nicely. We were worried about all of our newly planted trees after the February snow storm and record low temps here in Northeast Texas. We're just not used to temps dipping below zero, but I'm happy to report our trees survived through the storm and freeze. The only thing we lost was our bushes in the front yard.   

The last couple of months we have been pounded with rain which has been beneficial for our vegetable garden, but anything in excess is never a good thing. Wet conditions cause fungal disease of fruit trees, so we've been making sure to treat them with a fungicide. Last year our trees didn't produce any fruit, but this year our trees are full! 😁

Our Backyard Summer Garden! 

We're crossing our fingers that everything weathers through all the craziness this year has brought to North Texas. So without further ado today I'm sharing what we're growing in our summer garden! Pictured above is our large 8 x 24 foot raised bed garden and we have 3 additional 3 x 6 foot smaller beds. 

Here's what  were growing in our large raised bed: 
  • Boston Pickling Cucumbers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Yellow Straight Neck Squash
  • Zucchini Squash
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Blue Lake Green Beans (Pole)
  • Cream Peas
  • Purple Hull Peas
  • Kenebec Potatoes
  • Yellow & Red Onions (from seed)

In our smaller 3 x 6 foot bed we have red potatoes and garlic that has since been harvested. 

I have Basil, Purple Basil, Greek Oregano, Parsley and Dill in our Herb Garden. 

This is currently our  Blue Lake Green Pole Beans.   

The green beans are growing like crazy and finally have flowered and started producing beans last week. Next year we plan on getting a large cattle panel so I can grow them horizontally in the back of our big raised bed. This was I am able to plant 24 feet of green beans and I will have plenty to preserve and home can.  

About 2 weeks ago my grand daughter and I planted a crop of green bush beans. I wanted to have a second bed ready once we pick everything from our first round of pole beans. Here in North East Texas our growing season is so long that we're able to plant 2 crops. My grand daughter had so much fun planting the beans that I told her this was her part of the garden. 

This year we have planted a test run of purple hull and lady cream peas. Last year aphids ruined our purple hull peas, so we are giving it another try on a smaller scale. Last month we made a stop to our local favorite pea farm in Canton where we purchase all of our fresh shelled purple hull, cream peas and pinto beans in bulk. 

During our trip I met sweet Miss Virginia that works in the farm store and I mentioned to her that I was told that cream peas don't grow well in Texas. She was quick to correct me and said that was not the case. 

She stated that Sides peas are locally grown in Texas and purple hull and cream peas are two of their biggest producers and sellers. She said if it wasn't true then I wouldn't have all these peas to sell. I guess I can't argue with success, so we're giving it a try to see how it goes. If everything goes we will plant a larger crop next year. I'm happy to report, so far so good on the lady cream peas!  

Our tomatoes seem to be doing pretty good, We have cherry and Roma tomatoes pictured above + two additional cherry tomato plants in containers. 

We have straight neck yellow squash and it's already producing like crazy. For some reason we can grow yellow squash, but zucchini squash always ends being a challenge for us. Our plants either don't produce more than one zucchini, die from disease or get blossom end rot. Since taking this photo our zucchini plant has gotten Mosaic Virus, so we ended up pulling it from the bed. We planted a second one in a container and we are going to be growing this one vertically using a tomato cage. We seem to have had good luck in the past growing zucchini in this manner. 

Our pickling cucumbers are finally off to a good start and climbing up the trellis. 

I have already spotted a few baby cucumbers growing and they look so cute. I can't wait until I start canning my dill pickles and bread and butter pickles

This year we have a few new plants and trees that we added to our backyard. This Elderberry shrub is one our newest additions. 

It's hard to believe that these plants were bare root clippings just a little over a year ago and growing in 2 Solo cups. They quickly rooted and we were able to plant them in pots just a couple months later. 

Around August of 2020 we finally planted them in the ground and now they're 6 feet tall and thriving so well. This year they have produced Elderberry flowers and we're hoping to get Elderberries in the next year or two.  I can't wait to make Elderberry syrup, gummies, pies and jelly.  

We also added a few thornless blackberry bushes to the side of the house. 

Last fall we planted garlic and onions from seed and during all the snow and freezing -0 temps we didn't hold our too much hope on them surviving. I was sure they would ruin, but everything weathered through and we harvested a pretty good onion crop in May.  

We had several good size onions just poking through the ground. 

This was a small part of the garlic, onions and red potatoes that we pulled. Everything is curing nicely to store later. 

We always have a pretty good crop of potatoes and Kenebec's do so well for us. 

This year we planted our bell peppers and jalapenos in fabric container pots. It's our first year planting peppers in pots, so we will see how it goes.  Hopefully everything makes it through the heat of summer. 

I'm already starting to see baby bell peppers.  

I think the cold snap actually helped our apple trees because they have so much fruit on them this year. 

We have a total of 5 apple trees. I thought we lost one in the freeze, but it seems to have bounced back and it is just blooming slower than the rest. 

We pruned back our peach tree and thinned them out, but we still have so many peaches. Hopefully they will get a little bit bigger before we have to pick them in July/August. 

Our pear tree has plenty of pears as well, but this week I noticed that our tree has fire blight (this pic was taken before the damage set in). I'm not sure what we need to do now that the fruit has produced. If anyone knows I would love some help. It seems like everything I have read treatment wise is before the tree has fruit.  

Our mint is invincible as always, but I'm sure anyone that grows mint would agree. My favorite way to use mint is to steep the leaves and make Meadow Tea. Meadow Tea is such a refreshing summer drink. The meadow tea recipe is to make the tea concentrate and it freezes beautifully.  

And last but not least is our sunflowers, we have about 5 large ones planted and this week they are just about to bloom. The bees are just buzzing around and I can't wait until the flowers fully open. Well that's everything that we are growing this year. I will make sure to keep up and post what we harvest.  πŸŒ± Happy Gardening everyone. πŸŒ±


Before I go I'm also including a link to my Garden Fresh Recipes page so you can see all the delicious dishes I make with what I harvest. 

If you're looking for a simple gathering apron check out my post on how to make a DIY Produce Gathering Apron.


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4 comments:

Mimi G said... #

How I envy you...everything looks great! My mother always had a huge garden and some fruit trees. I always looked forward to her pear preserves!

Tina Butler said... #

I make my husbands, Grandmothers Pear Preserve recipe and it's such a treat. I look forward to them every year.

Kim said... #

Hello, I admire you all you do for your
family and your readers.
Beautiful garden and the jellies and preserves look good❤
Thank you
God BlessπŸ™

Tina Butler said... #

@kim,
Your comment was so appreciated. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is even reading my post's so I am thankful to hear from readers and comments like yours. Have a blessed day. :)