Well we have definitely hit the rainy season in South Texas. The last couple weeks it seems like it’s been raining more than it hasn’t. This has been great on our water bill because we haven’t had to go out and water the plants or run the sprinklers, and it’s also helped keep the temperatures down a little bit. On the days it didn’t rain, we were hitting highs in the mid-90s with a heat index anywhere from 102-106! Most of our plants do not like the heat, and while I would rather it be warm than cold, that’s a little too warm for me. The boys have not liked the weather lately because we have been cooped up inside either because of thunderstorms or intense heat. Although a few times we have gone out to play in the rain.
While we were in Florida last month, Justin’s dad was taking care of the house for us, and noticed that one of our bottle brush trees was not looking too good. There was a huge chunk of the tree that was dying off and he couldn’t tell why. We did some research online and couldn’t find much information about it, so when we got home Justin went out there and trimmed off some of the big branches that weren’t looking good. Once he cut them off, he realized that the limbs were completely rotted inside. He cut off any of the large branches that were dead, and we are hoping that’s all we lose of the tree. It was about a quarter of the tree, so it made a difference in the shape of the tree.
The herb garden is pretty much gone. We just haven’t done much with the plants that are left in there because, as I said, it’s been raining almost every day and just way too hot to go out there and do anything more than we have to do. I’m still on the hunt for a good pot to replant some of the aloe plant to bring it inside, but haven’t found the right one yet.
One of the few things that seems to be doing well in the vegetable garden with this heat is the okra. It wasn’t growing for the longest time, and now I feel like every time I look it’s grown even taller! We’ve been able to harvest some okra a few times, and Justin has grilled it up for us. I also have a recipe for a shrimp and okra dinner that we are going to try next time we get some more okra. We were also able to use some of the green onion growing in the garden the other day, but that’s about it in that area. The tomatoes are just a mess of vines, but not producing anymore. Our pepper plants are still growing, but the peppers they are producing aren’t too great. They are either really small, or end up getting heat scorched before they are ready to be harvested. But the plants are going strong, and one is from last season so I am hoping we can at least keep them growing for next year.
On the other side of the yard, the blackberry bush is still growing. We are actually surprised because usually they like cooler weather, but that may be why they aren’t producing any fruit right now. Hopefully it can last through the hot season and we will get some fruit as it cools off. The strawberries are pretty much gone, but the pineapples are thriving in this tropical weather we have been having with the heat and water.
The rain is being really nice with all of the tropical plants along the back of the fence. Everything there has been growing really well. We did notice, though, that the banana plants don’t seem to like the winds we’ve been getting with these rainstorms. Other than that, the plants we chose back there have been enjoying the rainstorms and heat.
When I was making dinner this week, I kept the seeds out of some peppers that I was using. Our goal in the next few weeks is to get outside and clean out the garden beds. The weeds are growing like crazy, and we need to clean out all the plants that have bolted or died. I’m going to plant the pepper seeds soon, because they take a little while to sprout and hopefully by the time they do, we will be past the intense heat here in Texas.