Rachel H Kay Blog

Tags: gardening


Year Five, June Spring Garden Update

It’s now June and temperatures are getting up into the 90’s. Some days we’ve had 98 degree weather. The sun feels a lot more intense this year, compared to other years. I’ve begun shading my garden beds in the afternoon, to give my plants a bit of relief from the sun's heat. Too much heat and plants won’t fruit, and my tomatoes are already having trouble fruiting.

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Year Five, Intercropping, Core Gardening & Square Foot Gardening: Part Two

Now that I’ve discussed crop rotation, and gone into more detail on companion planting and intercropping, I can now explain core gardening and square foot gardening. These are two new things I’m trying this year, but I think they will really help with those hot summer days and a more bountiful harvest.

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Year Five, Intercropping, Core Gardening & Square Foot Gardening: Part One

Last years garden was not a productive one. Because I got my plants out so late in the season, I had a good harvest in the beginning, but shortly after, when the worst of the heat set in, even with adding shading in the afternoon during June and July, my poor plants just didn’t produce as well as the previous years. You live and you learn right?

So this year I’m changing it up after doing a bit of research on new options to try, working more with rotating some of my crops between different garden beds, intercropping, giving core gardening a try, and using square foot gardening to have a more bountiful harvest. Oh and don’t forget companion planting.

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Understanding Plant Families

When planning your vegetable garden each year there is one rule to keep in mind in order to ensure each year provides you with a good harvest. That rule is, don’t plant anything from the same family in the same garden bed year after year. Otherwise that wonderful harvest you had one year won’t be so wonderful the next year.

I can give you two really important reasons why this rule is so important. Plants of the same family use the same nutrients in the soil, and are susceptible to the same pests. Keeping this rule in mind each year can help ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need and are a bit harder to find for pests to have their feast.

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Year Four, Pests, Heat & Cats

This years spring garden was not as successful as the previous years, even with the best planning there are still unexpected setbacks that while annoying, can still be learned from.

I began my spring garden planning in February, figuring out which plants I was going to grow from seed and which ones I would buy from the Houston Garden Center. This year I didn’t need as many plants because some of them successfully wintered over, and others luckily grew back. My Hyssop plants all grew back, which was really great, because every summer I look forward to making my fruit smoothies with the leaves, giving my smoothies a nice minty/licorice flavor. I didn’t get around to making any jam or syrup this year, but I really did enjoy my smoothies. I also had a few pepper plants survive the winter, mostly because they were sheltered on our back porch. My mint in my melon patch took off, so much that I had to prune a lot of it back, and my fennel really grew. It was taller than my PVC trellis that surrounds my melon patch. In the spring it was beautiful, with tons of yellow flowers. I didn’t harvest the fennel, I mostly used it for companion planting to help ward off pests, which seemed to help a lot during the spring.

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About Me

Hi there. I'm Rachel Kay, a Web Developer, Illustrator, & Designer, whose hobby is to be creative and artistic, while freelancing as a Web Developer building creative, modern websites.