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Summer begins

By the first week of June, the soil has dried out, and no precipitation is in the weather forecast.

Watering is mandatory, and the Israeli melons in the field require it daily, as do the raised beds.

In my raised beds, several tomato plants have died because I wrongly assessed that they were getting adequate water. They were not. I've made this mistake before, but I did not learn from my past failures. I simply must stop overestimating how long a good rainfall as we had in the last weeks of may will last.

Last year, I started pumpkins on July 4 for an October harvest. I did harvest a few pumpkins in October, but most were ready in the last week of October or the first of November. In order to harvest pumpkins this year in time for Halloween buyers, I must plant them by the first week in June.


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Tomato harvest resumes

With cooler temperatures this fall, my tomatoes, which I thought had reached the end of their lives at the end of summer, have rebounded and are producing fruit again.

Experiment in cucumbers begins

I began a test to see if cucumbers started in small pots could be transplanted into a hydroponic system for more efficient change out of plants between crop turns.The hybrid cucumber seeds were started in mid-August and grew until the end of September in the pots before I transplanted them into Bato buckets.Each cucumber plant was a foot and a half to two feet long, therefore giving each plant almost a month head start before being placed in the system.So far each of the transplants seems to have fared well even though cucumbers are not usually suited for transplanting.

Sweet peas sown January 27, 2017

On January 28, 1986, I skipped classes at Waxahachie High to sow sweet peas in the field next to my house.

I was unaware that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded that morning until my friend called me and asked if I had heard the news. Immediately, I turned on the TV and found all the major networks covering the story.

Still, the events of that day are tied together in my memory, and each year that I sow sweet peas, I remember the date that I sowed Wando sweet peas and harvest the greatest yield I've ever picked.

This year as the date approached, I made sure to have seed on hand, and I sowed the peas on Friday, January 27, 2017, in the same field where I grew sweet peas in 1986.