Saturday, June 22, 2013

2013 Vegetable Garden Harvest (Late Spring - Early Summer)

This is an update on my vegetable garden for the 1st day of summer in North Texas.  It is getting hot here (mid-90's).

Harvesting has been ongoing.  We freeze all our produce, although my Mother gave me my Great-Grandmother's (Grannie) nice canner to use.  My good husband replaced the gasket seal and pressure gage, but I continue to freeze because it is so much easier!  I can remember canning being an ALL day affair in my Grandmother's kitchen in the Arkansas Ozarks.  I thought it was amazing that canner parts can still be purchased for those old canners!

Regarding putting up produce (both freezing and canning), I use the book "Stocking Up" as a reference.  See link:

The green beans were harvested about a week ago.  We strung, snapped, washed, and blanched them for 3 minutes in boiling water.  They are then cooled in ice water, drained, and bagged in plastic pouches for storage in the freezer.

All the cold season vegies have now been harvested.

Our carrot harvest.  The carrots must also be blanched in boiling water prior to storage in the freezer. 

Below are pictures of two of the cauliflower heads we harvested from this year - about a month ago.  This was an exceptionally good season for them.  In past years, it usually gets too hot before they are ready to harvest.  We also harvested a lot of broccoli this year - unfortunately I didn't get any pictures.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook a recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Patties - I'm going to try it - it looks delicious.  The link below is to the recipe.

We waited about a week too late to harvest this cauliflower head, but we ate it anyway.  It is the largest one I have ever seen.  See Joe's hand for scale.

Our onion harvest was dried on the back porch.  We thought we had planted all yellow onions because they last better, but half of our harvest turned out to be white onions!   Oh well -  I'll have to use them up first because they go bad more quickly.

After the onions were dried and the tops cut off, we put them in laundry baskets for storage in the pantry.  Yellow onions usually last me through December.

Tomato plants are putting on lots of fruit now.


Squash plants - they are still doing pretty well and we are harvesting them.  We typically assist the bees in pollination using a small a paint brush.  We read and have confirmed that pollination assistance has helped us in the past yield better harvests, especially with zucchini.  Unfortunately, the squash bugs decimated our zucchini plants this year, and we only harvested about 5 before we had to pull them up.

 We plant marigolds around the garden to ward off pests.

Every year I plant dill and parsley - in addition to using the herbs in cooking, the swallowtail butterflies use these as a host plant for their caterpillars.

 Swiss chard, peppers, and eggplants.


Bell peppers 

 Bell peppers

Banana peppers

These are pictures of some of the herbs in the garden.  Basil, Oregano, and Sage.
 Sage and Eggplant

 Asparagus patch on top, Parsley and Mint


We also have blackberry bushes in our backyard.  We have found that plants with thorns give better yields so we dug up all the thornless varieties.  That left us with about 4 blackberry bushes this season.  However, those 4 lone plants produced enough blackberries for 6 pies (4 cups each per pie).

We dug up all of our garlic and dried it on the back porch.  The garlic is my success story.  I bought 2 garlic bulbs in the produce section for .69 per bulb.  If you buy garlic bulbs to plant, the prices typically run around $3.99 per bulb.  Anyway, I took a chance that they were not treated to prevent sprouting.  Look at all the garlic I got for $1.38!

And finally - I'm adding a picture I took of my beautiful harvest in the kitchen.


  1. Nice harvest. It is funny that you say yellow onions last longer for you. I have not noticed any difference in the yellow and white for me, except if an onion rots in storage, it always seems to be yellow.

  2. That is very interesting about white onions being better for you. I wonder why that is? By the way - I enjoy your Plano Prairie blog very much. Thanks for listing mine on your list of North Texas blogs!

  3. I am so envious of your energy and gardening skills. I can barely get the energy to get laundry done and you are planting, harvesting, blanching and freezing! ;o)

  4. Haha- Thanks Donnie!

    I have decided my next house will not have a yard that has to be mowed (think lake house in the woods). I'll still have a vegetable garden with raised beds in a sunny spot, but my yard gardening will consist mainly of flower beds that have native plants that require little work.

  5. Oh my goodness! What a beautiful bountiful harvest, and there'll be so much more when you fruit is all laden and ripe. I especially envy those peach trees, truly fresh peaches are few and far between in New England.