My summer garden phase two

  • My summer garden has recently taken on phase two as I just pulled out the cucumbers, tomatoes, and flowers and planted two different varieties of green beans, cucumbers, radishes and watermelons. Texas has such long hot summers, I think I will be able to get another harvest of those before summer is over. I decided I am finished growing carrots, they just don’t get long enough in my raised beds. I pulled the few I had growing. About a month ago I bought some cucumber plants at walmart and didn’t plant them by a trellis. I am letting them vine to the ground and they are working just fine. I picked my first cucumber from it yesterday!

    The melon experiment is working but I recently talked to my father-in-law about his garden and he has over six big melons in his raised beds. He told me he picks up the baby melons and puts them back in the bed. I decided to try that but I worried that the water on the soil sitting under the melon wouldn’t be a good idea. I took a handful of hay and placed it under the melon and it seems to be perfect. If the melon has reached the ground I will leave it there, but if it is hanging close to the top I pick it up and put it in the bed. Sounds like I am mothering them, and in a way I am. I like taking care of my family, so maybe that is why I love gardening so much, I get to take care of something. Here’s a variety of pictures I took in my garden and also one of my father-in-laws melons. He is amazing at growing things and tells me he waters everyday and fertilizes once a week. That seems to be the trick! Good luck to you with your garden.

    If you are new to my garden site here are the benefits to gardening the raised bed way and feel free to click around on the categories to the right to see what else I grow.  If you are interested in the building this type of garden and want the plans, click link to purchase plans.

















    July 5th, 2013 | 20 Comments |

20 Responses and Counting...

  • Sam 07.05.2013

    I baby my melons too, so I get it. We’re also about to harvest our first two okra. Thanks for sharing your garden update!

  • Sam,
    Fun! I hope all my babying pays off. I am not sure what else to do, ha! Get ready for okra! Yeah! I have found that if I pick it when it is shorter it doesn’t get tough.
    wishing you the best in your garden!

  • Thanks for taking us on such a nice walk through your garden!

  • Brent,
    You are welcome! Come back and see how my sweet potatoes do. Every day when I water them I get more anxious to see what’s growing underneath. It’s so suspenseful!
    ha. Wishing you the best,

  • Thanks for sharing your lovely raised bed garden. Everything looks so green and beautiful. I don’t have a lot of room for a big garden like I use to. So my garden is crowded. Hard to get to my tomatoes to pick them. And they are the only thing doing good. Still waiting on cucumbers, watermelon and beans. I will have to start working on some raised beds for next years garden to make my gardening easier. And I would love to have a bed for okra. I love okra too!


  • Linda,
    Hi! I just had okra two nights ago and I stir fried it! I didn’t cut open the pods but seared it in the pan with some coconut oil and salt, pepper, garlic powder. The pods were tender and so yummy!
    I have a new way to cook okra and love it! I just thought I would share because you love it too. Good luck to your garden – it’s hard in small spaces but raising it might help.
    Thanks for leaving a comment and I am thinking of you loving okra just like me!

  • Thank you so much for your Ideas. Pictures mean a lot to me also. I am in a wheelchair much of the time…especially outdoors. This is the type of gardening I could do. I have been pot gardening on my small deck but am pretty restricted with mainly a couple of tomato plants.I will have to see if someone can help me by building me come of these beds. Thank you….I will show them the picts.

  • Judy,
    Hi! Where are you located? Maybe I know someone that can help, you never know. Pot gardening is a way to get something going, and tomatoes are yummy! Let me know your area you live in.
    seriously let me know. best wishes,

  • Your pictures are amazing! I never saw okra growing before. We have a short growing season up here in Canada, so our choices are limited. I grow lettuce, carrots, peas and beans and a few tomato plants. I’m starting a few baby strawberry plants in my raised beds so next year I might have strawberries!

  • Julie,
    Oh I love strawberries! I sure hope they work for you, I couldn’t get them to grow well here. Sound like you grow what you can in your short time! I love peas! Thanks for your kind words. Wishing you the best up there in Canada.

  • Ok, it is official…I worship you! I love to garden but have a large black walnut tree in the yard. So, I have to have raised beds to grow most everything. Plus my back isn’t so great and you seem to have made these raised beds high enough that it wouldn’t be an issue for me. these beds have so many more advantages too…no weeds, soil warms up earlier in season etc.

  • Jody,
    This type of gardening sounds perfect for you! Good luck to you, be sure to put it where it gets sun. There are a lot of advantages to gardening this way. For me it has made gardening doable, easy, and fun.
    Wishing you the best!

  • Love your raised garden, I at have to add a few boxes on my patio! I can’t get carrots to grow either, I don’t get it. My question is a kind of silly one, for a gardener anyhow. How do you know when to pick okra? I put in 2 plants this year to see how they’d do, and I have some big okra now and don’t know when to pick them! I probably waited to long and they will be woody. Hope you can help.

  • Christna,
    Hi! I pick okra when it is about 3-4 inches long. If it gets really long, it seems to be tough. It isn’t a plant you can pull off, you need to cut it to pick it. It is my favorite veggie ever. I love it!
    thanks for asking and good luck to you in your garden!

  • I love your blog and am so impressed and inspired by your garden! This year I planted mostly in large plastic storage tubs on my patio. I would suggest that as an alternative for your carrots. They are a little bit deeper so the carrots could grow a little longer. You could get one tub for $5 at Wal-Mart. Drill some holes in the bottom and see if that works for you. I love home grown carrots. I just wish they grew faster! By the way, I am a north houston-ite and I really didn’t think I could garden here with all the bugs and heat and humidity until this year. Finding your blog was part of my encouragement! Thanks for sharing!

  • Tim

    How are you constructing your raised beds? How deep are the containers you are using? Details, I need details if you please.

  • Lea

    Hi Melanie I too am in Texas & I love gardening. I am growing tomatoes, grape tomatoes, okra, watermelon, grapes, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini & strawberries. I also have fruit trees, orange, apple, 3 plum & 2 peach trees and one lemon. All is growing beautifully but I am worried about my okra. I planted in late March and the plants have grown but I have yet to see any pods. Can you please tell me what my plants should look like after 2 months, going on 3, if you can. Are the stalks thick? I appreciate any help 🙂

  • Lea,
    Hi! Wow you are growing a lot! So fun!! I am not sure on the exact size and the timing of okra, but I would reccomend picking it when the pods are about 3 inches long. The yellow/ purple flowers come first and then the pods. Be sure to fertilize weekly for best results! Good luck,
    p.s. Nice to hear from a Texas gardener!

  • Hi Melanie, Your gardens look great. Probably the answer to letting my knees rest. I have raised beds and the back and knees still get sore. Having the beds waist high would be beautiful. My wood frames need to be replaced so I will do your method. Can you send me more information. I have done small melons on a trellis. You can do cucumbers on a trellis to. The one lady that put the hay under her melon was smart. I have read that you drill holes in the bottom of a big coffee can turned over. Put the can on the ground, place the melon on top of the overturned can and the holes you drill will keep the water away. The can puts the melon up higher so it gets more sun and isn’t hidden from the leaves. I planted peas one year on the side of my house. They got full sun. I have a long wire shelf with one inch wholes in it. It looks like chicken wire, but a lot thicker. I work at Wal-Mart and bought the shelving from them. It was a display 4-way they were going to throw out anyway. I could only see hanging plants and potted plants on it. I put posts in the ground and put u shaped nails into the wood to hold the shelf in place. Then I ran fishing line starting low and working my way up. Criss crossing from each post back and forth. I live next to a bar. The customers would come over and ask how I got my peas growing so high. When theirs’ were only an inch or so above the ground. The fishing line you couldn’t see that well and it held them up just fine. I usually plant flowers next to the house. I added compost to the soil before I planted. I live in Northern WI,. Thank you for sharing your gardening set up. I did my first beds from the 4X4 Gardening book. I have mesh and weed X under my beds. I started by putting black plastic down on the lawn where I wanted my garden. I made my 4’X4′ beds. I did about three a year. I cut an opening in the black plastic for the beds. Now I have 9 – 4’X4′ beds. I have a lot of 2’x4′ next to each other in rows. I have blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I had blackberries, but they were to close to the raspberries and turned into raspberries through pollination. The fruit crops I will probably leave on the ground. Except for the strawberries. I have seen people using there old gutters for them and they built them high on posts too. Like a ladder so as not to take up so much room and space. The strawberries I need to redo too. I love thinning and giving to friends and family. Can you send me more information like the cost for your plans and where you got the deal on the rubbermaid containers. Did you do your gardens with so many raised bed a year too or did you do it all at once? The bar keeps the deer away.

  • Try your carrots in the cooler months. I’m in Texas, also. I’ve planted them for several years, in different places and at different times …finding that the winter months are best, in full sunlight.

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