This was the week that all the Texas gardening bloggers started talking about their fall gardens. Translation: our spring gardens are pretty much dead now.

It’s kinda early for this. Our June has been brutally hot and dry. There will be no fireworks here on July 4th, because the tiniest sparks are setting fires anywhere there’s an open field or some dry grass. Even though it’s rained for the past two nights, we’re still firmly in a drought, and along with the burn bans come water restrictions: no watering outside between 10AM and 6PM. The ground outside my garden beds, where I don’t water, is developing its usual August cracks. I wonder how deep they’ll be when August finally rolls around?

So, yes, the spring vegetable garden has started to die off. While gardeners in other parts of the country are bragging about peas and lettuce, and waiting for their first tomatoes, I’m yanking out everything except the last of the sunflowers, the black eyed peas that are drying on the vine, okra, peppers and eggplant. Tomatoes? Done, sadly. I’m planting seedlings next week for the fall crop, hoping it will be better than spring, which was pitiful. Peas? Long gone. Green beans? Drying in the compost pile.

On the plus side, I have okra coming out my ears. And the blazing sun is drying the remaining sunflower heads nicely, so I’ll have tons of seed for the birds this winter. (The one in this photo is drying on my dining room table, which is appropriate, because it’s as big as a dinner plate.) Perhaps I can sneak another round of sunflowers in while I’m planting the fall tomatoes. Also, I planted four different types of eggplant this year, and two have started producing already. I have white eggplants in my fridge. They’re kinda freaky. I’m hoping the green ones will come in next.

Pulling out the spring garden always makes me a little sad. I baby seedlings all winter, with my nose pressed against the glass of the dining room window, waiting for the moment when it’s warm enough to whisk them outside, and put them in the ground. I buy seedlings for the fall garden, because the time always gets away from me, and before I remember to plant the seeds, it’s time to put seedlings in the ground. I also don’t expect much from the fall garden, because a lot of the plants have to go into the ground when it’s really hot. If the seedlings wither and fail, I’m not surprised. I feel a little withered myself after an hour in the noonday sun…

Art journal meetup on Friday. I’m hoping I have new journal pages to flaunt shortly.