worms, composting, organic gardening, and nature

If you like the info in this post, much more info will be included in our 365 Days a Year of North Texas Edible Gardening class next month.  Click the link to sign up for the class.

This is the month to claim victory as you savor ripe tomatoes and drop multitudes of squash on your neighbor’s porch at midnight—because they have asked you to kindly stop giving it to them! If you are a Texas gardener, you can take the heat. Be sure to take care of your plants so they can too.

What to plant this month: Collards, cucumbers, luffa, okra, pepper transplants, pumpkins, Southern peas, shallots, tomato transplants, watermelon, winter squash. Plant tomato and pepper transplants early in the month for best results. For seeds, provide a moist seedbed until sprouts are approximately 2 inches tall.

What to watch for:

  • Water: check soil moisture daily. The surface may be dry, but a good rule of thumb is to probe 2-3 inches below the surface to see if the root zone area is to wet or dry. A good, inexpensive probe can be found in every gardeners home–the gardener’s finger!

When watering, water deeply to promote strong, deep root systems. Drip systems will accomplish this better than hand watering.

Another choice is to use Dripping Springs Olla Pots.  These will reduce your need to water by slowly leaching water through the clay of the pot.

  • Mulch: place 3-4 inches of mulch around all bare soil. Mulch retains soil moisture, keeps cooler root zones, and provides cover for the beneficial organisms needed to promote healthy, living soil.
  • Insect Pests: squash vine borers, spider mites, squash bugs
  • Plant Problems: Blossom end rot—caused by over watering and reduced nutrition in soil, especially calcium. Add soft rock phosphate to the soil and drench soil and plants with Worm Wine (TM).

What to enjoy:

  • Basil, Egg, Tomato and Goat Cheese Open Face Sandwich

Slice your favorite baker’s bread and toast.  Spread Goat cheese on the toast, place basil and Tomato on Toast.  At same time, fry a Sunny Side up Egg, and place that on top of tomato.  Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy my favorite summer lunch item!


  • Texas Best Guacamole (Rinaldi Family Recipe)

4-5 ripe avocados
1 medium homegrown tomato, diced in small pieces
1  ripe peach, diced in small pieces
1 Texas 1015 onion, diced in small pieces
2 Tbsp. chopped Cilantro
1 Tbsp. diced garlic
Pickled Jalapeno Slices, diced in small pieces (adjust to taste preference, we like about 2 dozen slices)
Juice of ½ a juicy lime
Salt to taste

This recipe is best in July, when all ingredients are at peak flavor and availability, but can be made with “regular ingredients” the rest of the year. Slice avocado in half, remove seed, scoop fruit with a spoon and mash in bowl with a fork. Add other ingredients. Stir before serving. Best if served immediately. Serving suggestions: with tortilla chips or sweet potato chips, on burgers, with any Southwest, BBQ, or Tex-Mex favorites.




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