How my garden said “Nope” to the heat.

Technically, I should celebrate my cucumber plants and how vibrant and happy they are even in the heat. The best part of the day is finding one to four cucumbers ready to be picked every other day. We have enjoyed so many different ways to eat cucumbers this year.

The other two things I managed to grow are tons of basil and some cherry tomatoes (and by some, I mean about 10-12 every couple of days).

Here are the three reasons my garden did not flourish this summer:

  • We couldn’t build our raised beds until May.
  • Planting seeds at the end of May. 
  • The crazy above 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for over two months.

How My Garden Said, "Nope" To The Heat.

Why we couldn’t build the raised beds until May:

The life of an entrepreneur means time is not always on our side, even though the Rolling Stones tried to convince us otherwise.

Hubby and I had been discussing building raised beds since last year, my first year gardening. The raised beds were a better option than the red clay soil in North Carolina, which can be hard to work with if you’re new to gardening. 

The space in our garden is about 20 yards long, so it’s a big space to add several raised beds. We plotted, planned, and drew out ideas. We even measured and got inspiration on YouTube to make the beds shine.

Then life happened, and we had clients to think about first, which put the building process on hold until the end of May. 

Why I planted seeds late:

When I planted seeds in the garden, I was about a month and a half behind the growing schedule. Translation: I was so late with planting my garden.

The garden zone here in Charlotte, North Carolina, is Zone 7. It’s recommended in this area to start the garden after the last frost, usually around April 15th.

Plus, I was not set up to start my seeds in a smaller space because I’m still a newbie to this garden journey and didn’t have the resources yet.

How the heat said “Nope” to my garden:

The raised beds were built late; I started planting late, but the biggest reason my garden said “Nope” this year was the crazy high temperatures. We had almost two months of above 90-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.

Did you struggle with your garden this year because of the temperatures?

There were moments when I thought about pulling everything and just starting over when the temperatures were cooler, but that would’ve been an extreme decision. 

I’m glad I left the plants that were stunted by the heat. Yesterday, I found four of my pepper plants finally so happy.

Last weekend, I planted the fall garden. I was limited on space because of the peppers, herbs, cauliflower, eggplant, and maybe even asparagus showing beautiful signs of growing.

As a second-year gardener, I’ve learned so much. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is patience, which I’m not good at.

Something else I’ve learned is that we don’t need to worry about the space, time of year, or what we’re growing with such laser focus. Relax, have fun, and just grow your food because it will grow eventually.

As a writer, the best part about gardening is all the inspiration that transpires. Ideas for characters, stories, or recipes flow while I dig my fingers into the dirt and the music plays in my ears.

This summer, I thought of a new story idea that would take me away from my small-town romance and romantic suspense stories and into a new space for my characters. Plus, I’ve been creating new recipes for my cookbook, and those specific recipes make me want to grow lemons and apples now.

Do you have a lemon or apple tree?

Every month, we’ll have a new recipe inspired by the characters in each of my books; you can subscribe with the button below to receive the entire recipe in your inbox.


If you’re curious about all the books I’ve written, you can find out more about all five of my book series here.

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