Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beet Seedlings

I wasn't sure how successful harvesting beet seeds would be but I didn't feel like harvesting all of them and scattered some of them back on the dirt the beet they came from had been.
There are now probably over a hundred little beet sprouts springing up all over the pot. I guess they are pretty fertile. If my neighbor wants any I'll transplant some of them for him or maybe just plant some seeds in his garden. They seem to like growing.
I wasn't sure the beets were making seeds at first since the seeds look so strange, kind of like a spiky pepper corn.
The rest of the garden is still loving the rain and fruit is popping up all over the place. I just hope it keeps up.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rain, rain, rain, rain ...

After watering my gardens twice a day, for I don't know how long now, the rain has finally come to give me a break. All of the plants seem to love it too as they are springing to full attention and plumping as only a rain can make them do.
I can only hope my fig tree is taking in enough to make the second wave of figs ripen and get fat and juicy. So far the figs that are ripening, if you can call it that, are dry and shriveled looking.
The cucumbers were already forming fruit and should keep going well.
Unfortunately my wife can't pick flowers in this weather since it makes picked flowers mold which is not the scent you want in a sachet or bowl of potpourri.
I need to get my citrus plants out while it's raining so they can get used to the outside before too long. The kaffir lime is already sitting out front and has done well and the lemon tree out back has a ton of new branches growing. Still no sign of fruit though. Maybe next year.
There is a decent chance all week for rain. I guess I'll just wait and see what ripens.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Neighborhood Gardening

More gardens are popping up in the neighborhood. I already knew about one of them down the street, a nice large garden in neat rows. Now my next door neighbor is preping a bed just by the fence. I just happens to be one of the only place in the yard to grow anything since the tree in their back yard shades the rest of the yard.
They have decided to grow squash, tomatoes, okra, snap beans (blue lake) and possibly others. We said they could have some of our starters if they had room that needed to be filled. We're currently trying to water twice a day, morning and evening, to keep the moisture even. So far it's working but still no fruits.
The sunflowers are producing though and I hope to have more seeds in the next few weeks. We also toyed with the idea of going out to the highways and harvest the flowers on the sides of the roads. there are literally tons of them growing wild.

Cats vs. Kitens

Kittens are cute when you find them playing among the plants and napping in the shade. Cats on the other hand are not so cute since they have the bad habit of napping on plants that aren't quite big enough to be able to take it.
Recently we have had several snow pea plants crushed under the weight of a not so large cat who knew that he shouldn't be where he was. He left very deep tracks in his haste to leave. If he returns he will find his favorite bed filled with pepper and chili powder and hopefully not so inviting. So too are the other beds and the top of the ice chest just in case he keeps looking for a resting place.
The plus side to having cats in the neighbor hood is squirrel control. There are fewer pecans planted where they shouldn't be.
My wife thinks I should go ahead and put cages on the planting beds to keep the cats out. In the long run this is probably the best and most economic method.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New planters

Even when I feel terrible it seems that planting gets done. Yesterday we got some free pots from craigslist from a wonderful family who just didn't feel like trying to grow more stuff. I can't say I blame them though since after looking at the plants they tried to grow I noticed that almost all of the plants that they had in the pots that they were giving us were rotting. I don't know the whole story but that would be enough to discourage a lot of folks.
One of the stargazer lilies was ok though and I repotted it in hopes of a bloom. I'm not holding my breath but who knows. I had to clean it up a bit still.
In the back we constructed another 4x4 garden box and planted some cucumber in part of it. In one of the older boxes we put a few snow peas that we had sprouted inside along with some beans.
I turned the compost bin and find that it still needs more green matter. The old leaves are just not composting very fast (3 years). It is just about there but there are still bits here and there. It should be nice and good by fall if it keeps up at this pace.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dragonfly Visitor

At first my wife thought it might be dead. The first few pictures were much farther away just in case she was right but after a while I just strolled right up to it and snapped off a few. This one I think is the best. The straight on back picture really is a good one. I wish I had also gotten a side pic but I hadn't thought to at the time.
It sat there until the rosebush was bumped and it flew off.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day Lilly, Second Bloom

My day lilly has bloomed for the second time in it's life. Hopefully it will keep blooming and divide soon. I'm afraid to dig it up too soon in case it isn't ready. So far it has only had one set of leaves so I guess I should just keep taking good care of it.

Growin' Garlic

I have grown some garlic this last year and the results were a little surprising. I mean litterally the small size of the first garlic clove was sort of a shock. This clove is sitting on a regular sheet of paper 10 point type.

Fortunately it wasn't the only garlic to grow this year. These two are sitting right by the remains of the other little one. There are more still in the garden and the onion is about done making seeds.
Speaking of seeds, the beets seem to make a lot of seeds, way more than I would have thought.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Arlington Farmer's

The farmer's market was a great success (at least for what we went out there for)
There were around ten vendors and many of them did even better than we did. Kay Lymon of Top Shelf Confections made the best cupcakes I have had in a while. If you live in the Arlington, Texas area you should give her a holler and see for yourself.
There was also an actual farmer with produce from his farm and his son's land. I don't know if his son has a farm or just grows cantaloupe (possibly musk melon).
My wife's book sales doubled today. Of course she hasn't been selling them for very long but double is still good.
The figs from my tree sold in a couple hours and when I got home after work there were just as many waiting to be picked. I love figs.
Later we went to get some trays to start still more plants. They were dirt cheap. I never get tire of that one. Unfortunately dirt isn't cheap anymore but around here clay is. Problem there is you can't plant very much in clay.
Anyway market good, figs good, life good.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Medicinal Mexico

One of the highlights of our trip was the medicinal section of the botanical gardens.
Among the plants were mint and rue but the guide didn't let us stay very long since we were already behind schedule before we even got to the gardens.