Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cantaloupe - Home Grown

I went outside today and checked on my cantaloupe vine, particularly the cantaloupe itself and it decided to fall off the vine. So, I brought it in and placed it in the fridge so it would be nice and cold when we decided to eat it.
As you can see it has a nice orange undertone.
The seeds are also nicely developed and can be saved for next year's planting. This time I'm going to label it better.

Now we just have to make sure we get more than the cat. She loves cantaloupe as well as strawberry yogurt.

Friday, July 23, 2010

10% Chance of Flooding and Monsoons

I looked just yesterday and the forcast was a 10% chance of rain. This morning I checked with someone who's iphone said it would only be partly cloudy the rest of the day.
When five-o-clock rolled around there was a sudden loud clap of thunder and the sky got realy dark. It poured for nearly an hour making streams of water flowing in the streets.
At what point did 10% turn into a monsoon?
The up side is that I don't have to water the plants today. The cantaloupe really likes the rain water better anyway.
The down side is that it's now too wet to mow the rest of the yard.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tamarind Tree

Although it is grown in zones 10-11 the tamarind tree has survived it's first day outside. I planted it yesterday in one of the pots that had beets in it before. I have since eaten the beets.
It looks a little wilted but not badly. I have watered it twice a day like everything else.
I'm also working on two other projects. The first one is setting the tile around the planter boxes. I'm putting the tiles down first to kill off most of the grass and then I'm going to level it better and reset them.
The second project that I have been putting off for some time is making a fence panel out of bamboo. Since it looks like I really only have enough to make one with a few pieces left over it might turn into a shade canopy for tomato or other plants that need to be shaded in the hot part of the day. Time will tell.
Unfortunately I don't have the ability to put up any pictures of the projects since my wife has the camera and she's in Pennsylvania. She'll be back soon though and after a couple days I should have pics of it all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


July heat is upon us and about all I can do now is water and hope everything lives.
I put my plumeria sprout out today in a shady spot so it can have some real sunlight even if it is indirect. it seems to be struggling under the grow light.
The cat has eaten quite a few sprouts we had on the window sill. He hasn't bothered the big plants at least. That would probably cause a little bit of a mess.
The kaffir lime tree is still putting out new leaves and getting a little taller.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cucumber - Watermelon - ????

Ok, I have grown cucumber before which is why when what I thought were cucumber seeds came up I assumed they were cucumbers. They had the prickly stems and the leaves looked good enough to be right. The fruit even looked the same when it was really small.

Then there came the shape and texture of the fruit as it got bigger... They were smooth and round and began to show long stripes. A watermelon, right?

Nope... I got up this morning and checked on the progress. I figured with all the rain a watermelon would have gotten to the point I would have to do something about it again. When I looked at it there was a strange grey weaving pattern all around the round fruit. It will soon turn a little orange in the middle and be really sweet, I hope. That is what cantaloupe does after all...

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Spring Cruise 2010

One of my favorite pics of the trip was this plant. It was a bit taller than we were which afforded this neat perspective straight into the middle of the wavy stems.
I particularly liked the way they twisted as they went out.

Among my other great loves is the sundial. This one particularly struck me a neat because it tells you exactly when we took the picture. As long as you know it's spring then you can look and see where the shadow is falling and read the date. I think it was April 28.

Although I don't have a pic yet. The kaffir lime tree is really showing the beginning leaves more evenly now. Two more have started and show real promise.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Straw in the City

The title's not that catchy but the idea is sure to catch on if it hasn't already.
My beautiful watermelons need some place to lay down their enormous selves where the bugs won't get to them and cause a mess. My wife suggested I put straw under them... Where am I supposed to get straw?
Well, I was outside today cleaning and maintaining as best as I can with only ten minutes to do it and found that the Mexican feather grass was in desperate need of some tidying up. As some of you might know, I don't subscribe to the haircut method. It's barbaric and cruel to chop the top off wholesale, not to mention not as effective. So there I was brushing the grass to get the dead parts out and leave a lusterous mane when all of the sudden it hit me that I also had a small pile of straw.
It wasn't the usual type of straw but who cares.
I carefully pulled up the largest watermelon and placed the straw beneath it. If I was that watermelon I would be way too thrilled. I think I might need to move it out of it's current location though so that it won't be in danger of sitting in water even if it is lying on straw.
Grow melon grow!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kaffir Lime Tree

It's been over a year now since this little one has sprouted. I remember it like it was yesterday, the little guy fighting to grow and not mind too much when I would forget to water him for a week. He's gotten quite used to the outside where the heat can really be unbearable. The rain of course helped and unlike the plumeria (shown in the background behind it), it's leaves haven't gotten too burned.
You're probably thinking, if you know a lot about kaffir lime trees, the leaves look all wrong. That can't be a true kaffir lime tree! Well, truth be told I have no guarantee that it is. All I know is that the seed I planted came out of a kaffir lime. In theory then it is possible that this is a kaffir lime hybrid. but I haven't found any information on what the leaves look like on such a young plant. It very well may develop more distinct leaves once it gets bigger. The smaller parts have been getting bigger as it has aged and I don't have any reason to believe it will stop or continue this trend. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Watermelon Patch?

Ok, maybe not a patch, but it surely is taking over a little. It's pulled down it's second sunflower plant. I can't bear to mess with it too much though since I really want some watermelons this year.
I have to go put planks and straw under them today so they don't get eaten up by slugs or rolly pollys, which devoured my cucumbers last year.

Along with the watermelons there are all of the flowers that they produce. This little visitor seemed to realize this and waited around for a bite to eat.

Gerbera Daisies

The gerbera daisies in the front have sprung back to life, not flowering but lively. Of the three, the one in the back left was barely more than a clump of black dead matter for weeks before the rains came and revived them. Watering does less than you might think under our Texas sun.

The other two on the right hadn't fared as badly and so the wonderful rain has really gotten them up and happy. This fall there should be a nice show once it cools down a bit.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Ok, I know I've been really happy about my cucumber plants growing and making fruit and all but I have some really bad news. I don't have any cucumbers. Apparently they're watermelons instead. I thought I planted cucumber but due to the lazyness inherent in the way I garden, they either didn't come up and I planted more than one thing or I somehow mistook watermelon seeds for cucumber seeds. They look nothing alike.
I could still be mistaken even since I have never grown watermelon from seed before. They could be some other melon entirely. They are still little green balls after all and who knows what color they may turn.