Friday, October 29, 2010

Mystery Plant Help

I admit it, again. I have no idea what this plant is. I have let it grow from it's little beginning spiraling self to the stout little fellow it is now, about 2 weeks growth.
If you can identify this plant I will send you a hearty thanks. I'm poor...
(NOTE: The seed in the background is a small acorn and the leaf in the second picture is a pecan leaf.)

This side picture really doesn't help I don't think but just in case at least it gives it's height a little better.
There's a second plant that still needs identification but that can wait for now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weather Planning

One of the things I don't usually think about until it's too late is the temperature. Going on a cruise next week and I don't think I need to worry about the weather but then I heard it's supposed to get into the 40's. Today it was in the 80's so it wasn't really on my mind. It should have been since November is coming up but I find as I get older, not old, that time keeps speeding up. Just yesterday it was July.
A number of plants will be brought in for the colder nights but most of it is just going to have to face the temps. I'm still trying to natrualize some of it. There are many things that I think will grow just fine given enough breeding. Of course being on such a small scale it might take longer than I have to live. My grandchildren might have to finish it for me and right now I don't even have a kid.
Of course as time goes on there are more plants that are available for growing that were not too long ago deemed unfit for the area. Some still are unfit but we plant them anyway.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pansy Time

When I came in from the field, still afflicted with rashes of poison ivy, I saw the landscaping crews outside the office ripping out the plants that had been flowering and putting in pansies. They do this every year around this time when the heat is bound to stay down.

I personally don't do pansies. They look neat and come in lots of colors but I prefer things that come back easily and rough it out. I also prefer things I can use in everyday cooking.
You can, of course, eat pansies, not sprayed with pesticides. They make cupcakes look really neat either plain or crystalized with sugar if you aren't going to serve them right away.

If you dry them you can incorporate them into homemade paper or other crafting projects. My wife has made a pendant using dried flowers. She picked smaller ones though due to the size she was working with.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Poison Ivy (What Not to Grow)

I've been out surveying in the deep jungles... ok, forests.... fine, thick bunches of trees of Fort Worth and Mansfield and of course there's a lot of things not to grow that don't need tending.

I've kept clear of most of them but the poison ivy just finds a way to get to you. Currently my arms are red and swollen, not bad enoug to stop me from blogging though.

Another of the fellons of the forest would be bull nettle. I have successfully kept clear of the hairy death plants. They say it feels like a jellyfish sting if you accidentally rub up to one. They can go through your jeans and lodge in your leg, but they are low growing and don't climb.

This mean little thorn can reach both the length and the thickness of a pencil and grows all over the honey locust tree. This is not a climbing tree. The thorns start out purple when they're still growing and have a toxin on them that will leave you sore and aching long after the thorn is removed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Backyard Cantaloupes

As I was mowing, about a week ago, I decided to just mow off some of the cantaloupe vine that had been growing out of the box, over the tile and out into the lawn. What I didn't realize was that it had already started making melons. It's the kind of thing you hope will happen but usually doesn't pan out as quickly as that. The first thing I knew about the matter was a loud thud as the blades hit a softball size melon and it rolls along the ground spilling newly forming seeds as it goes.
I have since left the escapees to their own devices.

Fortunately they have started forming in the bed and not so much outside. There is also a bitter melon plant in the corner, the only one to survive. It's flowers are much larger and I don't think it has made a melon yet.

The smaller melons still look mostly green and there's plenty of flowers for more to start forming. I scattered some pepper seeds in today to hopefully give a litle more sun cover and keep some more of the moisture in. They like lots of water.

The larger ones are starting to get some stripes but still no netting yet. Give them a few weeks and they should be netted and ready for picking. They probably won't get as big as the ones in the store but they're sweeter.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I was talking with one of my neighbors today and got an update on how his garden was faring.
Most of his crop died... That isn't surprising but at least it wasn't all of it. His okra for instance did pretty well. Okra is of course the original main ingredient for gumbo, the word coming from the french word for okra. His cherry tomatoes also survived and produced some. My one tomato plant hasn't made a tomato yet but also isn't very big.
unlike his melons, mine are doing well and will hopefully ripen soon before the weather changes again. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In the Last Year

I was looking back at the posts from last year around this time to see what was up then.
This year I'm way too booked to attempt to go to the plant swap again. I haven't even checked to see when or if it is happening, just too much going on.
Some of the plants that I had posted have various updates. The lemon tree is still growing though unfortunately it hasn't produced any lemons yet.
The key lime trees are all dead. This is most definitely due to the fact that none of them ever got transplanted or watered regularly. The only exception to this may be the one I gave my brother. He waters much more consistantly at times than I do.
The kaffir lime on the other hand started in a bigger pot and is doing fine. I have used it several times in cooking and it just grows more leaves for me.
The agave plant shown with the spider in it has nearly doubled in size since last year and I really need to remove the smaller one and put it somewhere it can grow better.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Yet?

They said it would get cooler yesterday.
Then they said it woud be cooler today.
Then I stopped listening to them and just waited like everyone else.
Granted, it was a little cooler today. I stayed in the truck more with the AC running. I've been out doing surveying work. The worst part is the mosquitos atacking. As I was swatting them away from my head with one hand and a hat, I failed to notice my other hand. By the time I looked down there were nearly a dozen on the one hand alone, not to mention my jeans where they couldn't get to me anyway. I smacked them off and red smears were left.
All things said though, it is a little cooler. Not as much as I would like just yet but it'll be here soon enough.
We'll be cruising out of Baltimore November 4th. Then I may just be thinking why I wanted the cool weather to come so soon.
The cantaloupe is still growing. It's been netted for some time now and just hasn't ripened. So far I haven't found a reason for this. In the mean time I guess I'll keep it watered and fed.
The cooler weather has done wonders for the weeds in the yard too. I pulled out a bunch of them recently just to have them replaced with a new batch.