Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Sprouts

We planted the back beds almost two weeks ago and already have quite a bit coming up.  Fortunately it rained while we were out of town and kept everything moist.
The chicken wire has effectively kept the cats out of the dirt.  They really don't like leaving things on top of the ground so when they realized they couldn't bury their oh so unwanted gifts they stopped leaving them.  The bean sprout is one of the more obvious ones since you can see the bean split on the plant.

The larger green sprouts are the beets and the smaller ones are the radishes.  The spiky sandy shoots are from the potatoes but won't make anything edible for a while whereas the beets and radishes could be eaten rather soon.
There are also some beets on the side of the house that are further along and could be used in a salad or possibly pulled and cooked.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Southern Flowers: Calla Lily

Calla lilies are a standard florist shops around the country but are easily grown in the south. We went to my grandparent's house in southwest Louisiana and on the north side of the house were some lovely callas  growing in a group.  My wife had to take pictures which came out lovely.
I've seen callas but these were twice the size I've seen from any florist.  This is of course one of the better times to find them fresh which is why you will often see them in spring arrangements.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snow Peas in the Spring

The snow peas are still growing and have picked up a little but still no flowers.  It may be too late for them to really make any significant beans.  The water coming out of the hose is still ice cold though and may fool the plants into thinking winter is still here and help them produce a little but the warmer temperatures will more likely keep it from doing much.  Summer will be here before you know it and the best I can hope for then is to keep them alive until cooler weather can help them along again.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Raised Beds in the Garden

We've been working for a few days now geting the raised beds ready for planting. We've removed most of the grass from the tiled area and entirely replaced the wood on the back bed.  The weather and bugs had reduced the wood to pulp and a few splinters.  the middle bed needs a little repair but will last the season and can be replaced next year or maybe in the fall.

After replacing the wood on the last bed we also  put chicken wire over the top to make it less desireable for the local cat population since newly tilled soil, especially soil that is still that sandy is often seen as a large litter box.  After we put down the wire we began planting sandy loving seeds and starters, mainly in the onion family.
We planted a whole corner with garlic from a few bulbs we  had lying around that were neededing to be replaced anyway.  We also planted onion seeds in about half of it.
Potatoes are also good in a sandy soil although they need more room. We planted a few in the back of the back bed and will see how they do.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Planting for Spring

Spring has sprung even if the plant store is a little more wary. We've already got plants in the ground and seeds from last year are already popping up and saying hi.

Among the returnnig plants are the dill, which has come up in a carpet in the area it was in last year and is already attracting the black swallow tail butterflies, and the cilantro or chinese parsley, which again doesn't want to grow in the planting beds but likes to stretch out and grow in the rocks.  I think this is partly due to the birds eating most of the seed they can see on the dirt and when they're in the rocks it's harder for the birds to get to them and swallow them up.

From the plants that come back from the root we have the purple cone flower, hollyhock, a wide variety of iris, daylily, ferns, a basil plant that just didn't want to die, lemongrass, fennel, and onion.

The survivors who stayed green and happy all winter were oregano, thyme, lavender, green onion, rosemary, the monster beet, and of course the live oak.

We've planted seeds, starting from north to south, for corn, bush beans, beets, carrots, onion, and radishes.

Plants we've put in as plants are tomato, thyme, and rue (near our rose bush out front).  So far everything seems to be acclimating well.  the tomatoes, which usually droop a little at first, never even tipped a leaf.  We actually planted two thyme plants, a lemon thyme next to the one that's finally acclimating well and a yellow leaf thyme out near the fennel.