Summer 2010 Post Garden Update

My summer garden had some carry over plants from my Spring 2010 garden. However, I think most gardeners have gardens that carry over by choice and some due to being busy or awaiting for more harvest.

I had the following plants growing in my large garden:

– African marigolds (both yellow and orange) from the discount racks of Lowes. I hoped the marigolds would help me keep some pests at bay. However, one of the four plants were eaten, but I am  not sure by what? I am guessing a possum. Any ideas?

– Yellow onions (from Lowes) – The onions did not produce round bulbs, but I use the bottom tips and the onion tops . I use the onions in salads, stir fry, salsa and pasta.

– Purple onions (from Lowes) – Like the yellow onions, they are not producing round bulbs, but I use the bottom tips and the onion tops . I use the onions in salads.

– Three tomato plants. Please see the tomato post.

– Three varieties of bush snap beans. This was my first time planting bush snap beans. So far, I had OK success with growing bush snap beans, which is typically an easy vegetable to grow. I planted the beans during different times and planted different varieties with the hopes to have a prolonged harvest. I tried my hand at Burpee Blue Lake Bush Snap Beans, Ferry Morse’s Derby Bush Snap Beans and Ferry Morse’s Contender Bush Snap Beans. It appeared the Ferry Morse’s Contender Bush Snap Beans did the best out of all of the snap beans planted. Ferry Morse’s Derby Bush Snap Beans did not do as well for me. Did anyone else have this issue with this bean variety? I would like to hear your thoughts.

– Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans (Burpee) was the only pole bean plant I planted this summer. I had a lot of success last summer/fall with this bean variety and I knew it would not disappoint. The plants did not grow as well as they were planted near some tomatoes, which I later learned were not companion plants. I will keep this in mind for the next time I plant them.

– Jalapeno plants (4 total from Red Barn Nursery) The jalapeno plants were high producers and I removed the last I had left on the plant before the Thanksgiving holiday.  I provided several to family, friends and co-workers.

– Bella Bell Pepper Plant (Discount rack from Lowes) I planted this pepper plant late (around early May) and it grew  considerably. After a month, I learned I did not receive a Bella Bell Pepper plant, but it appeared to turn out to be a habanero plant. 😦 My husband used the chilies to make a chili sauce.

– Unknown Pepper Plant (My husband had planted various pepper seeds and one of the plants is in the garden as an experiment). The plant produced some small sized peppers.

– Black Beauty Zucchini (Ferry Morse) I planted two plants in my garden. One was a transplant from a seed I planted to give the plant a head start and to extend my harvesting period and the second plant as a seed planted into the ground. Unfortunately, both plants died.

– Grey Zucchini (Ferry Morse). I plant this zucchini variety in late Spring and late Summer and I did not have success with this variety. It appears this variety does not do well with the high heat of the summer and I may have had some squash borers.

–Fordhook Zucchini (Burpee) I plant two plants in my garden. This plant produced some flowers, but both plants died, which I believe was due to squash borers.

– Early Prolific Straight Neck Yellow Squash (Burpee). This plant produced some flowers, but both plants died, which I believe was due to squash borers. I am disappointed with this plant as I had a lot of luck with it last year.

Here are some pictures I have taken from their progression:

Assorted Vegetable Seeds_III

Assorted Vegetable Seeds_III

Bush Snap Bean Seeds

Bush Snap Bean Seeds

Onion Bulbs

Onion Bulbs

Large Garden_Before Planting Sq ft Grid

Large Garden_Before Planting Sq ft Grid

Full View of Large Garden_Before Planting Sq ft Grid

Full View of Large Garden_Before Planting Sq ft Grid

Bush Snap Beans are sprouting

Bush Snap Beans are sprouting

Onion Planting in the large garden

Onion Planting in the large garden

Planting peppers in the large garden

Planting peppers in the large garden

Planting pole beans

Planting pole beans

New Planting of Squash & Zucchini Seeds

New Planting of Squash & Zucchini Seeds

Late Spring State of the Large Garden

Late Spring State of the Large Garden

Large Marigold Plant

Large Marigold Plant

Happy Gardening.

-Sandra

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New Backyard Flower Bed

My husband and I have been busy with gardening and landscaping work over the last few months. However, our most recent project included establishing a flower bed in our backyard. Unfortunately our backyard has many challenges, such as limited grass, many bare spots, high sun exposure, slight run off area when it rains, and weeds (both high and low varieties). In the future we are looking to put in a walk pathway, but in the meantime we did not want to plant grass or do much until the walk pathway has been laid down. So, we decided to add a flower beds to help define the area better and cover more space and to minimize the weeds.

The flower bed is set along side of the house that faces the Southwest side and receives high sun and heat for over 6 hours each day. We choose to plant native perennial plants to help conserve water and provide much needed color for the backyard. All of the plants were purchased at Home Depot, when they had their 5 for $10.00 perennial sale.

The following plants were planted in the flower bed along side of the house:

– Two Lavender plants

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/Lavendula.htm

– Two Autumn Red Sage plants

http://www.azarboretum.org/plantlist/autumnsage.htm

– Two Mealy Blue Salvia

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=safa2

– Two Bluehill Salvia

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/84778/

– Lipstick Saliva

http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/03202.html

Here are some pictures from the progression of this flower bed:

 

Native Flower Bed-Removal of Grass

Native Flower Bed-Removal of Grass

Native Flower Bed-Borders

Native Flower Bed-Borders

Native Flower Bed_-New Home

Native Flower Bed_-New Home

Native Flower Bed-Autumn Sage Saliva

Native Flower Bed-Autumn Sage Saliva

Native Flower Bed-Garden Bed Prep

Native Flower Bed-Garden Bed Prep

Native Flower Bed-Lining up the plants

Native Flower Bed-Lining up the plants

New Native Flower Bed_Decision made on plant location(s)

New Native Flower Bed_Decision made on plant location(s)

 

I am happy to report the plants have survived the summer and are still blooming.

Happy Gardening.

-Sandra

 

I know, it’s been awhile….

It has been several months since I have posted to my blog. Please see some blog posts that I will be posting soon of past and current activity in the garden.

Happy Gardening!

– Sandra

Passion Vine Plant

When my husband and I bought our home over a year ago, a beautiful passion vine plant was planted in the back yard by the previous owner(s) of the house. We enjoy the passion vine plant as it produces an abundant of purple flowers from Spring to Fall. Also, the plant attracts swarms of caterpillars that eventually turn into Monarch butterflies. It is not uncommon for our backyard to be covered with many butterflies flying around from early Spring to late Fall. We have many Passion Vine plants that sprout up in various sections in our  backyard. Most recently, my husband built a wooden trellis around our air conditioning unit, so the Passion Vine plant would not grip around our air conditioning unit causing potential harm to the unit.

Here are some pictures of the Passion Vine plant(s):

Passion Vine on the trellis

Passion Vine on the trellis

Passion Vine Plant

Passion Vine Plant

Passion Vine in the Spring

Passion Vine in the Spring

Here is more information about the Passion Vine plant:

http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/passion_vine_8-8-08.htm

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Update on the Blueberry Plants

Within the last day or two, I notice my two blueberry plants have dark-colored spots on their leaves. This is my first time to grow blueberry plants, so I am not familiar with all the possible blueberry related diseases. If you are familiar with this discoloration on the leaves of my blueberry plant and what I can do to treat it, I would appreciate any feedback you can offer.

Here is a picture:

Blueberry Plant Disease

Blueberry Plant Disease

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Blueberry Plant Update

Currently, I have two blueberry bushes. When I first bought the plants I thought it was important to buy two separate varieties to find which plant will produce more fruit. I bought a Britewell and a Premier blueberry plant from Lowes when they had their plants at half off late last year.  The plants were lanky and had few leaves. I know you may be asking yourself, then why would she buy these plants when they seem a bit sickly?

Well….looks can be very deceiving. Both of my blueberry bushes have small cluster of blueberries that are slowly ripping on the plant. I hope to be able to enjoy some blueberries soon. I have read that blueberry plants usually do not produce blueberries their first year, so I am pleased with their progress. Presently, I have the plants under an oak tree where they receive part sun and part shade and are along side the Latham raspberry plan. To help promote their growth, I give my blueberry plants with coffee grounds and coffee now and then as they love the acid from coffee.

Here are some pictures of the progression of my blueberry plants since purchase.

Blueberry Plants_Future Home

Blueberry Plants_Future Home

Blueberry Plants_After purchase

Blueberry Plants_After purchase

The blueberries are coming out from hibernation. Woo Hoo!

Blueberry Plants_Blueberries are forming

Blueberry Plants_Blueberries are forming

Blueberry Plants_Today

Blueberry Plants_Today

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Tomato Plants

I believe it was early March when I picked up some tomatoes at the Sunshine Community Gardens Annual Spring plant sale. They have a great assortment of tomato, pepper and herb plants for sale. I planted three tomato plants in full sun in a larger garden and I planted three tomato plants in a smaller garden with more shade. The tomato plants that were planted in full sun are very healthy, but the tomato plants in the smaller garden are putt-putt – ing along.

Here is a link to their site: http://www.sunshinecommunitygardens.org/

I picked up the following tomato plants:

– Cherokee Purple

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_purple

– Aunt Ruby German Green

http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Aunt_Ruby’s_German_Green

– San Marzano, Italian Heirloom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marzano_tomato

– Pomodoro,  Italian Heirloom **Currently has one tomato

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pomodoro

– Grappoli Corbarino, Italian Heirloom

http://myfolia.com/plants/10-tomato-lycopersicon-lycopersicum/varieties/11398-a-grappoli-corbarino

– Costluto Genovese

http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Costoluto_Genovese_Tomato

Also, I tried to plant tomato seeds this winter in hopes of some tomatoes to come from seed. This was more of an experiment for me as a novice gardener to find if it is possible to have tomatoes from seeds.

– Early Girl Tomato (from Ferry Morse)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Girl

– Juliet (from Ferry Morse)

http://www.reimerseeds.com/juliet-tomato.aspx

– Celebrity Tomato (from Lowes clearance rack) ***Currently has one tomato

I know I planted the tomato plants late, which I expect to have a late harvest. The tomato plants have grown considerably due to the recent rains.

Here are some pictures of the tomato plants.

Assorted Tomatoes from Sunshine Community Gardens

Assorted Tomatoes from Sunshine Community Gardens

Planting tomatoe seeds

Planting tomato seeds

Planting tomatoes in the small garden

Planting tomatoes in the small garden

Planting tomatoes in large garden

Planting tomatoes in large garden

Early Girl tomatoe being attacked

Early Girl tomato being attacked

Early Girl Tomatoe from Seed

Early Girl tomato from Seed

Juliet Tomatoe Plant from Seed

Juliet tomato Plant from Seed

Planting Italian Heirloom Tomatoe in the large garden

Planting Italian Heirloom tomato in the large garden

Planting Italian Heirloom Tomatoe in the large garden_II

Planting Italian Heirloom tomato in the large garden_II

Roma Tomatoe from seed

Roma tomato from seed

Happy  Gardening from Sandra

Drum Roll…The Landscape Project is Completed!

My husband has worked over 2 months on our walk pathway landscape project and he put the finishing touches on this weekend. Here are some pictures of what the completed project looks like today. We are dreaming up ideas for the next landscape project, stay tuned…

Final Landscape_May 2010_IV

Final Landscape_May 2010_IV

Final Landscape_May 2010_V

Final Landscape_May 2010_V

Final Landscape_May 2010_VI

Final Landscape_May 2010_VI

Final Landscape_May 2010_VIII

Final Landscape_May 2010_VIII

Final Landscape_May 2010_VIV

Final Landscape_May 2010_VIV

Final Landscape_May 2010_X

Final Landscape_May 2010_X

Final Landscape_May 2010_XI

Final Landscape_May 2010_XI

Final Landscape_May 2010_XII

Final Landscape_May 2010_XII

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Wildflowers in Bloom…

I wanted to take some snapshots of some wildflowers that are in my yard before they retreat. There are some wildflowers that I am not familiar with their names, but I have included there pictures as well. If you know the names of this wildflower, I appreciate you replying to this blog. 

Texas Blue Bonnet 

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Bluebonnets

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Bluebonnets

 

Herbertia & Clover 

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Herbertia & Clover

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Herbertia & Clover

 

Unknown Violet Flower 

Wildflower_Spring 2010_Unknown Violet Flower

Wildflower_Spring 2010_Unknown Violet Flower

 

Sisyrinchium, Blue Eyed Grass 

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Sisyrinchium, Blue Eyed Grass

Wildflowers_Spring 2010_Sisyrinchium, Blue Eyed Grass

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Update-Latham Raspberry Bush

Currently, I have one Latham Raspberry bush. When I first bought it looked no more than a bumpy stick. I thought to myself, how is this raspberry stick going to produce some edible raspberries by early summer? Well….looks can be very deceiving. My raspberry bush has a cluster of raspberries growing and I hope able to enjoy some raspberries soon.

Here are some pictures of the progression of the Latham Raspberry stick, I mean berry plant.

Here is a picture where the new home will be:

Latham Raspberry Bush_Future Home

Latham Raspberry Bush_Future Home

Here is a picture once the stick, I mean the berry plant was transplanted to give off the future berries I will grave.

Latham Raspberry Bush_Settling in to new home

Latham Raspberry Bush_Settling in to new home

 

Winterizing the berry plant, along with the small garden.

Latham Raspberry Bush_Making it through the winter

Latham Raspberry Bush_Making it through the winter

Here are the first signs of life from the stick, I mean berry plant I bought. 🙂

Latham Raspberry Bush_First signs of life

Latham Raspberry Bush_First signs of life

I see flowers…Go Berry Go!

Latham Raspberry Bush_I see flowers

Latham Raspberry Bush_I see flowers

The first berries have come up…Woo Hoo!

Latham Raspberry Bush_First signs of berries

Latham Raspberry Bush_First signs of berries

 

I am starting to see signs of pink.

Latham Raspberry Bush_Turning Pink

Latham Raspberry Bush_Turning Pink

 

Here is a picture of what the berry plant is doing today:

Latham Raspberry Bush_Will need to resist not to pluck soon

Latham Raspberry Bush_Will need to resist not to pluck soon

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Compost has taken on a new meaning…

Several months ago, my husband built me a dual compost bin so that we can create our own compost for our gardens. However, several weeks ago we threw some potato peels into the compost thinking it would be ok. However, now it seems we are growing potatoes in one side of our bin. Go figure…Lesson learned….

Compost_4-17-10

Compost_4-17-10

Compost_4-25-10

Compost_4-25-10

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Update on the Landscape Project – 85% Completed!

As you may be aware, my husband and I are undertaking a large landscape project that I am happy to report is almost finish. The project is about 85% completed and with one more weekend, we expect that we will be done. YEAH!

My husband has been a busy bee on the weekend and has gotten to know the guys quite well at our local stone supply place. He frequents the local stone supply place with his workhorse small truck that has traveled heavy loads of rocks that are probably more than what the truck should withstand. I would like to share some pictures with you on the further progress that has  been made.

Here are some before pictures that show the project in progress:

Landscape Project_Apr 25_I

Landscape Project_Apr 25_I

 

Landscape Project_Apr 25_II

Landscape Project_Apr 25_II

 

Landscape Project_Apr 25_III

Landscape Project_Apr 25_III

 

Landscape Project_Apr 25_IV

Landscape Project_Apr 25_IV

 

Here are some pictures of a completed section of the project that was done this past weekend:

Landscape Project_Apr 25_V

Landscape Project_Apr 25_V

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VI

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VI

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VII

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VII

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VIII

Landscape Project_Apr 25_VIII

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Update-Pampered Office Plants….Now Greenbeans!

As you may have read from an earlier post, my husband has done some gardening himself. He has about 2 to 3 pepper plants that he cares of in his office. In addition, he included carrying for a green bean plant as well. We were able to harvest some of his pepper plants recently from the office. We brought home 2 to 3 small orange pepper plants and one larger red bell pepper plants from the office that were able to enjoy in a dinner salad last week.

Here are some pictures of the pepper plants before and after the harvest.

Pampered Pepper Plants_I

Pampered Pepper Plants_I

 

Pampered Pepper Plants_II

Pampered Pepper Plants_II

 

Pampered Pepper Plants_III

Pampered Pepper Plants_III

 

Pampered Pepper Plants_V

Pampered Pepper Plants_V

 
Here are some green bean plants that is a new addition to the office.
Pampered Greanbean Plant_I

Pampered Green bean Plant_I

 
Pampered Greanbean Plant_II

Pampered Green Bean Plant_II

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Update-Current Landscape Project

The landscape is coming along nicely despite the recent rain and an out-of-town trip over Easter weekend…

There has been steady work on the project since the start of the project less than a month ago. The project is about 70% completed. YEAH!

My husband has done an outstanding job and is the brain child of this project. I have some more pictures I would like to share with the gardening community. I hope this project inspires you to consider your landscape project(s) to do.

You will notice some new flower beds that were put in before the start of the landscape project. The flower bed has native hardy plants for this area as this section faces the southwest side of our home. We have planted Salvia, Blackfoot daisies, Lantana and liporie.

Here are some before pictures of a start from a new section of the landscape project:

Landscape Project_April 2010_I

Landscape Project_April 2010_I

 

Landscape Project_April 2010_II

Landscape Project_April 2010_II

 
Landscape Project_April 2010_III

Landscape Project_April 2010_III

 
Here are some pictures from the most recent section my husband completed.
 
Landscape Project_April 2010_III

Landscape Project_April 2010_IV

 
Landscape Project_April 2010_V

Landscape Project_April 2010_V

 
Landscape Project_April 2010_VI

Landscape Project_April 2010_VI

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Current Landscape Project Underway…

It has been a busy couple of weeks for me and my husband. My husband had the inspiration to create a walkway that would be functional and sets the tone for future long-term landscape plans.

The plot started out as a weed infested area in our yard that gets a beating during the summer due to the site facing the Southwest. Needless to say, this produced few options for us to decide what to do with the space. Then… the idea came to my husband to create a walkway that would allow us to have a functional space to get from one side of the yard to the other as there is somewhat of a decline in the walking space area.

Here are some before pictures before the start of the new walkway landscape project:

Assortment of rocks

Assortment of rocks

Assortment of river rocks

Assortment of river rocks

New flower bed along the walkway

New flower bed along the walkway

Weed fabric used to start the new walkway

Weed fabric used to start the new walkway

Drum roll….please…..Here are some pictures of one part of the finished new walkway….

Finished Walkway_I

Finished Walkway_I

Finished Walkway_II

Finished Walkway_II

Finished Walkway_III

Finished Walkway_III

Finished Walkway_IV

Finished Walkway_IV

Finished Walkway_V

Finished Walkway_V

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Pampered Office Peppers

I am not the only person in our household that likes to garden. My husband often likes to experiment planting seeds from left over grocery pepper seeds. There are plenty of times after cutting up peppers for dinner that my husband will dry out the seeds and plant them. Often times store-bought vegetables using their seeds are not the best to use for planting. However, with the experience my husband has had thus far, the plants will grow well but the fruit on the plant is much smaller. Then again, we all know that growing vegetables is not  about the result of eating the vegetable, but the journey to get there.

Needless to say, my husband’s pepper plants at work are very pampered in an air-conditioned and/or heated environment, plenty of sunlight from a large southwest facing window and watering on a regular basis. The plants have attracted the attention of his co-workers who enjoy watching the plants grow too.

Here are some pictures below:

Office Peppers

Office Peppers

Office Pepper_II

Office Pepper_II

Office Peppers_III

Office Peppers_III

Office Peppers_IV

Office Peppers_IV

Office Peppers_V

Office Peppers_V

Office Peppers_VI

Office Peppers_VI

Office Peppers_VII

Office Peppers_VII

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Jasmine Vine in Bloom

After the rains and some sunshine, my Jasmine vine took off. Here is a picture of my vine that has full of blooms. I am  happy to report the vine is still blooming and I hope it does so for some time. Jasmine vine is a new plant to me, so I was pleasantly surprised to see so many blooms.

Jasmine Vine in Bloom

Jasmine Vine in Bloom

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Spring Tulips

Almost a month ago, I purchased some red tulips that I could not resist after I saw them. I planted the tulips in some planters in an area where I like to sit outside. Unfortunately with the winds from last week, most of the tulip flowers have blown away. However, here is a picture before they bloomed. What is your experience planting tulips in the Austin area?

Red Tulips

Red Tulips

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Tomatoe Planting Soon…

After purchasing a variety of tomato plants from Sunshine Community Gardens last month, I am in the process of amending the soil for their new home. I have loosen the soil, added some compost and some well-rotted manure to set. When I plant the tomato plants, I will be adding some worm castings to help give the plants a good start to their new home. I will be planting the tomatoes in my large garden along the southwest side, which should offer plenty of sunlight.

Here are some of the heirloom tomato plants:

Cherokee Purple

Aunt Ruby German Green (2)

Juliet

Persimmon

San Marzano

Sicilian

Tomato Planting

Tomato Planting

I have also started some tomato plants from seeds that I hope to plant out in my small garden in the next month or so. The tomato seeds are Roma, Early Girl and Cherry tomato variety. I will keep the blog posted on their progress.

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Visiting Sunshine Community Gardens Today

This morning I will be visiting Sunshine Community Gardens today for their annual plant sale from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. This is my first time attending this gardening event, so I am looking forward to it. I hope to bring back some interesting tomato plant varieties to try in my garden this spring and summer. I hope you can make it out. Here is a link to read up on the plant sale today.

http://www.sunshinecommunitygardens.org/plantsale.html

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Finally…Able to harvest some spinach

I am so happy I was able to harvest some spinach leaves last weekend. I had planted some spinach seeds around August/September of last year, then transplanted the spinach plants into my smaller garden at the end of October to early November. I had some challenges as I had some insects nippling on the plants. Due to the colder weather, I had to winterize my gardens, which I covered with protective coverings. However, when it was time to  lift the protective coverings, I discovered several healthy spinach plants to harvest their leaves. Woo Hoo!

Here is a before picture of some spinach leaves I had harvested from my garden.

1st Spinach Harvest

1st Spinach Harvest

 

Here is an after harvest picture of some spinach leaves I had harvested from my garden.

1st Spinach Harvest_On the table

1st Spinach Harvest_On the table

I think I would have had better luck with another spinach vendor and type. The pictures shown were from Burpee’s Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach seeds. I conducted a test and planted two separate spinach seeds (i.e., one from Burpee’s Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach and one from Ferry Moorse Teton Hybrid spinach) on the same day and the Teton Hybrid spinach seeds sprouted sooner and appeared to be a stronger plant then the Bloomsdale Long Standing plant. I have multiple leaves on the Teton Hybrid spinach plant, than the one leaf on the Bloomsdale Long Standing plant. Going forward, I will not be planting Burpee’s Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach seeds.

What has been your experience and/or your favorite spinach seeds to plant?

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

New Seed Planting – February 15th

I am a bit behind in my blog posts, but I hope to catch up today. Last weekend was a productive gardening time for me. I planted various seeds at my parent’s place where my husband and I use one of four planting plots along with two raised gardens we have at our home. I planted kohl rabi, spinach, garden peas and brocoli seeds. I will keep these plants at my parent’s place until it is time to transplant them into the planting plot, which will be their last home. My husband planted some seeded potatoes.

Also, over the long weekend for me at least, I planted various seeds that will be transplanted into both my large and small raised garden(s). I planted romaine lettuce, spinach, collard, marigolds (to help combat against some garden insects), and arugula (this is my first time).

Here is a picture of the seed packets I planted:

New Seed Planting_2-15-10

New Seed Planting_2-15-10

 

Here is a picture of the new seed home until transplanting time:

New Seed Home_2-15-10

New Seed Home_2-15-10

I used some recycled yogurt cups, wooden popsicle sticks (from my parents) and my version of Mel’s soil mix (i.e., peat moss, compost and vermucilite) to plant the seeds. I will keep the blog posted on their progress.

Also, I planted six square foot garden plots worth of both yellow and purple onion(s). I will continue to stagger my onion planting, so that I can hopefully have onions well into the fall.

Here is a picture I have posted before of the onions I planted last weekend.

Onion Planting

Onion Planting

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Safe and at home

Today, you may have heard what had happened in Austin, Texas. There was a plane crash that hit a building which injured some people, but the scene could have been much worse. I want to communicate to family, friends and my blog followers that my family and I are safe. Looking forward to a weekend of gardening.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Free Gardening Classes at Red Barn Garden Center

I learned this morning that Red Barn Garden Center in Northwest Austin is hosting free gardening classes. However, seating is limited and it is important to call to reserve your spot. Here is a list of free classes offered:

Gardening Classes—It’s FREE!

Where: Red Barn
When: Sundays at 2:00 p.m., February 14 – April 25
Hosted by: Red Barn Landscaping Dept.
Instructor: C.J. Brehm-Stern, Landscape Designer

2/14

Lunar Amore

   

2/21

Kid Veggie Patch

   

2/28

Organic for the Yard

   

3/7

Deer You Can’t Shoot Them

   

3/14

Eatable Landscaping

   

3/21

Water Wise Landscaping

   

3/28

Rain Harvesting

   

4/4

Composting Saves You Money

   

4/11

Creating a Garden Room

   

4/18

Greenest Grass in Town

   

4/25

Color Bowls & Baskets

Seating Is Limited—Call Now to Reserve!

(512) 335-8093 OR (512) 848-8519

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Yeah, its raining again in Austin…

I am still so tinkled pink that it is raining in Austin. However, I have to admit I was wishing for some wintery weather so I can stay home from work.

I am happy to see our lake levels are arising and the rain is great for my recent onion sets I planted last weekend. I plan to plant more items this weekend.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Update on the citrus trees

Due to the unpredictable weather this time of year, all of my citrus trees are inside the garage and doing well. I may lose one to two leaves, but overall I am getting new buds and some buds are flowering.

Right now, it seems the Satsuma orange tree is just hanging out until the weather turns warmer; however, the Pamelo grapefruit tree is starting to produce some buds and the Meyer lemon tree is producing flowers. You can see some pictures below.

New Grapefruit Buds

New Grapefruit Buds

New Lemon Tree Flowers

New Lemon Tree Flowers

 

Happy gardening from Sandra.

Today, a great day to garden…

I was a busy bee in my garden today. I planted some seedlings (i.e., various tomato,  pepper, eggplant seeds and scallion onions seeds) and red and yellow onion sets. Finally, I planted a grape plant.

I wanted to try various tomato and pepper plants for the first time to see which type of plants do well and those that I would enjoy planting again. I think the best way to carry out this task was to try different plants as some may do well due to weather, space place and many other determinants. 

For tomato seeds, I planted two types of Roma tomatoes, juliet hybrid (i.e., cherry tomato) and an Early Girl Hybrid tomato seed. I decided to plant two types of Roma tomatoes to see which variety will do best and decide which type I may want to plant year over year. This is my first time planting these varieties, any suggestions?

New Tomato Seedling

New Tomato Seedling

For pepper seeds, I planted red/green bell pepper (i.e., California Wonder), Serrano jalapeño pepper and poblano pepper. I wanted to try different varieties, so that I can make various items that call for these different pepper varieties. I am looking forward to trying the bell peppers on the grill; trying the Serrano jalapeño peppers in chicken tortilla soup or salsa; and, poblano pepper for making Chile renellos. I will keep the blog posted on their progress. This is my first time planting these varieties, any suggestions?

New Pepper Seedlings

New Pepper Seedlings

I planted scallion onions for the second time. I planted the bunching white onions. I did not  have much luck when I planted them in the summer of 2009. I hope I have better luck this time. Any ideas and/or feedback you can give for a successful harvest of scallion onions?

Onion Planting

Onion Planting

For onion sets, I planted both a yellow and red onion set(s) (i.e., sets I bought from Lowes) today in my large raised garden that has been plant free for almost two months. I plan to plant both the yellow and red onions sets every two weeks or so until the end of March. I want to make sure I have continuous harvest from late summer into the fall. If you have planted these varieties before, let me know what your experience has been?

Onion Planting_II

Onion Planting_II

I decided to try my hand at planting eggplant for the first time from seeds. There is plenty of literature that recommend planting eggplant from transplants as a preferred way. However, I have a great time watching seeds grow that I would like to give the eggplant seeds a try and see what happens. I planted Black Beauty eggplant.

Eggplant Seedling

Eggplant Seedling

Finally, I planted a Thompson seedless white grape plant today. I purchased the plant at Lowes as I was unsure how it will do and I did not want to pay a lot for a plant I have no earlier experience planting and harvesting. I will keep the blog posted on my progress. If you have planted this variety before, let me know what your experience has been?

New Grape Plant

New Grape Plant

Finally, here are some pictures of where some of the seedlings will call home until planted into either the small or large raised garden. Pictures also include where some of the yellow and red onion sets have been planted.

Starter Home for Pepper & Tomato & Eggplant Seedlings

Starter Home for Pepper & Tomato & Eggplant Seedlings

Purple Onion Home

Purple Onion Home

 
Yellow Onion Home

Yellow Onion Home

I keep the blog posted on my progress with the seedlings, onion sets, bunching onions, and grape plant I planted today.

In the meantime, here is a picture of some onions I planted mid Fall, it is my hope that the plants will be able to harvest around spring to early summer.

1st Onion Planting

1st Onion Planting

I hope your gardening today was as productive as mine. I wanted to take advantage of the great weather in Austin.

Happy Gardening from Sandra…

Request for Information – Ginger Root?

I would like to throw a question out to the gardening community. Does anyone know the best way to plant and harvest ginger root? I would like to have some in my garden. All ideas welcomed.  Thank you in advance for your reply.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Yeah, it’s raining…

I know there are many people in Austin who are not happy to see the continuous rain coming down. However, I have to say personally for myself, I’m tinkled pink as Austin needs the rain to fill our lakes. Also, the rain is the best to get a garden kick started back to life. I just wish I knew we were getting all of this rain as I would have started to put seeds into the ground. However, I have several seeds growing in small containers. This weekend between rain spells I plan to put some seeds into my large garden and begin planting my onion sets. I hope to have some pictures soon on the progress of my garden.

I hope you are enjoying the rain too.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Explosive seedling growth

Over the month of January, I have planted various seeds to get a jump on my spring garden. I have some seeds that I planted on the first of January that have not sprouted yet and others each week there after.

The first day of January, I planted cowpea, two variety of bush beans and two pea varieties. The cowpea , sugar snap peas and bush bean varieties have not even poked through the soil yet. I am wondering if I may have planted them to early. However, one of my garden peas has shot up like a rocket. See the picture(s) below….

January 1st - Seedlings

January 1st - Seedlings

 

Then on January 8th and January 18th, I planted more seedlings, which included romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, beets and etc… Here is how they are looking today…

January 8th - Seedlings

January 8th - Seedlings

 

January 18th - Seedling

January 18th - Seedling

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

KLBJ Weekend Gardening Shows

On the weekends, I often like to listen to KLBJ 590 AM weekend gardening shows with Tom Spencer and John Dromgole from 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. I listen for gardening ideas and gardening advice, which has helped me become a better novice gardener. Presently, KLBJ is not podcasting the weekend gardening shows on their website that  listened to later when time is more readily available and/or if someone happens to be out of town and misses the shows. If you enjoy listening to the weekend gardening shows on KLBJ and/or had not heard the shows before. I encourage you to post a comment to ask  the weekend gardening shows to be can be podcast  for your and other people’s listening pleasure. If you are interested in posting a comment to KLBJ, you can do so at this link:

http://www.590klbj.com/podcast/index.aspx

Hopefully, with enough encouragement, KLBJ will podcast the weekend gardening shows, so that they will be accessible to everyone at anytime of the day. Please feel free to send this post on to others who may have an interest in having the weekend gardening shows podcast on KLBJ.

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Bundling up the garden against the cold

Colder weather has descended upon Austin recently and I have done my best to keep my plants protected. My husband and I moved the citrus plants back into the garage for safe keeping. In addition, I have placed coverings over my smaller raised garden which is now filled with onions, beets, carrots, radishes and has various plant around the garden to make it easier to keep all plants protected. 

Here is a picture of the small raised garden with a protective covering:

Small Garden Protection

Small Garden Protection

I am also growing strawberries in four containers to set up my own mobile strawberry patch. I am protecting my strawberry plants with a protective covering just to make sure my strawberries make it through the cold patches Austin is experiencing.

Here is a picture of my protected mobile strawberry patch:

Strawberry Mobile Container Patch

Strawberry Mobile Container Patch

My berry plants are hanging in through the cold weather. However, I have some concerns that my blackberry plants are loosing some leaves. I am hoping this may be part of the ebb and flow of its growth.

Here is the current state of my berry plants:

Berry Plants on 1-30-10

Berry Plants on 1-30-10

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Square Foot Garden Grid

My husband and I went to Lowes last weekend to get items to create a grid for our large raised garden. My husband built the square foot garden grid with PVC pipes, nylon netting twine and cooper pipes. The large raised garden will be sectioned off by two 5 x 5 foot grids, which can accomodate up to 25 squares for each grid. There now is no plants in the large raised garden as my plan is to grow seeds to become transplants.

Here are some pictures from the large raised garden – Square Foot Gardening Grid:

Square Foot Garden Grid_I

Square Foot Garden Grid_I

 

Square Foot Garden Grid_II

Square Foot Garden Grid_II

 

Square Foot Garden Grid_III

Square Foot Garden Grid_III

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Square Foot Gardening

Almost four months ago, a coworker shared with me, Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening book from 1981 and recently I had purchased a recent book Mr. Bartholomew had published titled, “All New Square Foot Gardening – Grow More in Less Space.” I have enjoy Mel’s new book is layed out simply and only includes information that is pertinent without all the extras that are not as important to new and experienced gardeners. Mel originally designed the book for experience gardeners, but it seems that novice gardeners like myself have taken to his book.

Here is a picture of the books I have read by Mel:

Square Foot Gardening Books

Square Foot Gardening Books

Here are some pictures of my sprouting seedlings. You will need to look close to see them.

Sprouting Seedlings_I

Sprouting Seedlings_I

Sprouting Seedlings_II

Sprouting Seedlings_II

Sprouting Seedlings_III

Sprouting Seedlings_III

 

Since reading Mel’s book, I have started my new seedlings for my spring garden based upon the Mel Mix (i.e., Peat Moss Humus, Compost and Vermiculite). I had a lot of success with his mix, particularly with my spinach, swiss chard, radish, garden peas, romaine lettuce, kohl rabbi, beets, and turnip seedlings, which have sprouted and are getting stronger every day. I kept some plants indoors near a sunny area and some plants outdoors in a sunny area until the weather turned colder recently. Now all of my seedlings are indoors until the weather turns warmer.
 
Happy Gardening from Sandra

Another nice day in Austin, Texas

My plants are loving the weather we are having. I still have the citrus trees in the garage in the event the weather turns colder. However, my husband is wanting them to be placed back outside so that they can get some free “cedar pollen” fresh air…Not sure how I feel about this…

My seedlings are still buried, but I am making a point to water them regularly and they have up to 5 hours or more a day of sunlight. So, hopefully they will be sprouting soon…Cross your fingers…

My plan this weekend is to add some compost and other organic matter to the larger garden to prep it for spring planting. Also, I will need to check on the compost pile to see how it is doing. I will keep the blog posted on its progress.

Here is a picture below of the compost bin my husband built for me…

Double Sided Composter

Double Sided Composter

Inside the composter.

Inside the composter.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Planted new spring transplants

Today, I planted more seeds that I will use as transplants into my spring garden. I planted a second round of cowpea, garden peas, spinach, turnips and I added kohl rabbi and romaine lettuce. I have set up the plants where they will be able to receive most sunlight during the day until they are ready to be placed outside.

Additional new spring seeds to be transplants.

Additional new spring seeds to be transplants.

Soaking seeds, soon to be transplants into the spring garden.

Soaking seeds, soon to be transplants into the spring garden.

I am using some reused popsicle wooden sticks to note which seeds have been planted and when. Recycle-Reuse, part of my gardening experience.

Happy gardening from Sandra.

Yeah! It’s raining…

My garden is so happy it is raining in Austin, Texas. I pulled my garden covers off of my small garden almost two days ago and I think the small garden and berry plants will enjoy the rain. I hope your garden enjoys the rain too.

Happy gardening from Sandra

Current state of the gardens since wintery weather came to Austin

There is good news and bad news…

The bad news is that my sweet potato plants did not make it through the cold weather. However, they are known to be warm weather plants, but a novice gardener like me did not know that until later into my gardening experience and I had already planted some old sweet potato cuttings for kicks… There were only three plants, so it was not such a big loss…Nonetheless, going forward…I am going to plant potatoes at my parent’s place where they have four large planting plots compared to my two raised garden beds.

The other bad news is that my radishes that I planted over a month and half ago seem to be going no where… 😦 The seed packet advises the radishes should be ready in less than a month, but my radishes have yet to form 😦  However, I kept them in the ground as I do not need the space at this time….

The good news… the garden peas, leek (yet still very small), carrots (1 so far), strawberries, herbs (i.e. mint and oregano) and the yellow & red onions are still alive and hanging in there…

Current state of the small raised garden.

Current state of the small raised garden.

I also have other plants such as old pepper plants (which actually produced peppers this year), wine grape (i.e., Merlot), ornamental grasses, laurel mountain plant, and a hydrangea plant. I keep these plants around the garden for when I cover the garden when it turns cold.

My spinach, broccoli and onion plants are alive but droopy…Any thoughts to help bring them back to life?

Current state of small raised garden. Part I

Current state of small raised garden. Part I

Current state of small raised garden. Part II

Current state of small raised garden. Part II

Current state of small raised garden. Part III

Current state of small raised garden. Part III

 

Happy gardening from Sandra.

Fruit Trees Update

As I mentioned in a earlier post, my husband and I are keeping our five fruit trees inside of the garage until the boogy monster weather gets better and the trees can thrive on their own without going into shock outside… 

The grapefruit and the Meyer lemon trees now have buds and the Lemon Drop lemon tree has some small fruit that came with the tree at purchase. 

Some of the trees have shredded their leaves which I suspect is because of the lack of light in the garage, stress to a change in environment and my watering schedule I have them on. We also  have some other plants and herbs that are taking refuge in the garage as well… 

Current state of fruit trees on 1/10/10.

Current state of fruit trees on 1/10/10.

 

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Update on the berry plants since the wintery weather blew into Austin…

There is some good news…The berry plants have fared pretty well since the wintery weather arrived in Austin. 

The blueberries lost some of  leaves since the wintery weather came to Austin. I think most of this is attributed to the wind and lack of watering on my part. I watered them today, but I watered them sparingly knowing Austin is in for another cold night. I did not want the roots to breeze due to a deep watering. See for yourself and let me know what you think…

Current status of the blueberries on 1/10/10.

Current status of the blueberries on 1/10/10.

The raspberry seems to be doing as well as when I bought it and planted it. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, you are looking at a raspberry stick… LOL    This is how the plant came. I hope there will be progress in the next few months, like leaves will be nice. 🙂

Current state of the Latham Raspberry plant on 1/10/10.

Current state of the Latham Raspberry plant on 1/10/10.

The blackberries are troopers. They are handling whatever mother nature is throwing at them in Austin. I hope to be able to have a bountiful harvest this summer.

Current state of the blackberry plants on 1/10/10.

Current state of the blackberry plants on 1/10/10.

Happy gardening from Sandra.

Fall 2009 Planting

Although I was late planting my summer crop, I was able to yield most of my summer crop during the fall. After breaking heat record after heat record, it may have helped that I planted my summer crop late. After such a hot summer in Austin, it was wonderful to follow-up with much-needed rain.

During this time, I decided to venture out and try to plant other items in my gardens as I had some room. Here are the following items I tried to plant and my results.

Swiss Chard – Burpee – Fordhook Giant – No yield 😦

Swiss Chard – Burpee- Bright Lights- No yield 😦

::thinking to myself:: I thought people saying planting swiss chard in Austin is full proof. Maybe they live in another Austin, other than Austin, Texas.

Brussel Sprouts – Perry Moorse – Catskill – No yield 😦

Broccoli – Burpee- Goliath – Still in the ground, but no yield 😦

Gourd – Burpee – Baby Bottle – No yield 😦

Snap Peas – Burpee- Sugar Snap – No yield 😦

Spinach – Burpee- Long Standing Bloomsdale – Still in garden

Lettuce – Burpee – Black Seeded Susan – Did not harvest

Winter Squash – Burpee – Acorn Squash – No yield 😦

Leek – Burpee – Still in the garden, growing very slowly

Yellow Onion Sets – Wal-Mart – Still in the garden

Purple Onion Sets- Wal-Mart – Still in the garden

Sweet Potato – From sprouted potato – Still in the garden

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Preparing for the Spring 2010 Gardens

What does a novice gardener like me do when it is cold outside? I have read I need to begin planting for Spring 2010 gardens of course! Over New Years Day and this weekend, I began planting my first round of seeds for my Spring 2010 gardens. I felt I was so behind on my summer garden that I wanted to get a jump-start on my spring garden. I have read several blogs from other gardeners in Austin that have said their fall gardens do better than their spring gardens. So, I expect some plants to fail.  I thought I would start some seeds every two weeks until the last frost has passed and see which seeds make it to transplants and which do not. If I have an overflow of transplants, I will plant some of the transplants at my parents garden.

I used a mix I put together that resembles Mel’s Mix, a mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite (no dirt needed).

I will keep the seeds indoors near a sunny window until they are ready to go outside.

New Years Day plant seeds include:

Radishes – Burpee – Cherry Belle (1 square block worth in the small raised garden)

Carrots – Burpee – Danvers Half Long (1 square block worth in the small raised garden)

Beets – Burpee – Detroit Dark Red Medium Top

Cow peas – Perry-Morse – Purple Hulled

Garden Beans – Perry-Morse – Bush Contender

Garden Beans – Perry-Morse – Bush Derby

I soaked my seeds overnight before planting the seeds the next day.

Before planting Spring 2010 Seeds.

Before planting Spring 2010 Seeds.

Planting of the seeds.

Planting of the seeds.

Weekend of January 9th planting seeds include:

Swiss Chard – Perry-Morse – Bright Lights

-Yes, I am trying Swiss Chard again. I am going to give it a try the rest of 2010, if I have no success at the end of 2010, then Swiss Chard growing is not in my future.

Broccoli – Burpee – Green Goliath

Spinach – Burpee – Broomsdale Long Standing

Spinach – Burpee – Teton Hybrid

Turnip – Perry-Morse – Seven Top

Nasturtium flower seeds – Perry-Morse – Scarlet Gleam

I used the same Mel’s mix I used for the New Years Day planting and I did not soak my seeds overnight as the seeds did not need soaking.

Seed planting for weekend of January 9, 2010

Seed planting for weekend of January 9, 2010

Planted seeds

Planted seeds

Happy gardening from Sandra

Current State of the Garden

Here is the current state of my small raised garden, before the protective covering place on it before the wintery weather came in this weekend. Currently, I have peas, leek, broccoli, spinach, carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes and yellow & red onions growing. -OR at least I like to think they are growing. I have placed other plants around the garden to make it easy to place the protective coverings on and off the small raised garden. I purchased the protective coverings at Lowes and they have come in quite handy this winter season. I have started all of my plants from seeds and transplanted the plants into the ground when I thought they were ready. While the plants were growing, I kept them in hanging baskets to help decrease insect infestation. However, I have not been so diligent keeping the insects away during the winter which is why I suspect the plants have not performed at their optimum. I started seeds at the end of August and early September  and I transplanted most of the plants in November 2009.

What I have done to take care of the plants is to top dress the plants with compost, feed them with Maxicrop diluted Seaweed liquid now and then, and I always use rainwater to water the plants. I try to water the plants when the rain water is luke warm.

Here is a run down of the vegetables and where they came from:

Broccoli – Burpee- Goliath

Spinach – Burpee- Long Standing Bloomsdale

Leek – Burpee – Dawn Giant

Yellow Onion Sets – Wal-Mart

Purple Onion Sets- Wal-Mart

Sweet Potato – From sprouted potato

Current state of my small raised garden.

Current state of my small raised garden.

Current state of my small raised garden. Part II.

Current state of my small raised garden. Part II.

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Wine Grapes

During the fall, Country Side Nursery had their wine grapes on a clearance sale for $2.75 per plant. My husband and I decided to pick up a Merlot and Zinfandel wine grape plants from David Wilson. We have yet to transplant these plants, but we enjoy having wine and thought it would be fun to try to grow some wine grapes. So far, our wine grapes have lost most of their leaves. We are not sure if this is due to climate or natural for them to lose their leaves. We are learning more and more about gardening different items.

My thoughts about trying different plants to grow is that it gives you knowledge about the plant related to its likes and dislikes and what climates they do well in. Plus, since I am still a novice to planting I would rather buy seeds, then transplant them into the garden when they are ready. – OR  buy plants/trees at a deep discount so if they do not make it there would not be such a financial hit. When it comes to the weather, anything is possible in Austin, Texas.

I will keep you posted on our wine grape experiences.

Happy gardening from Sandra

Fruit Trees

My husband and I decided awhile ago we would like to include some fruit trees in our gardening mix. We had one old Meyer lemon tree, but it never produced many lemons for us. 😦

However, we decided to keep this lemon tree as we got it over two years ago at Lowes on sale for $5.00. This same lemon tree is now in the garage staying snug during the winter.

In summer 2009, we purchased more fruit trees from Lowes when they went on sale again. Woo Hoo! We like the Lowes garden sales. At count, we now have a Pomelo grapefruit tree, two lemon trees (i.e., one Meyer lemon tree that is not producing lemons and one Lemon drop tree), one Satsuma orange tree and one Mandarin tree. My husband transplanted the trees around October/November for me into larger pots for their final destination until they need a larger pot. Presently, they are in the garage to have shelter from the Austin winter weather. However, when they are not in the garage, then we will place them along the Southwest fence line to make sure they receive plenty of sun.

Some pictures from our current fruit trees.

Pre-transplant fruit tree.

Pre-transplant fruit tree.

More pre-transplanted fruit trees.

More pre-transplanted fruit trees.

The Satsuma orange tree fruits came with the tree at purchased. We have already consumed four ripe plants.

I will try to post pictures later of where the fruit trees are planted now.

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Summer & Fall 2009, Before and In Progress Garden

I have uploaded some pictures that I was able to find that shows some pictures from my summer and fall 2009 garden. I like to start my vegetable and herbs from seeds, then transplant the plants into the garden once I know they are capable of being in the raised gardens on their own, I hope you enjoy them.

Summer/fall 2009 plants started from seeds before entering into the garden.

Summer/fall 2009 plants started from seeds before entering into the garden.

More summer/fall plants that were started from seeds before being transplanted into the garden.

More summer/fall plants that were started from seeds before being transplanted into the garden.

Summer 2009 plants transplanted into the new large raised garden.

Summer 2009 plants transplanted into the new large raised garden.

I started to set up the garden in square patterns before I knew the Square Foot Gardening Method existed.

Fall 2009 plants, transplanted into the small new raised garden from seeds.

Fall 2009 plants, transplanted into the small new raised garden from seeds.

Here are some of the Swiss Chard attempts I made, but I was not able to harvest any plants. 😦

Summer 2009 garden has gone crazy after the rain.

Summer 2009 garden has gone crazy after the rain.

This picture includes green beans, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkins. I believe this picture was taken in October 2009.

Summer squash is growing and growing and growing...

Summer squash is growing and growing and growing...

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Blueberry, Blackberry & Raspberry Planting

When I planted my blueberry, blackberry and raspberry plants in late December/early January, I did some research before planting. However, I think I may have missed some critical steps along the way.

While planting my blackberry plants (i.e., one Navaho & one Ouachita blackberry plant, both are thornless and bear fruit in the  summer), I used a combination of compost (i.e., left over Lady Bug Revitalizer Compost) and peat humus (i.e., from Loews) mix, but I forgot to use some sand to make the soil loamy enough. My hope is this will not impact the plant much. However, since planting the plants, I have not been able to water regularly as I would like, as it is dark when I come home from work and most times I just forget. Yes, I know… Terrible gardening mom I am turning out to be.

Please find a link to review the Ouachita and Navaho blackberry plant:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruit/blackberries/blackberries.html

While planting my blueberry (i.e., one rabbit eye Premier& one rabbit eye Brightwell) and raspberry (i.e., Latham raspberry)  plants, I was able to do more research and I believe I got the right soil combination mix, but I started to run out of sand while I was planting. Hopefully, this will not impact the plants too much. I am not watering as much as I should with those plants either. At this rate, I am providing deep watering once a week and letting rain take care of the rest.

Please find a link to review rabbit eye Premier and Brightwell blueberry plant:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruit/blueberry/blueberries.html

Please find a link to review Latham Raspberry plant:

http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_b08b.html

The plants are now lined along the privacy fence on the northwest side of the house, where the plants get plenty of sunlight and some coverage from the winds.

Here are some pictures to see the progress of planting the berries.

Before planting blueberry plants.

Before planting blueberry plants.

Planted blackberry plants.

Planted blackberry plants.

Happy gardening from Sandra

Start of new garden

The start of the my new garden(s) (i.e., a large garden that is 8 ft by 14 ft) and small garden that is 6 ft by 8 ft) came about in July 2009. My husband and I removed an old wooden raised garden and build our new raised garden from scratch. We removed all of the weeds/grass, then put down strong/hardy weed fabric to be sure to enjoy our raised gardens for years to come. We built our raised gardens with limestone rocks from a local rock supply company in Austin and filled the raised gardens with dillo dirt and Lady Bug Revitalizer Compost.

Please see some photos I have uploaded to show the start and transition to our new raised garden beds.

Happy Gardening from Sandra.

Add an ImageOld raised garden that came with the house.

Old raised garden bed.

Start of the new large raised garden bed.

Start of the new large raised garden bed.

Insert of the soaker hose for when rain water is not available.

Insert of the soaker hose for when rain water is not available.

Home stretch to the new large raised garden.

Home stretch to the new large raised garden. Next will be adding dillo dirt and compost.



Winter 2009 Garden

During my winter garden, I have not done much as it has been cold outside and Austin, TX has experienced some freezes off and on. Plus, most of my planting been limited to the weekends when there is day light as it is usually dark when I come home from work to work out in the garden.

Most recently, I had a very hard freeze the last two nights and tonight is predicted to be another record-breaking cold evening. However, here are some items I planted recently in my winter garden and gardening area over the last month or two.

Radishes – Burpee – Cherry Belle – Still in the garden

Peas – Burpee – Still in the garden

Carrots – Burpee – Nantes Half Long – Still in the garden

Strawberries – Country Side Nursery -Sequoia (June Bearing) – Individual Garden Pots- 10 plants

– Received two at regular price for $1.95 a piece and the rest at 75% off for .50 cents a piece

– I highly recommend Country Side Nursery, as a place to go when they have their plants/trees/shrubs go on sale.

http://www.countrysideaustin.com/

Blueberries – Lowes – Rabbit Eye Type – Premier & Bluebrite – 2 plants – Transplanted to larger garden pots.

– Purchased at half price at Lowes.

Blackberries – Lowes – Navajo & Ouachita varieties – 2 plants – Transplanted to larger garden pots.

– Purchased at half price at Lowes.

Raspberry – Lowes – Latham – 1 plant – Transplanted to larger pot.

Cross your fingers the plants survive…

I hope to show some pictures when it comes time to harvesting…

Happy Gardening from Sandra

Hello!

My name is Sandra and I am gardening in Austin, Texas. I started my gardening experience in the Summer of 2009, which was the worst time for a novice gardener like me to start. Austin, Texas experienced one of the hottest summers on record.

I decided to start this blog to share my experience with other novice gardeners like myself and hopefully receive advice from more experienced gardeners.

I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to contribute.

Happy Gardening!
Sandra
Austin, Texas

Summer Planting

I got a late start to my summer planting as I did not have a raised garden that was useable before the new raised gardens were established. However, I did start some seeds in July 2009 by using recyclable coffee cups my husband brought home from his work. I did not have much equipment and utensils for gardening, so I made do with what I had. I tried different dirt (i.e., potting soil, dillo dirt, and earlier ground dirt) and sometimes mixed in some compost to decide which combination would yield a better vegetable return. From seeds, I grew the following to include the vendor, type of vegetable and my results:

Yellow summer squash – Burpee – Early Prolific Straight Neck – Result Yield 15 squashes

Green snap beans – Burpee – Kentucky Wonder – Result Yield 5 heavy yield bunches

Okra- Burpee – Clemsen Spineless -Result Yield 1 small okra

Winter squash (i.e., spaghetti squash) – Burpee – Vegetable Spaghetti – Result Yield 9 squashes

Pumpkins- Burpee – Jack Be Littles – Result Yield 14 mini pumpkins

Here are some pictures from my summer vegetables that I was able to enjoy.

Summer Garden Results

Summer Garden Results

Summer 2009 Green Bean Harvest

Summer 2009 Green Bean Harvest

Greenbean compared to the size of a pen.

Greenbean compared to the size of a pen.

Summer squash compared to the size of a pen.

Summer squash compared to the size of a pen.

Happy Gardening from Sandra