Vegetable Gardening

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New Year Plans and Projects

With all the warm weather we have been having it doesn’t really seem like winter. Hard freezes have been sparse so far this winter and with the regular rainfall we have had all fall cool-weather plants and crops are thriving. It also looks like wildflowers will make a welcome return this spring after having almost none last spring.

Exciting Discoveries

My next door neighbor, who is very knowledgeable about native Texas plants, spotted a very rare plant on his property recently and invited me over to see it. The plant is a Spiked Crested Coralroot Orchid (Hexalectris spicata). I have never heard of this plant, nor seen it anywhere else. It is very unusual and […]

Is It Spring or Summer?

Another sure sign of spring is the annual Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour, which is coming up on April 23, 2011. Ron went on the tour last year so we could get ideas for our first chicken coop and to collect information from local experts about what types of chickens do well here. Now, less than a year later, we have our first coop and a nice little family of chickens, two hens and one rooster.

Feels Like Fall At Last

Fall has always been my favorite season, but for different reasons as the years pass by. Many folks celebrate fall because it is harvest time, but I celebrate it here in central Texas because it is the beginning of our second growing season, and it spells relief from the sweltering summer heat for another year.

Finally, Fall

Fall gardening is in full swing here, despite the warm afternoon temperatures. We have had a couple of mornings in the 40s this past week, which feels pretty brisk first thing in the morning, but by 9 am it is already getting warm. I was out harvesting jalapenos and tomatoes for salsa-making this afternoon when […]

The Damage Done

Little did I know when I was admiring this sphinx moth earlier in the spring of the year, that it would turn into a monster worm that would try to decimate my tomato crop. I found three tomato hornworms in my tomato patch this morning, and much damage was already done.

Harvesting Peppers and Tomatos

Although it has been extremely hot so far this summer, I am starting to bring in a pretty good harvest of jalapeno and bell peppers, and tomatoes. I admit that I am using a lot of water to keep these plants happy enough to be bearing good quality produce, but the results are definitely worth it. I harvested over two pounds of bell peppers – small, but meaty and juicy, and almost two pounds of jalapeno peppers – all very nice looking. The large tomatoes are just starting to ripen, and they are fairly good quality, and the cherry tomatoes are producing lots of really tasty fruits.

Watering and Weeding

It’s been five or six weeks since we have had a measurable rainfall. Add to that temperatures in the upper 90s and winds at 15-20 mph every day, and that equates to spending a whole lot of time watering just to keep everything alive. Even though almost everything I grow is either native to our area, or well adapted to the dry conditions and high temperatures, they still require a bit of water to keep going, especially when they are first getting established which many of my plants and trees are.

Later Winter Seed Starting

I chose the seed varieties below for the late winter garden. I love the new Seeds of Change seed packaging. It is much easier to use, waterproof, re-sealable, and environmentally friendly. The descriptions below were copied from the Seeds of Change web site (with a few comments added by me), and links are provided to […]

Planting Pansies

We had a cloud burst early in the morning this morning which yielded about an eighth of an inch of rain, and made the conditions perfect for planting the three flats of pansies and violas that I got yesterday. I planted some in pots and some in my raised beds. Potted Pansies Potted Pansies Potted […]

Veggies in the Fall Garden

The rain has completely stopped here, and the mornings are getting really chilly. We haven’t been down to freezing yet, but we have been close. I’m going to have to start covering my tomatoes at night if it gets any colder. Everything is doing really well except for my squash. It may be too cool […]

I Love Fall Gardening

I think that fall is the best season for vegetable gardening here in Central Texas. Perhaps it is because I really like greens and cole crops, but I usually get pretty good production from warm weather crops in the fall as well. Even though it doesn’t feel a whole lot like fall here yet, I […]

Put Out My First Tomatoes of the Season

Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to put out my first tomato transplants of the spring. The soil in my raised beds was still cool and moist from the recent rains, and the forecast for the week is for mostly cloudy days in the low 70s and moderate nights in the mid 60s. More rain […]

Signs of Spring at Lost Valley Gardens

We had a high of 89 degrees yesterday, and just a few short weeks ago we were covered with ice. The transition to spring has been swift this year. I look forward to spring, but I also dread it because I know what will follow – a very long, hot, dry summer. According to Jim […]

Cantaloupe in the Garden

Ron’s Cantaloupes We have gotten several nice cantaloupes from the garden this year. They have been a little small, but fleshy and sweet.

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