I love this time of year. The peaches are almost ripe. Kevin can’t wait, me making peach cobbler soon. The herbs are great for sauces and other recipes. The peppers just love the heat in the greenhouse. My sunflowers are in full bloom in the raised beds. But today, I also harvested the last tomato, before I cut the plants down in the greenhouse. They had to make room for zucchini, corn, and okra. I have to see, how well they will do. But it is worth trying it. So far the seedlings do very well.
The tomato plants grow like weeds in the greenhouse. We have about two dozen fruits growing on the plants. And every day, I find a few more ‘maters on the vines. Today, I also could harvest a couple of jalapeño. The pepper plants seem to pick up. The hot temperatures in the greenhouse help the peppers growing much better. And we have new “tenants”. The Greenhouse Fairies moved into the beautiful solar house, I purchased for them last week. Sara checks on Tinker & Friends, if they come home every night. When the lights are on, the Greenhouse Fairies are here. 😉
The plants are doing great in the greenhouse. We have tiny tomatoes showing under the blossoms. When the fruits are bigger, I will blog and show some photos of them. But right now, they are still very small. One of our Lemon Basil plants began to bloom. The fennel is getting bigger, which will be a great host for Black Swallowtail Caterpillars in Summer. The Shasta Daisies are flourishing. The peppers are still tiny. Once it gets warmer, they will start to grow bigger, too. I have to be patient with them.
Last Winter, I dumped a Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin in the compost. Now, we have seedlings growing out of it. We will leave them all in there and hope they make it. Probably only the strongest will survive. If we get a pumpkin or two out of it, that would be awesome. And if we not, it will be fun to see how far along the seedlings will grow in that pile. Hey, the tomatoes grow on almost a foot of kitchen compost. Why shouldn’t it work for the pumpkins, right?! 😉 The broccoli is done! It blooms and soon will go to seed. I’ll collect them for the next season. I’m surprised, how well the Rosemary does in the raised bed. This herb usually likes well drained soil and not much rain.
Kevin, Sara and I picked up some blooming perennials from the local nursery. We got more catnip for Joshua and Chewbacca. And for the future swallowtail butterflies, we’ve got fennel plants. In the afternoon Sara helped me get the plants in the greenhouse. Her and I also put some more flower seeds in the raised bed garden. In the evening, Sara and I cooked some hummingbird nectar. She can’t wait for her flower garden to grow and the hummingbirds to visit the backyard.
WOOHOO! I’ve got my first phase of the Greenhouse Garden Project done. Lots of cinder blocks, soil and sweat went into it. The last few days, I worked on Part III, IV, and V. My muscles are sore and aching. No pain, no gain!
In Part III, I placed the cinder blocks, filled the raised bed with soil, amended the soil with all kind of goodies, and planted the peppers and herbs. Now, the roots of the bell peppers, poblano and jalapeño can stretch out and grow more fruit. We have some peppers on the plants already. They are still small. But it’s great to see them growing so well. While I put the cinder blocks down, I did it on both sides of the greenhouse. That’s why it was so easy and fast to get the other parts done in a decent amount of time.
Part IV will be a blooming herb bed to invite pollinators. Yes, when it gets very warm I leave the windows open in Summer. Usually, I’m getting visitors like bees, butterflies, moths, spiders. and sometimes even a curious Northern Cardinal fledgling, which needs help to find its way back out to its parents. In Part V, I just filled up the walking area with mulch and put down some step stones for easy access to the vegetables and herbs. The mulch just needs to settle a little bit. It feels like walking on a sponge. 😀
Kevin got me some succulents as a present for our upcoming Anniversary. This was very sweet of him. I just need to find a perfect spot for them. They can handle temperatures from 45°-100°F. And they prefer a slightly shaded area. In Texas, it can get much cooler and much warmer. So, I have to remember to bring them inside on those hot Summer days.
Three days of warm weather was just too much for the broccoli. Today it was showing some signs, that it would bold soon. So I just cut the florets off, and used them for tonight’s supper. It was delicious. For the last couple of weeks, I pull some leaves from the lettuces, spinach, and herbs on a daily basis. And Sara sits in the garden and nibbles on some salad and watches the sunset, every night.
Last week, I’ve been sowing some cucumber seeds in a couple of raised beds. So far, I can see two small plants. Hopefully, the other seedlings will pop up, soon. It would be excellent, if we can add fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to our salads, in late Spring and early Summer.
Every day, I worked on the first bed a little bit in the evenings. Yesterday, I finally got it done. First I built the wall from cinder blocks, I had sitting in the garden. After the wall was in place, I filled the bed with compost, soil, and topped it off with some mulch. I dug big holes for the tomato plants. But before I planted them, I dropped more compost, corn meal, Epsom salt, expanded shale, and worm casting in the holes. Then I picked off the bottom three tomato branches and sat the tomatoes deep in the bed. That way, the plants can produce more roots, which can get more water and nutrition from the soil. Next to the tomatoes, I planted some marigolds to keep the Tomato Hornworm under control. Last year, I had one eating half of my tomato plant in one night. They are pretty looking caterpillars. But they are evil little boogers. The bottom cinder blocks, I filled in with old mulch. I wanted to save on the soil. Usually herbs don’t need deep soil to grow well. Now, we also have lavender, strawberries, orange mint, basil, lemon thyme, parsley, and dill. The parsley and the dill will be for swallowtail caterpillars in Summer. I’m glad, I’ve got this bed done before the rain storm came in.
Yesterday, I found a new Winter annual on our lawn, I’ve never noticed before. Next to the Persian Speedwell, we have some patches of Corn Speedwell growing in our backyard. After I did some research, I found out that Corn Speedwell is not only a cute little plant. It can be used as an herb for anti inflammatory, tonic, expectorant and diaphoretic treatment. In ointments it can be used to treat skin inflamations, wounds and eczema.
This Summer/Autumn season I didn’t do much in our home garden, due to health issues earlier in the year. Therefore, I don’t have very little for harvest. Our green onions and rainbow chard did well throughout the year. Other than that, we only have a few herbs left. It is still better, than nothing at all. I will take a break from gardening, until January; it will be time for seedlings to start for the Spring/Summer season. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our fresh herbs until it gets too cold for them as well. 😉