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. 😉
We have some nice producing tomatoes in the greenhouse. It shows, it was worth taking the time building higher beds and fill them up with kitchen composts, before I planted the tomatoes in one of the beds. The plants are strong and sturdy for holding the big ‘maters, once they are fully grown. I can’t wait for making my Mom’s refreshing Tomato-Bologna Salad in Summer. Homegrown tomatoes are the best!
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.
Last Friday, I planted the peppers in the greenhouse raised bed. Their leaves look very healthy, and the pepper fruits are growing nicely in the soil. I hope, we are more successful this year. I wondered, where all our peppers went last Summer. In Winter, I found Mr. Ratatouille all snuggled up in a nice bed of mulch under a flower pot, protected from the cold weather. When he noticed, I found his secret spot, he ran out of the garden and under the deck. A few weeks later, we caught him with peanut butter and a sugar cookie in the life trap. Our garden must have been paradise for Ratatouille.
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.
It is getting warmer, and the garden is coming along very well. The broccoli florets get bigger, the lettuces begin to form heads, and the peppers are in full bloom. After school Sara comes into the garden, picks a few lettuce leaves and some herbs, and gets ready to make herself a sandwich in the house. She calls the lettuce bed, her “Nibble Garden”, because she can nibble on the lettuces, vegetables and herbs like a little bunny.
While I worked in the garden, Chewbacca hung out with me in the backyard. First, he ate some grass blades. And then he looked at the birds. There were so many too watch in the trees, in the bushes and on the fence. Chewbacca prowled on a couple of birds. But they were much faster. Sometimes, the birds startled him when the whole flock flew off into another tree. In the meantime, I planted my onion slips, rhubarb and strawberries. When I was done, with my garden work, Chewbacca was ready to come into the house. It was enough adventure for him in one day.
Finally, I’ve got around to plant some broccoli, lettuce, and spinach in the raised bed. After I fertilized the bed really well, the plants went into the soil. Kevin can not wait to get fresh lettuce from our home garden, on the table in Spring. So, I always have to plant some lettuce. Katelynn and Sara love their broccoli. And I just enjoy some fresh spinach. Since Winter is not over quite yet, and we still can get nights below freezing point, I made sure, the small plants are covered with straw and Fraser Fir branches. My next project is to get the onion slips into the ground. It feels so good gardening, again.
After over three months, I finally came back to the Community Garden. Christi took good care of the garden, while I was out due to sickness. But she had a lot of work to keep up with the six beds. After my tomato plants quit producing (we had a good harvest this Summer) and the tomatillos were a bust, she pulled them all out. Now, the pepper plants and the basil can breath, after all the weeds under the tomatoes are gone as well.
This afternoon I was in the garden, pulled some weeds and noticed a big fire ant hill in my front raised bed. Oh boy! I have to get rid of these ants first, before I can plug the weeds out in that area. Kevin, Sara and I went back over this evening. While Kevin was treating the ant hill, Sara and I looked at the plants and captured some photos in the garden.