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.
When it rains, I go and capture photos in the backyard. 😉 The Bradford Pear trees are almost there. They show signs, it can take only a couple to a few days, before they’ll begin to bloom. Our broccoli plants are growing well. And I had to mix some pink into the game. The hyacinth just look lovely in all that brown/beige/grayish February rainy day.
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.
The “Three P-Rule” or PPP does not only count for tomato plants in our garden. They go for all the plants. Some plants are hardier and can withstand freezing temperatures; a lot of plants can’t make it through a cold spell, unless they will be covered to stay warm. Earlier this week, we had 80°F (27°C). I decided to plant my dianthus, hyacinths, violas, and my pea plants in the raised beds. But I made sure, when I plant that early, I have a plan and be prepared to protect them. From previous Halloween decorations, we have straw bales in the greenhouse. And I kept our Fraser Fir after Christmas, because I knew it would come into use one way or another. Tonight, we suppose to get only 25°F (-4°C). This afternoon, I covered my plants with the straw to keep the plants cozy warm. And the Fraser twigs are for keeping the straw in place from this crazy wind. It’s not pretty. But if I was a critter or a bird, I would call it home for the night.
This afternoon, we’ve reached temperatures up to 80°F (27°C). It was perfect weather for doing some garden work, getting the raised beds cleaned up and planting my peas and early Spring flowers. While I pulled out weeds, I also found a carrot that over-wintered in one of the raised beds. I might add it to a stew, later this week. Three Mourning Doves set on the trellis I put up for the peas, in the garden. They inspected my work, fertilized it, and enjoyed the view of the garden from the trellis, before Luis, our dog, chased them away.
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. 😉
Every time it rains in Texas, it feels so good. Later in the week we suppose to get cooler temperatures. Therefore it will be much easier being outside and begin to garden, again. And I won’t have to deal with these pesky mosquitoes anymore. They suck the life out of me. The cooler weather will be great to clean up the gardens and start with the Winter vegetables. In the meantime, I enjoy to capture photos of what is left in my raised beds.
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.