Sow: Spring 2016 experiments

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Repurposed washtub planter with sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano

If you’ve read any of my gardening posts (the Sow ones), you already know that I really don’t know what I’m doing. Sure, I’ve been planting and harvesting stuff in North Texas for a few years now, but it’s always a bit of a crapshoot. Trial and lots of error. Lots of error.

 

Herbs always have done very well for me, especially during the cooler months (November-February).

 

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The kitchen herb planter had a fantastic winter. Parsley is bolting but the flowers are pretty.

 

Of course, cooler is never a given, even during the winter here. I barely had to cover the garden at all which is unusual for North Texas—there are usually a few days of very cold weather, ice or even snow.

No snow/ice days for us this year.  The unpredictable weather here is always a challenging variable, but I also like to make it hard on myself by trying new things.

 

For spring and summer 2016, I’ve planted some of my favorites (aka plants that have grown well for me):

Bell peppers (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

 

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Jalapeno peppers (transplants from North Haven Gardens), shown here with a rogue red romaine lettuce

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Anaheim chilis (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

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Basil (transplants from Trader Joe’s)

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Sweet 100 tomatoes (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

IMG_9951Okra (seeds from Botanical Interests) — still tiny because it’s not hot enough for their usual fast growing

IMG_9959Black eyed peas (seeds from last year’s harvest that were from plants grown from Botanical Interests seeds) — even tinier than the okra so not shown.

Shishito peppers (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

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I’ll be planting tomatillo seeds (from Sweet Corn Garden Organics) very soon—probably this weekend. Just waiting for it to get slightly warmer during the daytime hours. The plants grow like weeds here and I make a lot of salsa verde, so this year I’m planting double the amount I planted last year.

 

 

And now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my 2016 experiments:

Artichoke (transplant from North Haven Gardens)

IMG_9957Black Bean (transplant from North Haven Gardens)

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Arkansas Traveler tomatoes (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

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Mortgage Lifter tomatoes (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

IMG_9953Flying Saucer squash (transplants from North Haven Gardens)

IMG_9956Fingers crossed for a successful growing season! And for keeping Gidget from eating all the plants!

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although I have netted and fenced the fig tree, it looks like there are just a few figs left for spring. luckily it is sprouting more which should be ready in the summer.

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And maybe we will have plums this year too — Gidget and Godiva are doing a fine job of squirrel scaring.

 

 

 

Sow: progress report

20130425-211257.jpg Mixed lettuces

A week can bring tons of change to the urban farm. As you can see from the lettuce photo, the plants are bushy and somewhat wild. This weekend the harvesting needs to be pretty hardcore. That’s ok, I’ve lined up some friends to help us enjoy the bounty next week. There will be lots of lettuce, spinach, chard, and an assortment of herbs in their care packages. Mmmm salad!

Weeding needs to be hardcore too. I pulled some out this morning but they have snuck in while I wasn’t looking.

And I wouldn’t mind stopping by North Haven Gardens to see if they have any raspberry bushes left. That is if it fits in with the carpet removal…

Here are a few more visual progress reports:

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Red romaine

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Red velvet lettuce

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Beets

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Beans

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Artichoke

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Carrots radishes carrots

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Tomato progress–getting bigger and getting more flowers

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Black diamond watermelon from Lisa

Cilantro and parsley are on their way out. Bok choi needs to get harvested too.

And I also need to hang up a cute garden sign Bruce found while I was away. I’ll post a photo when it’s up.

Looks like a good time outside is on the horizon.

Sow/So: typical Saturday

Today started with more great news for the Gs: a new friend. Our neighbors Joy and Art came by with their Boston Terrier Ronnie and their new addition, a 10-year old Boston named Tux that joined their family yesterday. Tux’s story is sad, but has a very happy ending. She was “discarded” by a dentist and a nurse who felt that since they were moving that their lifestyle no longer included their senior dog. A pox on them! Rotten humans.

But little did Tux know that she has won the dog lottery. Sofa sleeping! Long walks! Play time with her pals the Gs! Delicious treats! Love and affection! She’ll forget about her old people in no time after a few more days with Joy and Art. And the Gs made her feel right at home with plenty of butt sniffing and racing around.

Next, the Gs insisted on a walk—and met more new friends. We ran into a couple with three dogs— 2 goldens and a Heinz-57 type pup. They were happy to see another couple with three largish beasts in tow. Seems they found the youngest last month and when no one claimed her, they decided to make her a permanent part of the family. All 6 dogs had a nice time sniffing each other. We hope we see them in the park again soon.

Time for a ride in the truck to see the nice lady at the dry cleaners. She always loves it when Bruce brings the dogs with her so we decided to give her a G-fix.

Next it was off to North Haven Gardens to locate some okra. No dogs are allowed inside, but the Gs enjoy the ride over to the nursery. While they were out of okra transplants I got plenty of seeds and a globe artichoke (yum), a dragon’s egg cucumber, and some purple fountain grass. The okra is soaking for planting tomorrow—so are some additional beet seeds. Artichoke and cucumber are planted, so is the fountain grass. I also transplanted the hydrangea into a large container on the patio.

Then the fun could finally begin: the office desk wall. Eventually it will be painted orange and gray, but today it was just about getting the planks and shelves up.

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one shelf in place, adding planks and metal trim to the feature wall. bottom’s done!

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second shelf added, more planks added. by tomorrow there will be planks and trim to the top of the bump out and wood cladding around the lights. we’ll be ready for the groovy gray and orange paint once that’s all done.

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close up to show metal trim detail…and random tools

We’re not done with the wall job, but we feel like we can bust the rest out tomorrow am since we’re getting up early. We’re also doing the same detail on the wall where we’ve built a cabinet to house tv-related stuff.

And we have to get it done early. The Gs have another scheduled playdate and will be meeting a new puppy friend named Mayhem (pittie cross) and hanging out with their old friends Polly (chihuahua), MJ (Boston), and Bandit (a big question mark of a tiny dog) so we are on a deadline!

Speaking of Gs, George the big power tool fraidy cat, seems to have gotten over his fears. He enjoyed snoozing while we were working today.

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sleepy time George

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gratuitous sleeping George closeup. isn’t he cute?

As you can imagine, the Gs are exhausted after a dog-filled weekend (don’t tell them, they’re all getting baths tomorrow night). So are we. Goodnight y’all.