Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glorious Rain

The past two weeks has brought us some nice rain. I know we need so much more. It is so great though to see that everything is so green. I am finally seeing our pasture grass getting some length to it as well.
Last week's temperatures were so different one day to the next. Friday I had to work at the nursery and it was in the upper 80's if not 90 by the end of the day. Saturday was wet and cold. About a 30 degrees difference in the two days.
Thursday of last week I started to plant my garden. First I had to test my drip system for leaks. It was sure a test of my patience. I would fix the broken emitters, run a test and then several more would blow their little tops. So now I may have them all fixed but who knows until I run the system again.
I planted 19 of the 31 tomatoes that are going out in the big garden. Thursday as well. I tilled a trench down as deep as I could and laid all the lovely tomato plants down on their sides and covered them with soil. This will provide the tomatoes with lots of nice roots to help carry water and nutrition to the fruits. Now I just have to wait.
My plan for feeding all the veggie plants was to use a syphon system. One end of the syphon hose would go into a bucket with liquid fertilizer and then draw it into the drip system and feed it to the plants. Seems these syphons had a flaw and the company is working on them. This is what the nursery told me but there may be more kinds out there. I just need to look.
The rain this weekend kept me from planting the rest of the garden and it would have been perfect to plant since it was so cool. It was to wet and our soil is gummy when it is wet so you just don't want to mess with it until it drys out more.
I guess Sunday will be the next time I can get out and finish planting it all. I hope to recruit my husband in this task as well. I should then be able to lay down the newspaper layers and then the mulch with his help at the same time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh what a week can do

I should have posted this photo when I took it because the cucumber plants are so much bigger now. I will add a new photo of them later on. I planted Armenian Cucumbers and they have a lime green leaf. I have not planted these before but they have the same characteristics as English Cucumbers. I also wanted to do bread and butter pickles this year and the Armenian Cucumbers are not suited for that. So I planted some Homegrown Cucumbers. The leaves on these are nice dark green. The Homegrown are on the left and the Armenian on the right.

You can also see some tomatilloes in the back left corner and there are two tomato plants also in that flat. Oh yea don't do like I do: don't think you will remember which tomato is which later on. Ha that is why they make labels. These are either Roma or Juliets. Now I need to wait till they produce fruit.

I wanted to plant the Juliet in a topsy turvy planter. Sooooo I will plant one Juliet and one Roma instead. Well two topsy turvy planters will be fine. Seems that the topsy turvy planter has become a new trend. And like everyone else I have to try it too. So stay tuned for my progress or non progress depending how it goes.

So Lets Hear it for Fruit

It looks like this year maybe a good year for the fruit growing in my yard. The grapes as you can see are doing quite nicely. If I can keep the birds and a little black and white dog from eating them I may just get a good crop of grapes for wine.

The plum tree is also loaded this year. Last year we got 3 plums and after a fierce wind storm we ended up with one. The storm from last weekend had some hail in it and damaged some of the fruit. I have some with marks and some with out and then some on the ground. I don't care if some are marked since they will be jam and no one will know if they were perfect or not.

I thought I had lost my blackberries but they are back in full force. So if I can keep the critters for eating them maybe a pie will be in store.

I got a blueberry bush last year and cared for it with tender loving care and I guess it paid off. In fact there are a few berries on it this year. Not sure if I can beat the birds to the berries but the fact I am able to get blueberries growing in the Texas Hill Country is something to talk about. There were about 3 of us who decided to try them and I am the only one with a live plant. Next year will be the test.

We have had some strawberries so far and a few more on the way. I am not sure how well they will do over the summer but I am going to keep them in a shaded area and mulched well. Time will tell.

Watching your seedlings grow

Several weeks ago I transplanted all my tomatoes into larger pots. Most of them went into 1 gallon pots or at least until I ran out of them. By doing this I am establishing a stronger plant. I placed the seedling into the bottom of the pot and added potting soil. All along that stem will be nice new roots. I still haven't had a chance to plant in the garden yet. I wasn't able to get the drip system tested and repaired before we went on a 4 day trip so I moved everything out of the greenhouse on to the covered deck. Gave them a good drink and hoped for the best.

I am so glad I did not plant before we left because Sunday night/Monday morning we got one heck of a storm. So with the hail and high winds my plants were saved. Unfortunately the garden soil is still very wet making planting impossible. I am keeping my fingers crossed I can plant early next week. They are predicting rain again over Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Thank goodness for those 1 gallon pots.