Monday, March 5, 2018

My Garden in Jan, Feb & Mar 2018

Gardening has been productive this Winter season and now continues and changes into the Spring Season. I haven't had much time to record all that has been going on, but I'll try to sum up the last few months.
Dec 2017
Weather has been mild, with only a few days during the whole winter that dipped into the low 30's. I covered some of the plants on those nights with sheets and towels (hibiscus, zucchini, papaya and then tomato plants once those were planted in Feb).

After harvesting several zucchini, I removed the plant to make room for some plant shuffling. I moved some cabbage plants to another bed and planted about a dozen tomato plants that a good friend (James) gave us. After rejuvenating the soil with some additions of manure, new garden soil, slow release fertilizer and bone meal, I planted them deep among the carrots at the beginning of February.
I harvested many broccoli and cabbage heads over the past months, which have been nice fresh additions to our family meals. I also tried out the largest leek in a Filipino dish I made (pancit) last week. We (my kids and I and guest kids) eat the snap peas and carrots right from the garden and they rarely make it inside the house to be part of a meal.

My cilantro went to seed before I was ready for it to. The weather will be too warm to plant more of it (above 75 degrees F). I did harvest, use and share a lot of cilantro over the cool season.

Lettuces and Kale grew beautifully, providing the green beauty in the garden and meals for our two Russian desert tortoises once they emerged from underground in February.

Also in February, I planted luufa squash seeds, popcorn cassia seeds in a pot and a variety of flower seeds in another garden bed in my yard for Springtime flowers. I gave up on my Papaya Tree and pulled it out. It wasn't growing as fast as it should have been and it wasn't looking pretty anymore. The kids were sad to see it go.

Last week, I finished a project pulling out an old retaining wall and replacing it with stacking blocks. It turned out great and I love how the yard has better flow with consistent materials. The area behind this new retaining wall has a variety of plants that provide beauty and food options for the tortoises. In an effort to make more room for Spring planting, I have been transplanting many of the lettuce and kale plants from the garden beds into the tortoise food area in the ground.
I used all the compost I have been creating for over a year to assist in filling up the area behind the new retaining wall.

After I get all my spring plantings in, I will get an updated photo of the garden beds.

Early January 2018

Jan 11 2018 - My kids love our carrots!
Shortly after planting tomato starts from James, growing fast!

broccoli and purple cabbage harvested

leek and broccoli harvested
Retention wall BEFORE

My little helpers filling the new retention wall with soil (and packing it in with their feet).

Retention wall AFTER, tortoise garden behind it (all edible plants).

Gardening Group Documents Feb & Mar Meetings - Spring Garden Plans & Sustainable Garden Ideas

As a garden group, we met the first Saturdays in February and March.
In February we talked together about what our Spring Garden plans would be and we discussed the best veggies to plant and when. The summary of our meeting can be seen HERE.

In March, We focused our topic on ways to be more sustainable in our gardening - less dependent on stores/nurseries. We discussed COMPOSTING, WORM FARMING and WATER HARVESTING. The summary of our meeting can be seen HERE.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Neighborhood Garden Tour

Last Saturday, we gathered to see 4 gardens around our neighborhood. Each garden and gardener had many helpful things to teach us. I have done my best to summarize the tour and the highlights of each unique garden and you can view the summary HERE

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Garden Discussion Documents

I'm catching up on getting our Gardeners Meeting Notes on here for availability.

Gardening Meeting #3 
Top Crops, Companion Planting and Pest Control

Companion Planting
A brief overview of plants that benefit from being planted near each other in the garden; taken from Carrots love Tomatoes & Roses love Garlic by Louise Riotte

Top Crops #2
Details on these crops: cabbage,
broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, beans.

Common Garden Pests and what to do! 

Gardening Meeting #4
Cold Weather Protection for our plants

November's a good month in the Vegetable Garden

My garden is growing beautifully. I've harvested 2 zucchini squashes and my son hasn't been patient with the carrots, so we have pulled a few small (and delicious) purple, yellow and orange carrots too. Cabbage, brocolli and kale plants have needed extra care with removing caterpillars regularly, mostly about 1 month ago, it has become less of a problem now with only an occasional caterpillar. I have been fertilizing about every two weeks with Miracle Grow and the soil structure seems to be improving with the straw mulching and other organic materials decomposing. The weather has been perfect and I deep water every 2-3 days. The garden gets nearly all-day sun.

What's growing: green cabbage, purple cabbage, brocolli, leeks, kale, lettuce varieties, garlic, green onions, basil, cilantro, snap peas, cucumber (volunteer), petunias, marigolds, nasturtium, zucchini, green beans (stunted growth), purple, yellow and orange carrots.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Gardening Group Meeting #2

We held our second gardening group meeting this past Saturday!

You can view a summary of what we covered HERE.

We detailed several popular crops and you can view the information on planting, nutritional needs, pollinating and watering of tomatoes, green onions, garlic, lettuce, kale, spinach, herbs and zucchini HERE.

And in case you need our desert planting calendar again, you can view that HERE.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I get excited when...

Two little yellow birds come hang out in my yard, singing in my Eucalyptus tree or pecking seeds from my basil plant. 

A rainbow colors up the sky and when a hummingbird enjoys my Texas Olive blossoms as much as I do!