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!

Gardening Group Meeting #1 Notes

Click HERE to view our Gardening Group Meeting Notes and Resource from August 5th Meeting!

August & A New Gardening Group

vincas, sweet potato vines from Shirlee (garden group)
I decided it was time to gather some neighborhood gardeners together as I had in my last home, so we met together the first Saturday in August and discussed many topics about getting our Fall gardens started. We range from brand new gardeners to long-time gardeners, with much knowledge to share with each other. We will meet about once a month. I'm excited about it! 

This past week, I planted microgreen lettuce variety, lettuce, spinach, more carrots (my previous seeds didn't sprout), more corn around my pumpkin plants, cilantro and green beans and zucchini around the existing corn and at the base of a trellis.

Pumpkin plants, corn, cucumbers, basil, 2 tomato plants and bell pepper plant are still alive and well.
I also purchased steer manure ($1.50/bag at Walmart) and some organic soil bags ($3/bag) and mixed those into my existing soil to give them a boost in nitrogen and to improve overall soil texture and nutrients. I also purchased a bag of peat moss that I used to cover my newly planted seeds to help retain moisture.

Soil, manure and peat moss to improve my soil, purchased at Walmart

I take a quick photo with my phone when I plant seeds so I can refer back if I no longer have the seed packet later.

Many lettuce and spinach seeds in the tortoise-food garden and in our raised beds

Corn seeds I planted this week and my planting record


Papaya Tree (started volunteer in my compost)


Pumpkin plants

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Time to Plant Again!

What has survived the summer in my garden? 1 Yellow bell pepper, Armenian cucumber vines (pictured above on trellis), 1 tomato plant (in a large pot, it's a patio variety) and of course my trusty basil and rosemary. Some of my plants (tomato plants, strawberries, cantaloupe) just missed me too much while I was on a few vacations and didn't make it through those weeks of deathly-hot weather in June and July.
Next summer, I would like to be more prepared to deep soak (myoporum) and provide shade for the types of plants that struggled/died.

It's August and I am trying to stay on top of the planting calendar for this season! I planted pumpkins (for Halloween carving) and corn (from my farmer friend, Pete) and rainbow carrots these past weeks and they are sprouting. Which also means the birds are excited to steal my recently-sprouted seeds and so they have been covered with netting to protect them. Some birds are just smart and still get some nibbles, so I have replanted areas of the corn twice. My sister also gave me 2 pumpkin starts that she had planted about a week before mine so I planted those as well. My kids hope we'll get a few pumpkins in time for carving!

Yesterday, I gave my garden some Miracle Grow plant food (granules mixed into my watering can). I've tried doing strictly organic in the past, but I want more growth and more success, so I'm trying this out to see if it's successful for our short seasons when time is so valuable.

I've invited some other gardeners in my area to gather at my home this Saturday to begin a gardening group. I hope to learn a lot from their various experience and add more success to my garden beds!

A view toward the east in my backyard.

The tortoises' garden (weeds, dichondra, purple heart, hibiscus, aloe, ruellia. A mostly-shady NW corner of my yard under our HUGE eucalyptus tree.