Sunday, May 1, 2011

Is this a hobby?

I have been growing vegetables in Dripping Springs, TX since 2004.  Like most southerners, my primary motivation for a garden was tomatoes.  There is simply nothing like a home-grown tomato, juicy with just the right combination of sweet and tart, perfect sliced with nothing but a little salt, fresh bruschetta, sliced on a pizza or caprese;  all the options are good.

The garden started in raised beds but has expanded into heavily modified native soil.  The native dirt is that lovely black stuff that turns into cement when dry and sticky clay when wet.  But after years of adding organic material, primarily compost, it is actually producing nice results. 

The vegetable garden has always been organic, even when attempting to convince fire ants to leave the area, I resorted to nothing more toxic than boiling water, orange oil and dish soap.   However, sometimes I cheat with the flowers since my compost needs always exceed the supply.   Our vegetable/fruit/yard waste gets composted but I also help support "Natural Gardener"  through my annual compost purchase and other things that I am unable to resist.  

The blog; well, I have been taking lots pictures of the things growing in the garden and around the house and wanted to share the photo journal of my gardening.

Since this years garden is now well underway, I'll start with a review.


The garden produced a nice winter lettuce crop.  The threat of extreme freezing temps resulted in a mass harvest and an opportunity to share with the neighbors. Miraculously some of the lettuce survived the freezing days and came back to produce again in March.  

Early, 6th - Tilled the in-ground beads and worked compost into the raised beds.   Luckily, I had help this year to manhandle the tiller.   Onions sets were already in the ground.  Planted arugula, spinach, red cabbage and snow peas

One week later - It is time to set out the tomatoes.  Isn't really, if you believe the last freeze dates but it has already been exceptionally warm and it's time to gamble.  Added lots of basil plants this year since you can never have too much basil when you have fresh tomatoes.  (Editorial comment from late April  My timing needs work as I have already made pesto twice and not a ripe tomato to be found.)

Also planted green beans.
The asparagus has started to produce the first stalks of the season.
Pepper plants were small so I waited another week before transplanting.
Late March  - Final plantings were seeds for cucumbers, summer squash, and transplants for eggplant and artichoke.  This is my first time to plant artichokes, so we will see.  Fun, thistle-like plants, so maybe they will like the Texas heat.

The garden is in, more in the next installment.

No comments:

Post a Comment