Monday, November 3, 2008

Still growing ...

It's so nice this time of year to remember that we don't actually live on the surface of Mercury.

The artichokes have taken advantage of the cool weather to put on some growth. I may have helped a bit by completely excavating their roots and packing in fresh compost and fertilizer.

The serranos have also finally decided to get busy.

Green beans are in.

Swiss chard has made its debut in the crazy billionaire garden ...

joining the broccoli raab, Chinese kale, shallots and garlic.

But all the news is not so pleasant. After promising starts, every beet, lettuce and spinach seedling got devoured over the course of about 3 days. I still haven't identified the culprit. Squirrel? Grasshopper? Caterpillar? Beetle? Pill bug?

I put in some fresh beet seeds over the weekend, and am waiting for the green beans to finish before reseeding lettuce and spinach. Hopefully whatever it was has reached its low temperature limit. otherwise, I'll just have to keep replanting. I do have plenty of seeds.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

The plantening continues

New seeds planted this past weekend:

Spinach, Bloomsdale Long-Standing and Catalina baby leaf

Chinese Kale (I think this is the same as Chinese broccoli)

Broccoli Raab




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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back in the dirt.

Despite my carrot-loving friend's absence, I got out and did a bit of Fall planting today. Carrot and beet seeds are in the ground.

Yesterday was full of enjoyably back-breaking compost turning and bed preparation, with a little lettuce planting  and artichoke side-dressing for dessert.

As I had hoped, the cooler weather seems to be good motivation for gardening. We'll see if it helps with the garden blogging.


Oak Leaf leaf lettuce, Tom Thumb and Winter Density head lettuce from seed, 9/27/2008

Early Wonder beet, Scarlet Nantes and Danvers Half Long carrots from seed, 9/28/2008

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Saturday, September 13, 2008


Still not a lot to report around these parts. I've been lamenting the effects of this summer's crushing heat, particularly earlier in the week when the two surviving growing tips of my tromboncino squash got roasted to a crisp in the afternoon sun. Oh, and did I mention that control squash is all et up with the squash bugs, and I've still got no eggplants? It's a bit demoralizing.

Note to self -- just take next August off. I'm sure there are plenty of gardeners elsewhere who would say that a 10-month growing season is plenty.

Today was nice though. Hurricane Ike (or as it turned out here in Austin, "Hurricane Psych") gave us a day of cloud cover if no rain. I got out and turned up one of the empty beds. It's good to get into the dirt again.

I put in some green bean seeds when I was done, and have been giving some thought to the fall garden plan. At the moment, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, broccoli-kale, onions, garlic and leeks are on deck.

In other news, we got a new patio door. My friend John helped me install it last week and I've been fiddling with the trim some today. Addie hates it since she can't see the yard when the blinds are up.

It's for the best though. She would have died if she had seen this display of nerve out there earlier.

Planted: Green beans, Burpee Stringless Green Pod from seed, 9/13/2008

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I haven't had great luck with peppers. The first year they got devoured by pill bugs. Last year, they grew lovely leaves, but not a lot of peppers. Jalapenos have done OK, but that's about it. This year, I have 4 great looking seedlings from seed and just transplanted them into more-or-less-native soil near the compost bin. They can't do much worse than they have.

April 8
Peppers: (from left to right, facing compost) Cayenne, Serrano, Yellow Wonder, California Wonder Orange. Holes dug past pecan roots in plain soil, each hole amended with a tiny bit of compost, and a handful of cottonseed, bone, and kelp meal.


Saturday, April 5, 2008


I think just about everything is in the ground. I'm waiting for my pepper seedlings to get a little bigger before planting, and there's a stretch of dirt on the North fence where I grew tromboncino squash last year that could take something. But that's about it. Now I just need to remember what I did for next year ...

March 15
Tomatoes: Various home-grown seedlings. 8 in the raised beds mulched with dead grass, 6 in the in-ground bed on the East fence, and 3 around the compost bin in Japanese tomato ring style.

March 26
Cantaloupe: 2, bought from Natural Gardener, planted in the new, unfilled raised bed in two hills of native soil and compost, mulched with dead grass

March 29
Tomatoes: Mail-order seedlings from mom for my birthday. 2 in new spots on the North and East fences in the compost corner, 1 in my homemade "earthtainer".

March 30
Eggplant: 3 small varieties bought from The Great Outdoors, planted in one of the raised beds.
Basil: 1 sweet basil from Great Outdoors, planted with existing herbs in a raised bed.

April 1
Squash, 3 Sunburst, 1 Peter Pan: We had removed 2 Althea bushes along our East fence, leaving a couple of holes, which I filled out with compost and peat humus. I planted two squash in each hill and covered the surrounding area with cardboard and leaf mold.