Friday, March 22, 2013

South Texas Spring-- Gardening-- Kind Of!

Ben's Garden Roses

It's mid-spring in South Texas already!  This is a time we cherish both for its beauty and because of its brevity!  Right now the sun isn't blazing hot and the wildflowers are blooming on the sides of the highways, the garden roses are lovely and fragrant, and we get excited about growing things!  Ben has some gorgeous roses right now.  We love the heritage varieties here.  They're pretty, but also hardy and can take the Texas sun, Texas bugs, and well.....Texas!
I don't have recipes for the blog this time, but thought I'd do something different and show you some pictures of some of  my attempts this year with basic vegetable gardening.  Ben has some herbs growing wonderfully in containers, so I thought I'd give some vegetables a try this year.  I've tried this before and have had limited success, but as they say, hope springs eternal!

These are the beans sprouting today.  So far, so good!  I planted both bush and pole varieties.  I've never grown the pole type, so I just thought it would be fun!  Already I saw a bunch of what we call "roly poly" bugs.  On the Internet it says these bugs are generally harmless in gardens EXCEPT in Texas where they LOVE bean sprouts!  Uh-oh!

I planted three containers of tomato plants:  two regular varieties and one small type called "Aggie Grape" in honor of my son-in-law, Miles, an enthusiastic Aggie alum.   I've had exactly one big year for tomato production.  Mostly, I haven't figured out how to keep the birds from pecking every tomato right at the peak of it's ripened perfection! :(  
The year I did have a lot of tomatoes, Marie and I went happily around to the neighbors to give them away.  However, it ended up being a rather weird experience because a lot of people thought we were peddling them and tried to give us money!  

This is the funniest experiment of them all!  I heard that one could just make slits in a bag of potting soil, plant things and they would grow fine:  container, mulch, and weed barrier all in one!  That sounded so much like "Gardening for Guys", it was a hilarious idea that I had to try!  I thought lettuce might be the best suited for this "garden", so I made the slits in the bag and sowed some Mesclun mix seeds.  They sprouted in 2 days!  We'll see how it goes.  It's pretty late to plant lettuce in South Texas, I think, but it will be interesting to see.  Once it gets super hot, the plants will cook in that plastic-- I guess I should have planted spinach-- ha!

Well, anyway, I'll keep you posted!


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