Monday, October 6, 2008

Those who can, do...

Those who can't, blog??? At least, that is how it seems to go with the gardening for me. I haven't blogged much at all over the past few days.  I've been fairly busy outside now that the roofers are finished, the heat is less oppressive, and we have our rain barrels installed.I have lettuce going nicely now about a month after I first planted the seed.  I will prep and seed another site for more in the next day or so to ensure a steady supply.I had a volunteer potato plant in a back raised bed I noted while raiding for dirt.  I decided to try an experiment, a variation on the trick of raising potatoes in a cardboard box which I read about over at Jugalbandi.  I had this old lampshade hanging around, on its way to the thrift store. I decided it would serve just as readily to hold mounded dirt up around the potato plant.  I will keep you posted as to results.  It could be I missed my bet, not gently moving the soil level up bit by bit as the plant developed rather than pretty much surrounding it with dirt once I noticed it.  About another 5-6 weeks will tell.While at the nursery for gravel for the barrel pads, I picked up some strawberry and bluebonnet plants.  I have some bluebonnets coming up from seed but want to develop a couple of stands of plants thick enough to guarantee reseeding year to year.  I figured to jumpstart a couple of areas with plants since my experiments with seeds have been iffy.  Again, trying things out is all part of the fun.

The strawberries are a nod to our attempts to use more edible plants that double as landscaping elements.  Strawberries will supposedly develop into a nice ground cover that provide fruit seasonally, so this represents a step in that direction.  I've read berry production drops after a few years in the ground.  It was suggested to plant the area a few plants each year in order to prolong your berry harvests.Keeping in mind what does well as cooler weather plants here and trying to match that with what we really like to eat I put in three varieties of broccoli plants, one mustard and two cabbage plants.I also picked up a couple of oregano plants and another lavender to keep the bees attracted and happy. 

I bought some seed at the nursery as well, planted about half of those and traded a friend for some of his excess for other areas.We are trying Romeo Round baby carrots, French Breakfast radishes, Oregon Giant Snow Peas, two types of Leek, Chioggia beets, orange chard, Chantennay carrots and a bit of fennel.Between weeding, judicious thinning out of some reseeding salvias, trimming back overgrown privets,  turning/preparing the soil, tricking out the potato plant and putting in seeds, that plus watering has been plenty to keep me busy.  

Now, we need RAIN!!  If any of you know a can't-fail way to produce rain (aside from sprinklers or hoses I mean) are officially invited to employ it. pronto.  We need water for our gardens and I'd like my rain barrels FULL, if you please.

Not that is it all work by any means.I created a kinetic toy out of a discarded roofing material spiral I've hung off one corner of our back decking.At lunch outside Sunday my husband and I were watching this mockingbird use the hammock stand as a bug hunting vantage point.  With the bird this close to the yard, the bugs didn't stand much a chance.

And finally, while sitting out reviewing what's been done and planning next steps, I finally caught a half decent shot of this red bellied woodpecker I've been admiring for months.He is shy so I can't get close without his flying off, and he moves around enough that trying to get a long shot is, well, a long shot.   I think he is quite handsome.

And that is it for now.  I will need to get some dinner organized which brings me to another blog I've been neglecting, Austin Agrodolce.  The fun never ends...  


  1. Oh! You have been working hard! I certainly can appreciate it. Exciting to look forward to the potential harvest, isn't it? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks - high praise from someone who has been really hard at work herself! It's been truly inspiring watching your raised beds and fenced in areas developing on Society Garlic.

    Hey - I bought a couple of teensy plumbagos for the front which I think of as my Purple Iris plants. I'll share a photo once they get established (if the deer don't eat them...)

  3. what a gorgeous garden you have! that potato plant looks really glamorous in that lampshade container.

  4. Thanks, bee! It was high time to turn around that stereotype of folks who drink too much vodka and end up wearing a lampshade hat. This time the potato gets the shade for a topper.

    I'll let you know if this works. If not, I am still watching for a sprouty potato and I have a cardboard box all ready.

  5. there's no reason why it shouldn't. potatoes love well drained soil. this will actually work better than a cardboard box because the drainage is better.

    wonderful garden. thanks for the sweet email.


  6. Thanks, Jai. WIth your encouragement I am now scouting around my house for more potential potato shades. What an interesting look for a garden bed this might be...


About Me

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.