Months of moderate temperatures and El Niño's rains have brought forth an explosion of spring color in the garden. Bulbs, reseeding annuals and perennials burst into bloom in late February and early March, several weeks ahead of schedule.
Despite all the rain, we got a couple of long-needed projects finished. We installed a 550-gallon rainwater harvesting tank ourselves, and received a $225 rebate from the city (50 cents per gallon capacity). I plan to paint the PVC pipe green.
We alao hired a company to install a cedar fence along one side of our property. Here’s the before:
And here’s the after. A little less morning sun, but lots more privacy, which was greatly needed on both sides of the fence.
I had to break down all the garden beds along the property line, so garden space for the second round of cool-weather veggies I planted in January was very limited.
I only planted our favorites: snap peas, garlic, broccoli, spinach and strawberries in the remaining raised beds, and lettuce and carrots in containers. These veggies all do fine in our warm Central Texas winters without pampering. I got the potatoes planted on President's Day weekend, after the fence was installed. And once the fall-planted broccoli went to seed in March, I pulled it up and planted tomatoes.
It was a great year for broccoli! With all the rain, I hardly had to irrigate at all.
We enjoyed broccoli at least once a week for over four months -
- until the snails moved in and wiped out the last few heads, boo.
Snap peas did great too - enough to give away - and the snails don’t care for those.
Greens went gangbusters and we got a few asparagus spears, too.
Plenty of good eating around here - fresh garden produce never gets old.
And we've already picked our first limes from the lime tree, thanks to the DIY greenhouse and a warm winter.
All in all, it's been a productive spring, but summer will be here soon enough. The forecasters say El Niño is coming to an end and La Niña will bring above-average temperatures to most of the US - except for Central Texas, South Texas and the Gulf Coast. What do y'all think about that forecast? I'm thinking I better pack my skimpiest summer wear for the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minnesota!
Words and photos © 2009-2016 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.