Sunday, January 17, 2010

Busy day on the back 40 (feet)

Today I did the following garden chores:
* Cut down the trash tree seedlings the birds planted along the fence line
* Hauled the brush and old cosmos sticks out to the street (city pickup is this week)
* Mowed down the grass in the zinnia bed
* Loaded up the bird feeder
* Turned the compost bin (it's working! the kitchen waste is turning into compost!)
* Planted a six-foot row of yellow Granex onions
* Planted more Danvers 126 carrots

After this week's rains, everything looks happier. The rain gauge was up to three inches on Thursday morning, but got knocked over Thursday night. On Friday, we got two inches more.
Rain gauge
I'm not exactly sure how many inches we got, but obviously we got enough to turn the Fairy rose and columbine leaves yellow, and sprout a bunch of weed seeds.

Here we have a plethora of lettuces. These little babies made it through our recent freeze just fine, thanks to pine straw mulch and floating row cover.
A plethora of lettuces
Front to back: baby oakleaf from Seed Savers Exchange, Simpson Elite from Livingston Seed, "Crispy Winter Greens" mix from Renee's Garden and "Q's Special Medley" mesclun mix from Botanical Interests.

These baby Catalina spinach seedlings survived the 17° F temps, too!
Now I'm dreaming of spinach salads and sauteed spinach with garlic.
Catalina baby spinach seedlings

The Swiss chard is rising from the soil, like a phoenix from the ashes.
Swiss chard, rising like the phoenix

The Packman broccoli is coming along; this head is the size of a half dollar.
Baby broccoli

Still no sign of the Snowball cauliflower, though. They're growing in the same conditions as the broccoli; same Hill Country Garden Soil, same Ladybug organic fertilizer, same water, same pine straw mulch; not sure what the problem is.
Snowball, where are you?

I planted a few herbs in cinder blocks right outside the back door. Here we have dill and cilantro; the parsley and chives haven't come up yet.
Cinder block herb garden

They say that onions and strawberries are good companion plants. I'm putting that old wives' tale to the test! These are bunching onions from Dromgoole's. I planted the yellow Granex onions in this same bed.
Companion plants: onions & strawberries

Overall, I feel MUCH better about the garden this week than I did last week.


  1. You make it look all so easy! That is a great idea using the cinder blocks. -Amy

  2. Amy, you are SO sweet to say that! The hardest part of gardening is building those darn beds. I do raised beds; I can't imagine digging beds! Planting and harvesting is comparatively easy.

  3. Your vegetables look delicious and the cinder block idea was very clever! Something ate my radishes, they all had worm holes????

  4. Looks great...I so want to harvest veggies from our gardens.

  5. Jen, google cabbage root maggot fly radish. Try planting your next radish crop in a different spot. Lightweight floating row cover over the bed will keep the flies that lay the eggs off the plants but still allow light and water in.

  6. Lucky you to be gardening! The cinder block herb garden is a great idea.
    We've had late fall planted spinach come up again in the spring and give us a delicious early crop. That was a nice surprise :)
    So glad you got some rain!

  7. I love the herbs in the cinder blocks. Our lettuce here at ARE was fine under just the row covers. I know we did not get as cold as you did in Austin area.

  8. Love the cinder blocks! I couldn't believe my lettuce and chard was still as perky as could be today. I didn't even cover them. I cut what I could before the freeze and left the rest to their own devices! Thanks for reminding me to plant my carrots.

  9. KNOCK OUT images... I love seeing spring early via your page.

    I can't wait to stop back again soon.

  10. Your garden looks fabulous! although I'm not jealous, no way ! you can have it I'm glad to be having a winter break :)

  11. Nice to see your babies survived the cold! I loved your idea of an herb garden in cinder blocks. Convenient and easy.

    I'm tickled to 'meet' another Central Texas garden blogger! Thanks for visiting Hill Country Mysteries and becoming a Follower. I'm following yours now too. I haven't ventured into produce yet, am looking forward to watching yours.

  12. Cinder blocks herb garden- I love it. I'm thinking I could use that idea to create another herb garden on the opposite side of the school for the littler kids. Thanks!