Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gardening

Have you started your garden yet?

Donna and I have a small garden. So far, we've planted red and 1015 onions, radishes, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, bell and jalapeno peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and some herbs.

We've been eating some radishes from the garden; I love their crispy, fresh taste. We can probably start harvesting "green" onions now while waiting for the bulk of the onion crop to mature.

I've never had too much luck with tomatoes; I think I've always placed mine where they get too much sun. So this year, I set up a screen to protect them from the sun, and I believe this is having a very positive effect. When I cleared my garden area, I did so along the fence line on our northeast side. As a result, plants there receive a lot of sun, especially afternoon sun. In addition, the sun reflects off the fence, adding even more heat. The screen will help give the tomatoes and peppers some relief. I also have been saving coffee grounds for quite a while, and I'm conducting a little test. I've given half the tomato plants a generous helping of the coffee grounds, and expect them to get a little extra boost. I've also used grass clippings to mulch around all the plants.

Tomatoes under the sun screen. This was taken about 2 weeks ago. Today, the plants are about twice this size and covered with blooms.
Red onions on left, 1015s on right. Reds are farther along.
We've also added to our cactus bed lately. We've added 2 mountain laurels and 2 oleanders. Mountain laurels can really be beautiful in bloom. Our cactus bed is now almost complete, and in a couple of years it should have some good color from the purple sage, mountain laurels, and oleanders.

Mountain laurels in full bloom. These are at the LBJ National Historic Site in Johnson City.

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