Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Cold Weather Coming.
good thing i didn't get impatient and try to put any seedlings out over the weekend. we're expecting record lows (20s) tonight and tomorrow night.
Cats vs. Seedlings. no (noticeable) losses to hungry cats yet, but they have sat on a few seedlings. and for some reason one of the cats is barfing more than usual. we haven't witnessed any seedling snacking, so it could be entirely coincidental, or not - two barf incidents have occurred in close proximity to the seedling trays...
Monday, February 25, 2002
despite the fact that it was a beautiful weekend, i did absolutely nothing outside. i did finish potting all the tomato and spinach seedlings, but that was pretty much the extent of my gardening activity for saturday/sunday.
the only vaguely outdoorsy thing i did was to wander around the backyard looking for additional places to put all my plants once they're ready to go out. i decided that the ixora under the sunroom windows should be relocated to the side fence beds. i think they'll be happy there, if not i won't worry too much. the bed under the windows is perfect for tomatoes and sun-loving herbs. there is also a small bed by the side door that would be a good home for some smallish herbs. they'll be sharing space with a crape myrtle and some lily-things, but i think i can make it work.
Pictures? i know, pictures of all the happy seedlings would be fun. but the camera and the computer have a love/hate relationship, and right now they're in a hate cycle.
Friday, February 22, 2002
The Fun Never Ends...
last night i potted up more tomatoes, spinach, thyme and savory. i now have 40-odd little pots, each with four or more seedlings.
it's still too soon to put anything outside - the rain yesterday afternoon/evening would have smooshed any poor seedlings unfortunate enough to be out. and we're supposed to have a cold front come through next week. i just have to remember to be patient.
this weekend i hope we'll finish clearing out the jungle. it was more work-intensive than i expected last weekend, but darin has volunteered to help finish the job.
i haven't even started my lettuce seeds. that may be a problem, since lettuce is apparently a cool weather plant. okay, maybe it isn't such a problem. i have 1000+ seeds so even if i toast a few in the houston heat, i can always try again next season.
Thursday, February 21, 2002
Too Many Tomatoes?
i may gone overboard with the tomatoes. i bought two varieties - amish paste and brandywine - for a total of 100 seeds and made the "mistake" of trying to start them all. very nearly all of the seeds have germinated. even after i move them outside, lose a few, and thin out the weaklings, i'm going to have a lot of tomato plants. darin may be getting more practice making sauce than he expected. do squirrels eat tomatoes?
Potting Progress. last night i transplanted about 40 tomato seedlings into eight pots. also transplanted five pots of spinach (i love spinach) and four of sweet peppers.
there are now two trays of potted seedlings in the sunroom. one is perched safely on top of the plant stand. the other, well, it is within cat-reach. we closed the doors to the sunroom last night to keep the cats out, but i hate to lock them out of the sunroom during the day because it's one of their favorite sleeping/outdoor watching places.
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
i got home too late last night to do any transplanting, maybe (hopefully) tonight.
this morning i checked out the corner formerly known as the jungle. i'd been worried that it would turn into a mud pit since it rained off and on yesterday and last night. but all is well - it seems to drain nicely. nevertheless, i definitely want to add a couple of inches of soil/compost. this brief period of rain was by no means a true test.
Fig Tree. i've started worrying about how much shade the fig tree will create once it leafs out. it may render about 1/3 of my prospective garden too shady for some of the herbs and veggies i'd been planning to put there. not to worry too much though, there are plenty of other spaces i can use. and i know that this first garden attempt is highly experimental anyway, as i learn what works and what doesn't.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
a quick check of the seedlings this morning revealed that the thyme and winter savory are approaching 100% sprout rate. lots and lots of 1cm high seedlings. egads. tonight i'll try to move them into pots before they outgrow the current environment. i'm not even sure what winter savory is, but it sounded so good in the catalog.
this is part of what i enjoy about growing things - it's almost like christmas every morning when i check the progress of all the seedlings. the same is true when i check the yard plants - new leaves, new flowers - it's all happy and cheerful!
Sunday, February 17, 2002
Progress in the Jungle.
i'm about half done with the clearing. darin helped by digging out one of the sago palms. i measured the area this afternoon - it's approximately 11' front-to-back and 18' wide. that's a lot of asian jasmine. the good news is that the soil is in pretty good condition. i can push a pitchfork in about five inches without much effort. even so, i think we probably will add some compost, and possibly sand, before all is said and done.
in addition to the earthworms, frogs and a couple of lizards, i've also found some very interesting "lost objects": the skull of some antlered animal, i'd guess it was a deer, but it seems too small; a pair of interesting antlers/horns with no skull attached; 3 wooden lawn croquet balls (somewhat rotted); a wire topiary form shaped like a deer (no head, and the skull is proportionally too small to substitute); and two medium-sized plastic balls. my theory is that the skull and other antlers were once hung on the fence. i found the objects immediately at the base of the fence, and there are, in fact, a couple of nails sticking out of the fence at about an appropriate display height. oh yeah, also found one garden hose and most of a large terra cotta pot. all of this was completely hidden from view by the asian jasmine (the topiary was on its side).
Seedlings Galore. tonight i transplanted 4 more pots of basil for a total of 40 basil seedlings. i also potted the mint and chives, as well as some of the savory, thyme, tomatoes, spinach and coriander. all told, i have 19 pots of seedlings in the sunroom.
Mexican Heather Propagation. the plumbago didn't seem to appreciate my attempts to root it in water. however, two sprigs of mexican heather do look very promising. one has visible roots growing; i can't see the roots on the other sprig, but the leaves remain fresh, so something is happening.
Shrub ID (Tentative) - Redtip / Redtop.
i'm pretty certain about this one, but i haven't seen the flowers yet. we have two smallish ones under the sunroom windows, one by the east fence in the backyard and one by the driveway.
Tree ID - Carolina Laurel Cherry.
we have one of these against the back fence. ours is about 15' high and 10" diameter. it's an attractive tree and is about to start blooming which should make it even nicer to look at, but i'm not too excited about having such a poisonous thing in my yard. now i know why it still has plenty of berries - too bad the darn squirrels won't go for it.
Weed ID - Asiatic Hawksbeard.
obviously a weed. i usually find 3-4 of these to pull every time i set foot out the door. but i thought it was a small dockweed. apparently the "bane" of houston gardeners. oh well.
fun saturday night, eh?